5 Design Tips from Our Home on the Bay Project
After years of working on our Home on the Bay Project, it’s hard to believe it’s finally complete.
We loved seeing this San Francisco Bay area project come to life, from compiling mood boards to putting the finishing touches on each vignette. Now that we’ve shared all of the webisodes and photo tours, it’s time to deep dive into some of our favorite details and break down a few things we learned along the way.
Read on for five design tips from our Home on the Bay Project.
No. 1: Balance out light and bright elements with bold moments
In the initial stage of working on this project, we learned that while our clients loved a clean and minimal look and palette, they were also open to a few bold surprises. You don’t have to choose between light and bright and dark and moody; in fact, a dimensional design often involves leaning into both.
Throughout this home, we took opportunities to find moments where we could add depth — From the black fireplace in the great room, to the dark navy-blue check in the dining nook, to the black countertops in the white kitchen, to the burgundy office nook.
"The moody elements we incorporated throughout this home help ground the space and add warmth to contrast the muted palette."
No. 2: Prioritize cohesion in your key materials
Although it sounds obvious, a well-designed space is about finding cohesion as much as it is in mixing and contrasting. Wood is often one of the first materials we choose in the design process, and this project was no exception.
We have gotten a lot of questions about how we consider mixing wood tones over the years, and although every project is different, keeping the wood species consistent throughout lends more cohesion in look and feel. For this home, we chose a beautiful White Oak early on, and each wood element you see throughout — the floors, ceilings, and vanities- are all the same white oak species.
Though the stain of the wood may change from darker to lighter, and the cuts of the wood range from a Rift, Plaine, and Quarter Sawn, having a base of the same White Oak species keeps a consistent feel throughout the home.
No. 3: Mixing silhouette lines helps add visual interest
Mixing silhouettes and shapes is always important for adding interest to a space, and something we wanted to emphasize in this home. From the contrast of the chair shapes in the dining area to the round mirror in the entryway, each element balances the other to add dimension.
Adding shapely dimension isn’t just about mixing and matching your furniture pieces. Where you can, find opportunities to accentuate or contrast the architecture and build of your home with pieces that bring in a new layer.
In this kitchen design, we had a lot of angular lines — from the cabinetry to the pocket doors to the shape of the hood, and although we loved the clean feeling it brought, we wanted to add in some softer edges. The circular shape of the lighting and the rounded feel that the woven counter stools add allowed for some dimension.
No. 4: Creating character is about making the most of every corner
We love to talk about how decorative accents and furniture pieces can add character to any home, but creating character is also at the forefront of our design process when creating layouts and selecting finishing details. Aside from pattern and patina, little moments of surprise and function can bring a feeling of thoughtfulness to the design and how our clients live in their homes.
We made the most of every corner in this home with a few adjustments to maximize its function — from the indented shelf moment above the range for holding cooking essentials to the towel rail on the sink to the built-in office nook in the kitchen.
"This little workstation nook in the kitchen adds just the right amount of charm to this space and is the perfect place for our client's young kids to do homework."
No. 5: Introducing “old” elements brings a thoughtful touch to new build
This home was a completely custom new build from the ground up, and we got to start from scratch to bring our client’s dreams to fruition with the help of the amazing teams at Sausalito Construction and Holscher Architecture.
When designing new builds, the challenge is often to add enough character, so it doesn’t fall flat. In this design, we added a few “old” elements to ground the feeling of the home. The stained wood ceilings went a long way in adding warmth and dimension to this home, and the limestone tile on the floor of the primary bathroom, one of our favorite details, brought some age and sophistication to the light and open design.