I want to design houses that feel good versus ones that look decorated,” says designer Alison Davin, who transformed a Tuscan-style residence in the Bay Area into a warm and modernist home that’s filled with tactile fabrics and finishes.
From the moment the designer laid eyes on the house, she knew she wanted to peel back the dated details and simplify the aesthetic by filling the rooms with comfortable and tailored silhouettes and plenty of sunlight.
“The property is on several acres and steps down a hillside with three different grades,” she says. “My clients are very easy-going and they bought the house because they wanted it to be a hangout for their children and their friends as they grow up.”
Davin went with a mostly neutral palette. She customized a sofa wrapped in cream-colored linen for the family room, where she also arranged a brown-and-cream striated wool rug, cream-colored embroidered drapery linen and a pair of rush stools.
“I used a whole bunch of different textures,” she says. “I love using texture instead of color because I think it keeps the space calm and warm and gives visual interest that’s subtle.”
In the family room, the designer replaced small arched doors with massive bifold ones that tie the area to the outdoors and let natural light wash over the rich textures that fill the space.
“I think I’ve done a good job if, when a person leaves a house I’ve designed, they remember that it was warm and comfortable,” she says.