california meets scandi style

Livable Grandeur

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hardly begins to describe the newly built 15,000-square-foot manse some 15 minutes from San Francisco. For a charmed family of five, the architecture is the epitome of luxurious California theatricality, with two-story tall columns flanking the front entrance, 24-foot-high ceilings in the main living spaces, and great expanses of glass opening onto two private acres of old-growth trees.




architects Charlie Barnett Associates designed the symmetrical, U-shaped house with an abundance of steel-framed doors and windows. Every room is suffused with natural light and the entire home telegraphs its relationship with nature. There’s a room for every purpose, including a media room, play room and bunk room for young guests, his-and-hers home offices, and a gym with adjacent sauna, hot tub, cold plunge, steam room and massage room, as well as a separate pool house across a stone-paved courtyard.




based interior designer Heather Hilliard carefully considered the furnishings and their layout to create moments of intimacy for family life within the grandly proportioned space. She took cues from her own recent travels in Scandinavia, whose pure aesthetic jibed with the desire of her clients for uncluttered rooms. Clean-lined modern furnishings and a devotion to a palette of white and darks became the prevailing principle. Rich textures, a smattering of antiques and new custom seating designed with comfort in mind give the home a warm and natural feel despite its size.




sun-soaked great room, three distinct furniture groupings work variously for entertaining large groups as well as for smaller gatherings around the central fireplace. Ethereal linen curtains soften the lines of the steel-and-glass doors and control the bright sunlight, while warm woods and a smattering of antique pieces, a carved console, and lighting in varied materials from metal to ceramic, provide a foil to the sleek modernity of new custom upholstered pieces. A tufted velvet sofa with rolled arms demonstrates that, despite the overall modernist bent, nothing is too doctrinaire.





great room, double doors lead to a paneled dining room and library, enveloped in atmospheric blue-grays. A custom white oak table and chairs upholstered in dark wool boucle are the home’s most formal dining option. A mid-20th-century French buffet and a large C Print by Massimo Listri add character to the space.






library is defined by an intriguing mix of materials: cashmere-upholstered Art Deco chairs by Jean Royere, camel leather benches, a bespoke cerused oak desk and brass library ladder.





living room and principal bedroom are in the home’s opposite wing, whose prevailing mood is bright and informal. The all-white kitchen and pale furnishings contrast strikingly with the dark metal of door frames and light fixtures. An X-legged table surrounded by white ottomans and classic modern chairs is a relaxed setting for family meals.




wall detailing and soft textures in the primary bedroom, including a woven fabric on the custom headboard, along with pale furnishings like the bleached-oak bedside tables, create a soothing vibe that is only enhanced by the expansive view of surrounding greenery.






deft touch demonstrates the power of a controlled palette and carefully considered furnishings to evoke warmth and an inviting atmosphere, even within space of palatial proportions.



Design: Heather Hilliard Design

Architecture: Charlie Barnett Associates Architects

Contractor: Allwood Construction

Photography: David Livingston


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