Situated just minutes from the charming downtown of Mill Valley, CA, an area known for its endless hiking trails amid the redwoods, this 1960s ranch-style home had a reserved, farmhouse style. “Though the interior had undergone a remodel in 2015 and was generally in good shape, our clients were eager to create a space that resonated more authentically with their tastes and functional needs, rather than making do with the previous owner’s choices,” interior designer Adrian Dagli of Interior Wanderer Studio (IW | Studio) says. 

Her clients—a family of four—wanted the home to exude a sense of neutrality, timelessness, and increased function without it feeling too precious for everyday life. “Early on while working closely with the wife, it became clear she had a natural talent for styling,” Adrian recalls. “She desired a versatile environment that would allow her the freedom to effortlessly layer in new and evolving interests through various textiles and accessories, ensuring that the design would feel fresh and dynamic over time. She also expressed a lasting affection for dusty lilacs and mauves. We were keen to embrace her tried-and-true favorites, turning this hue into the ‘red thread’ throughout the design spaces, instead of a styling accent.” 

During design development, they maintained and brought in the elements that felt true to the home. “Notable features included the picture frame molding in the dining/living area, beveled shaker doors in the kitchen, and rich, rustic hardwood floors throughout the entire residence,” Adrian tells us. “Keeping these discerning details intact, we seamlessly and strategically evolved the design into the desired charming cottage aesthetic while maintaining the essence of the original home.”

In the kitchen, Adrian created a custom look by refacing select doors and drawers, and extending the height to create a thinner, 1/8” gap around the top trim and countertop. “This added more visual height within the lower-ceilinged area,” she says. “We removed bulky uppers for visual rest and introduced a custom reeded corner cabinet for better balance on the appliance wall. Other adjustments, such as reducing the countertop thickness to ¾” and replacing the island end cap posts with a streamlined shaker panel, introduced an airier feel.” In this space, a skylight drenches the room with natural light that highlights the Calacatta Cremo marble from IMG. In the adjacent dining room, Adrian added architectural interest with beams by E & K Vintage Wood and a chandelier from Visual Comfort.

The powder bathroom features a soft gray plaster with lavender undertones (Burrow Roman Clay by Portola Paints) and a charming, scalloped pendant. “To harmonize with the deeper beam stain in the dining area, we upgraded the vanity to a prefab mid-tone wood,” the designer explains. “The finishing touch was a splurge-worthy Waterworks faucet, repeating the jewelry-like hardware from the kitchen to add a touch of enchantment.”

The final space she worked on was the daughters’ bathroom. “Our client was keen to have a shorter vanity height that would allow her two little girls to become more independent at the sink,” Adrian shares. “With this goal in mind, we set out to design a custom, mauve-drenched vanity with the sweetest vintage-inspired toe kick. We brought in an earthy limestone picket tile with a connected lavender undertone and added custom, wide pleat beadboard wainscoting to make the space feel larger. Adorned with soft clay walls (Piano Room by Portola Paints) and an elevated Waterworks suite, it truly became the most darling space in the home (and the husband’s favorite) – all while working with existing shower tile.”

They began construction in April, and from the moment they began, the client was eager for a reveal worthy of your favorite home makeover show. “When she finally saw the fully completed kitchen in July, she gasped, calling it the ‘prettiest kitchen’ she had ever seen, expressing disbelief that it was now hers for everyday life,” the designer recalls with a big smile. “She was appreciative that we gave her a dream kitchen and noted, as time passed, that she fell even more in love with all the various little details.”