San Mateo Hills Home

“Though we bought our residence 5 years ago, we now finally feel like it’s our house. Melisa took our general taste and style, combined it with her eye and creativity, and created a place we love to show off.” – David

“The whole process of working with Melisa wasn’t about redecorating, it was about redefining who we are as a family.” – Janel

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Living Room

The fireplace hearth is now a secondary seating place or reading spot. The colorful, comfortable, over-sized pillows invite you to set yourself down and have some conversation.

The awkward but interesting built-in is but one of many “curiosity cabinets” I’ve created for my clients. Wanting a formal living room that very much embodied family, it was decided to make the bookcase the heart of the room.

Clock box art from Apartment 46

The wing chairs are upholstered in a plain linen on the back since it faces the window and would be subject to sun fade.

The homeowner’s mother is a prolific painter with an array of different styles. Many pieces of her work were re-framed and hung throughout the house.

Arrangement by Apartment 46

The table and hutch are made from reclaimed barn wood from India and both are hefty pieces, (like a hundred-plus pounds) that can withstand the rigors of their young boys as well as time. The warm industrial look is my favorite and worked beautifully with the 1960’s art, traditional chairs and modern sofa.

Master Bedroom

This room is still very much in progress as we wait seemingly forever for the bed to be delivered. However, I am in love with the small details that make this the “grown-up” room of two very special people.

The antique desk is used to store lingerie and as an impromptu vanity. The over-sized mirror and mechanical swing-arm lamp perfectly suit the couple’s eclectic taste.

Of the many emotional items the wife parted with in her quest to simplify the family’s life, were multiple dance costumes from her career as a young ballerina. We chose to make a shadow box of one of her first performance costumes – wrecked crown and all – as an homage to her love of dance.

Ah the orange chairs! I am not a fan of keeping things in a garage that aren’t ever going to be loved or used. I took a pair of family heirlooms that were not being admired and gasp! painted them a very bright orange color to use on either side of the bed. Thankfully the homeowner loved it! They are now in daily view, and are often piled high with toys, books, clothes, laptops and other detritus of life in a young family. They are, to put it simply, used.

Back Yard

The family wanted me to create more comfortable, cozy space in their large backyard – which was previously devoted entirely to being the boys’ play-area.

The outdoor dining area is immediately outside the family room so it’s an accessible extension of the interior. Although it was too windy to open the umbrella, one can be popped into the center of the table to offer ample shade.

Outside master bedroom

I created a special seating area outside the master bedroom for late-night talks and/or star-gazing.

Master seating area

Succulent planters

The succulents in the planters I installed will continue to grow and change and are easy-care living garden elements for the boys to get familiar with.

Mixed and matched old and new elements make the garden more comfortable and interesting.

This home was an amazing project for so many reasons. I am called into people’s lives at the beginning of some sort of personal or emotional transformation and this was no exception. This time though, I grew just as much from the collaboration as they did.

The family was more than ready to let go of a style that had never really declared itself and define who they saw themselves to be – warm, fresh, young, eclectic and welcoming. I have been lucky enough to meet many of the homeowner’s neighbors and friends and thus far, everyone has come to a dead-stop in the entry and remarked on how amazing they feel in the front room. To me, there is nothing cooler than knowing I’ve not only transformed a space, but the way the family uses it, views it, and becomes when they’re in it.


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