San Francisco is a great town for the unencumbered, but when it comes time to raise a family — comfort, commuting convenience, and parking within a block of your front door, take precedence.
Our clients, a couple of San Francisco “City Boys” with a young daughter, migrated to the East Bay after purchasing a two-story bungalow in the Rockridge District. Their design ideal was big city bungalow style with a decidedly sophisticated, understated masculine interior to reflect their refined tastes. They also wanted a welcoming environment to accommodate frequent visits from friends and family, and the ability to withstand the sometimes sticky mitts of their toddler.
Our design approach downplayed the “quaintness” often associated with the bungalow epoch, while remaining true to its architectural style. We elevated the focal point of the rear wall by surrounding the fireplace with a calm, textured treatment in varying shades of cool blue. Framing the classic marble-fronted fireplace, identical custom étagères showcase the couple’s collection of vintage cameras, objet d’art, family mementos, and a well-preserved antique doctor’s bag (one of the husbands is a physician).
Above the fireplace, a rustic mirror, made from reclaimed wood, lends an earthy, organic element to a timeless room, and provides a dramatic focal point to the accent wall, bringing in reflected light and additional depth.
The living room’s Bay windows provided much-needed breathing room and space to accommodate a pair of comfortable swivel chairs, handsomely upholstered in a textured fabric, balancing the scale of the room for an uncluttered feel. With subtle hints of calm blue and warm, muted neutrals, the window treatments provide another layer of texture in a softly draping linen.
A rounded stone side table and a distinctive circular floor lamp break up the angular elements of the furnishings, grounded by a subtly patterned area rug whose colors and pattern are mimicked in dark blue woven wool covered accent pillows on a neutral-colored sofa.
One of the partners is an avid pianist, so we needed to accommodate for a baby grand, while providing ample room and adequate seating for guests. The custom designed coffee table doubles as an ottoman with the ends upholstered in peacock-inspired blue leather cushions set in a walnut center and frame, perfect for impromptu concerts in the cozy space.
Photography: Ramona d’Viola