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© Bruce Damonte Photography


Architect & Interiors: Studio VARA Structural Engineer: GFDS Engineers Civil Engineer: Tarnoff Engineering Corp. Landscape: Humanature Landscape Design Inc. General Contractor: Summit Professional Builders Photography: Bruce Damonte Photography


When the owners purchased this 1970’s ranch home in Kentfield, Marin County, it was dark, dank, and in danger of sliding down a hill. The interior was dated and needed to be updated to modern standards.

The existing plan had the main stair located in the kitchen, disrupting the flow to the dining area and making the kitchen feel cut-off, small and cramped. The stair was creatively relocated to the front of the home, enlarging the kitchen without increasing the footprint and creating an open passage to the dining area with views to the living room. Light was brought in by removing deep eaves and decks all around the house, and wood ceilings were painted white to reflect light and focus attention on the interior elements.

The interior design was driven by the owner’s extensive art collection, which challenged the designers to consider sightlines and art placement throughout the process. The furniture selections also respond to the art, as the firm collaborated with the owners on various custom pieces throughout the home. An oversized bespoke sectional anchors the living room while a custom rug adds a woven graphic texture. A machined aluminum dining table in jet black lends drama to the small dining room, and the custom breakfast nook table in the kitchen is topped with 1960’s vintage French tiles by the artist Roger Capron and flanked by a custom charcoal blue linen banquette. The master bed is made from solid walnut in a modern design that highlights the sapwood of the slab, sitting on another custom rug.