MANSFIELD + O’NEIL is a vibrant Bay Area design firm helmed by Tiffany Mansfield and Lisa O’Neil, a creative pair with a penchant for sophisticated color. The designers had built a custom home for a glamorous client a few years back, but with her children grown and gone, she’d moved into new home and needed their help again– the designers dubbed it a “1980s contractor’s special.” The space was generous and well-lit, but the layout was compartmentalized and the materials were dated. It required a total gut job and aesthetic overhaul, and Tiffany and Lisa were just the pair for the job. We sat down with them to learn more:

Tell us a bit about the client and what inspired this renovation!
This client had been a professional ballerina, and she wanted things to be light, airy, and organic — with some show-stopper glam.  Together we chose a palette of sophisticated creams and grays, accented by gold and ballet pinks, and we set out to create something fresh and contemporary out of an old, tired space.

How has the renovation changed how she uses the home?
Livability and beauty were driving goals.  During renovation, we took down walls to connect the dark, cramped galley kitchen to the dining area.  We yanked an ancient acrylic whirlpool tub out of the master bath and developed a spacious wet room with beautiful shower fixtures, a free-standing tub, and a dramatic vaulted ceiling.  We took an oversized coat closet and converted it into a wine room.  All of these changes help to achieve an open, inviting home with an unusually soft + feminine palate.

How does this space differ from your other projects?
In this particular home, there were absolute restrictions on exterior changes and limitations on many interior dimensions. We worked within + around the existing envelope, including it’s awkward 1980s angles and soffits.  We had to envision and implement creative solutions to these constraints.  The most challenging of these was a floor-to-ceiling window that landed smack-dab in the kitchen’s perimeter cabinetry, driving a physical and visual disconnect between the working countertop and the fridge/pantry area.  We designed floor-to-ceiling open shelves, with a sheer metallic window treatment behind, to provide additional kitchen storage and display space, and to add a natural warmth and organic — this shelving then became an artistic focal point in the kitchen, and we connected it to the rest of the space by adding natural wood drawers and counter stools with a beached wood base.

In the slideshow, Mansfield + O’Neil share more details on the space, including a few of their favorite pieces.