San Mateo Villages Residence

“We didn’t always know what we wanted, but because Melisa knew us and our goals, she was able to present us options to react to.  Granted, by the end of the process, we just started asking her what her recommendation was, because that was the one we always liked.”

“With other designers, I feel like you buy into their look and it’s their way or nothing. With Melisa, I never once felt like she was giving us “Option B” from an A-E set of designs. Frankly, I don’t know if her mind even works that way…her view of the world is completely custom-tailored to the space and the people.” – Lara

A newly married couple had recently combined two sets of assorted household furnishings. They  tasked me with creating a fun and relaxing space that felt like cohesive home. New accessories and a different layout were used to give them a warmer environment.

houzz interior design ideas

Guest Bathroom

The guest bath was overhauled to give it a seaside cottage feel. Large plate glass mirrors were removed and the walls were repaired, textured, and painted. New glass was put in a 1960′s wall mirror to use above the vanity.

Vintage accessories add interest.


A vintage Lucite clam-shell was perfect for the owners’ monogrammed face towels.

The 1980′s light fixture was replaced and the old mirrored medicine cabinet was covered with a custom cabinet door made from a weathered window shutter.

Guest Bedroom

An antique hand carved Javanese temple door was hung as a floating headboard.

Saving the “big cushy chair” was a non-negotiable, so it was used at an angle in the corner with a family heirloom used as the side table.

Dining Space

A round table makes better use of the small eat-in area adjacent the kitchen.

As the homeowners were very active participants in the decoration of their home, there were many projects we took on ourselves. Together the wife and I removed what I termed the “rest home chandelier” hung far too close to the ceiling. We made the first attempt at hanging this pendant light but blew some major fuses. In the end, someone else hung it for us. At least we tried!

We removed the formal wedding photos and swapped them with the fun, energetic and more personal black and white photos that were in their albums. The new photos were a much more accurate depiction of who the couple truly are. The Staghorn fern had been with Apartment 46 since its opening day. He’s happy in his new home!

A cafeteria-style clock was replaced with a modern floating block clock that can be rearranged whenever the mood strikes. Clocks are extremely important to the homeowners…

Living Room

For extra seating in the small space a reupholstered vintage MacGuire bamboo chair was added in a corner.

The fireplace mantel was kept relatively spare with just a few meaningful accessories.

The couple are huge Harry Potter fans, so as an homage to the preferred method of travel in the books, I stacked antique travel cases in the unused fireplace.

This is Bo, an amazing Puggle. I am now known as his “Auntie.”  He came into the homeowners’ lives near the completion of the backyard project. As animal lovers, the homeowners are committed to adopting rescued animals and fostering feral cats. Apartment 46 proudly supports the adoption of shelter animals who are deeply in need of loving homes. What better addition to any home than a loving pet-family member?


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