View of dining room and living room from kitchen, custom shelving collection displays, modern family design by Laura Martin Bovard Interior Design Firm, Piedmont / Oakland

Entertaining with flow: open floor plan from kitchen through to dining and living rooms

We love designing homes in Piedmont. There are so many great examples of classic architectural styles here, and so many different families who want to relish these grand homes while also putting their own personal stamp, sometimes with a modern spin, sometimes more of a tradish twist, yet always warm, welcoming, gracious, and livable.

This home was built in the California Mediterranean style, with interior design updates to support a family with three children, and showcase their personal collections. We selected high quality, gorgeous materials and finishes, in a subtle and timeless palette, something that would be beautiful now, and would grow with the family.

Color and texture carpet runner kitchen design Oakland

A few key elements of the plans were emphasizing open flow and design connection through the entertaining spaces, from kitchen to living and dining rooms, plus remodeling the master bathroom, kitchen, guest bathroom, and powder room.

Elements that create the most impact which are sometimes a large investment but make an exponentially larger difference include relocating the more-expansive windows, which highlights the views to the large, verdant backyard. And opening up the connection between the family room and kitchen for a more integrated multi-use space that also makes it easier to keep an eye on children, while grownups are cooking in the kitchen.

Range with Mosaic House Moroccan tile backsplash, custom painted cabinets, interior design for family in Piedmont

Another feature of this project are the highly decorative items, that, used selectively, really shine. For example, the handcrafted Moroccan tile (via Mosaic House, New York: in the kitchen, with neutral palette and subtle Moroccan pattern, is a knockout element that remains also quietly elegant while relating to the house’s Mediterranean architecture. This tile was a must-have for our client, an art and design enthusiast who seriously crushes on Mosaic House’s wares.

Kitchen remodel demonstrates beauty of Moroccan handmade tile

Grounding the tasteful, timeless backsplash, Arana Craftsman Painters painted the cabinets — in a custom-matched color that the client had fallen in love with, a warm, medium beige with undertones of gray and green. High-quality engineered quartz countertops from Cambria in a clean, warm white, highlight the simple elegance of the room, while offering durability, heat resistance, and easy maintenance. Gold-toned fixtures and cabinet hardware echo the glamorous tile while adding shimmer, and a modern feel. (View details of my not-long-ago visit to the Cambria factory, here:

The kitchen-to-garden door features a handcrafted iron grate from Santa Barbara Forge and a rippled glass window that can be opened to maximize airflow. This is a favorite detail for merging function and form.

Kitchen features that pop: Handcrafted wrought-iron “screen” door, Mosaic House tile backsplash, gold-tone accents

Kitchen features that pop: Handcrafted wrought-iron “screen” door, Mosaic House tile backsplash, gold-tone accents

Custom floor-to-ceiling shelving in the living and dining areas creates the perfect stage for the client’s mortar-and-pestle and ceramic ale bottle collections. The shelving was installed by contractor Peter Kyle, who executed all of the build aspects of this design.

We chose Taj Mahal stone for the bathrooms, a material that we have used with great success in a few select projects, including a Tahoe vacation home, and The Wolf restaurant. Taj Mahal is as hard as granite, but lighter in color, with a look that is similar to marble while being far easier to maintain. The large swaths of stone contrast with the detailed pattern created by the tiny tiles for a range of visual rhythms and a soothing overall feel.

Taj Mahal stone bathtub surround

Taj Mahal stone in master bath creates a restful visual beauty to harmonize with the faster visual rhythm of the tile

We had a different stone, a piece leftover from the fireplace build that made for a dramatic countertop in the powder room off the kitchen. A winning moment for us to have an opportunity to repurpose extra material! The vinyl wallpaper is pretty and also washable—to withstand abuse by small hands. High sink apron and backsplash are similarly designed to hold up to multi-kid use, while also making the small room feel more grand and spacious.

Glam design powder room repurposed stone Moroccan light fixture

Moroccan powder room features repurposed stone, kid-friendly design elements, imported light fixture for glam

Not to mention the golden mirror! And how much we love that geometric light fixture via Tazi, imported from Morocco, elevating what could have been simply a functional space into something fabulous.

Because, why should any space in a home be merely functional, when we can be nourished by touches of beauty, whether large or small, instead?

From the drawer pulls to the light fixtures to the countertops, tile selections, and colors, every aspect of this home is designed to delight the senses, nourish the soul, and support the lifestyle of this busy family for years to come.

And that is what a collaborative designer can offer a client. An interior designer holds space for the vision of home. Keeping the spaces flowing together in a way that honors the client’s personal taste while honoring the architecture of the original home — we call that win/win in the design world.

Photo credits: Mo Saito

A version of this article originally appeared in the Piedmont Post