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Design Spotlight: Bringing a Mood to Life

Written by Jennifer Massoni Pardini | Photography by Vivian Johnson

Designer Soledad Alzaga helps one Atherton client tell the bold color story we need now.

The living room, intended to be both kid and dog friendly, features a Camerich sofa with custom slipcover in Kravet Smart fabric, Restoration Hardware swivel chairs, Aerin lights from Circa Lighting, St. Frank pillows that pop, and a custom rug from Woven Designs. The paneled ceiling, original to the home, was painted white for a crisp, textured contrast.
The living room, intended to be both kid and dog friendly, features a Camerich sofa with custom slipcover in Kravet Smart fabric, Restoration Hardware swivel chairs, Aerin lights from Circa Lighting, St. Frank pillows that pop, and a custom rug from Woven Designs. The paneled ceiling, original to the home, was painted white for a crisp, textured contrast.

When designer Soledad Alzaga’s Atherton-based client first decided to update her new home, we weren’t yet sitting out a pandemic. Now that we are, our homes have become far more than sanctuaries. They serve as the functional and creative backdrop for where many of us work, teach, dine and hopefully manage to still rest and recharge. In this case, it needed to meet the needs of a working mother, three children and as many rescue dogs.

“When I went to see it, it had low ceilings, but it was a beautiful house and setting and garden,” Alzaga says of the property, the third project she has worked on with this client, who typically favors a neutral palette but was in the mood for color. They went to work, adding joyful, durable delights — like the Camerich sofa in the living room, complete with custom slipcover — to the client’s existing furniture.

“I like a lot of textures, but I also like mixing new with old,” says the San Francisco–based designer, originally from Buenos Aires. “It becomes a bit eclectic.” She also points to the tactile elements in the home, even the art, much of it sourced from Marin gallery Upstart Modern.

Eight months into the pandemic, this homeowner is especially pleased that she decided to go all in on color, bringing her home — still very much a sanctuary — a levity and cheerfulness we could all use more of these days.

Most of the art in the home was curated from the Marin gallery Upstart Modern, including, above, Ann Thornycroft’s geometric acrylic on canvas, Rockabye, which the gallery describes as “a mesmerizing spiral of color.”

In the entry, joy sparks, thanks to a striped table from Kathy Kuo Home, a vintage Moroccan rug from Kat + Maouche, and an oversize mirror from Restoration Hardware. The wallpaper used in the powder room is from Hygge and West, with vanity and faucets also from Restoration Hardware.

 

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