An English-Style Home in California
This historic Marin County home has amazing bones, but Caitlin’s eye for adding comfort and personality really makes it sing! The house has a very English-cottage feel — thanks to some iconic British wallpaper designs and Caitlin’s expert pattern mixing. However, the muted palette and abundant natural textures also feel distinctly West Coast. This aesthetic mash-up is one of my biggest influences in designing the Austin Tudor, so let’s dig into what makes this project special.
Design: Caitlin Flemming | Photography: Stephanie Russo
I adore the interesting millwork on the columns holding up the load bearing beam. It creates an intimate, yet open, floor plan concept.
A Few Favorite Moments
Many of the home’s furnishings are vintage or antique pieces, chosen to complement the circa-1920’s home’s Arts and Crafts architecture. Generous windows, tall ceilings, and pretty millwork show the home’s sense of history. Caitlin and her client collaborated to bring in large substantial case goods and shapely, comfortable pieces suitable for the growing family. In the living room, a large linen sofa by Verellen is paired with a cute pair of chairs upholstered in Les Indiennes, and both are scattered with more patterned cushions. The sturdy vintage pieces are already covered in patina and great for a busy family. A gallery wall over the sofa brings balance to the tall cabinet and reinforces the room’s color scheme.
It’s not easy to give rooms a distinct vibe in an open space, and Caitlin pulled it off beautifully. The palette of blues, greens, and browns throughout the home is inspired by the outdoors, and the soft muted shades carry from room-to-room easily. Many of the walls are painted Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, a warm, creamy white, and punctuated by wallpaper by the legendary Arts and Crafts designer and printmaker, William Morris. The large pattern in the dining room, Meadow Street, contrasts with the small floral print by Wells Abbot that Caitlin chose for the curtains and dining bench cushion.
A lesson in pattern play, exemplified in varied scale of the floral patterns. The giant redwood standing guard outside the dining room adds to the whimsy of this space.
The dining room’s original Mahogany doors open onto a bluestone patio, where the contrast between the exterior’s dark shingles and the lightness of the interior scheme is on full display.
An English-Inspired Kitchen for Modern Family Life
The kitchen brings major English-inspired vibes, but is well suited with everything a young family needs. Soapstone counters gleam against the white cabinetry and there are plenty of built-in nooks to house the client’s collection of pottery. A particularly interesting detail is the pivot to butcher block counters in certain sections of the kitchen. Rather than a large center island, Caitlin opted for a narrow working island. Adjacent, Caitlin brought in an antique breakfast table with a garden view, where most designers would have forced another, larger island. Lighting by British cabinet maker deVol enhances the kitchen’s England-meets-West-Coast point of view. Her mixture of furniture pieces with bespoke built-ins are key to making this English-inspired California home feel authentic.
Notice: the sliver of wood counters sandwiched below the soapstone.
Interior shutters have been on my mind lately, proving to be a quick way to add heritage and charm to any home. A powder bath is the best place to over-commit to a theme. Dark, moody, and William-Morris adorned walls.
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BY: ANASTASIA CASEY
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