Channelling Quintessential Southern Culture in California

Details

Southern Exposure

Memories of growing up in the South inspire a young couple to build a Bay Area residence filled with classic charm. The generous property, rimmed with mature oaks and redwoods, was also ideal for carving out play spaces to accommodate their three young children. Landscape architect John Dalrymple stepped in and designed the walkways and driveway to introduce crape myrtle trees near the entry, as the white blossoms would coordinate with the color of the siding.

Southern-Inspired Atherton Home

Los Angeles-based architect Tim Barber and senior project manager Kirk Snyder crafted a classically proportioned Georgian-style home utilizing clapboard siding. A generous front porch set the tone for a Southern-inspired Atherton home. The roofing material consists of wood shingles on the upper sections and standing-seam metal on the lower level, and the custom windows and doors are by Bend River Sash & Door Company. “There are enough big porches and screen doors to capture the outdoor living feel reminiscent of their youth,” Snyder says. “And fortunately, that idea translates well to Northern California.”

White Foyer with Antique Pieces and Staircase

Designer Tineke Triggs selected Stark’s Beckett carpet to line the graceful stairway by Mountain Stair Works. Big Oak Hardwood Floor installed the white-oak floors that run throughout the house, which was constructed by builder Erik Hughes.

Archway with Subtle Wallpaper and Vintage Tricycle

A subtle wallpaper by Colefax and Fowler frames an archway looking toward the entry. A vintage tricycle, found at an antiques market, stands just off the front door, which is accented with hardware by Baldwin. A Campion ceiling fixture and sconces by The Urban Electric Co. hang above.

Barber and Snyder continued the classic feel of the house inside, where the commanding center hall is marked by intricate trim profiles, crown moldings and wainscots. “Throughout the house there are six kinds of casings with similar profiles, but all with different widths and thicknesses,” says builder Erik Hughes, whose company has since merged with another to form Ebcon Corporation/Hughes Construction, Inc. “This house is unusual for the area because not many projects take into account things like period details anymore.”

Blue-Green Living Room Wrapped in Silk Wallcoverings

In the living room, Triggs reupholstered sofas with Kravet fabric and placed them on either side of a custom coffee table by The Cottage Table. She wrapped the room with a Solstice Silk wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries and anchored the space with a hand-knotted rug by Stark. The chandelier is by Avrett from Hewn.

Within an open layout that “allows for views into several rooms at once,” Barber and Snyder kept up the attention to detail by adding transom windows in the living room and above the double-hung windows of the dining room. When it came to furnishings, Triggs saw it as her mission to respect the architecture while still being mindful of the youthfulness of her clients. “I wanted to work with traditional pieces, but not things that felt stuffy or like your grandmother’s house,” says the designer, who utilized transitional fabrics to support that concept. “The subtle texture and blue-griege color have a timeless feel to them and work with the casual tone the owners wanted to establish,” she explains. 

Traditional Blue Pantry with Patterned Wallpaper

In the pantry just off the dining room, custom cabinetry by Innovative Casework is painted with a blue lacquer finish. The handblown glass pendants are by Waterworks, and a custom light fixture by The Urban Electric Co. hangs in the dining room beyond.

Blue Pantry with Custom Stencil and Sink

Triggs had the pantry walls painted with a custom stencil by Elan Evans Decorative Finishes. A Newport Brass faucet and sink by Waterworks play off the cabinetry’s hardware by House of Antique Hardware.

Dining Room Designed Around the Homeowner's Collection

Savoy chairs by Thibaut, wearing Stroheim fabric, surround a table from the homeowners’ collection in the dining room. The draperies were made with a Galbraith & Paul linen from De Sousa Hughes, and the hand-knotted rug is by Stark.

Triggs created a subtle mix of styles starting with the homeowners’ imposing wood table to lend a sense of history. She paired it with modern chairs sporting a clean-lined geometric profile and then added stenciled draperies for a touch of the unexpected. “They are not formal people so it was important that every space be approachable,” says Triggs, who painted the room’s woodwork with Benjamin Moore’s Andes Summit for a touch of whimsy. 

Informal Dining Table in the Light Green Kitchen

To create a cozy atmosphere for gathering in the kitchen, Triggs designed a custom walnut table by The Cottage Table in place of a center island. The refinished chairs sport a Rose Tarlow Melrose House for Perennials textile to provide a gathering place for informal meals in the kitchen. She then finished off the traditional feel of the space with a farmhouse sink and antique burnished-brass light fixtures from E. F. Chapman for Visual Comfort & Co.

Black Kitchen Range Contrasting Light Green Cabinets

In the kitchen, a black La Cornue range complements the custom cabinets by Innovative Casework accented with brass hardware by House of Antique Hardware. The backsplash is lined with ceramic tile by Mediterra Tile, and the soapstone countertops are from Da Vinci Marble.

Green Study with Large Windows, Art, and a Desk

Triggs appointed the study with Gregorius Pineo’s stately Directoire desk and a custom chair by Plantation. The custom Roman shades were fashioned with a Colefax and Fowler fabric.

“It’s a warm and stately room, and that desk, with its hand-finished walnut top, feels like something that would’ve been passed down through the generations,” notes Triggs.  Despite the home’s many traditional elements, the owners’ decidedly modern art collection still hits an important note. “The traditional feel of the house supplies them with a comfort zone,” says Triggs, “and the art speaks to their playful side.”

Study Painted Green with Custom Leather Sofa

In the study, a custom leather-upholstered Plantation sofa is finished with brass nailheads. A coffee table by Matthew Chase Woodworks rests on a wool carpet by Stark, and the light fixture is by Ralph Lauren Home for Visual Comfort & Co.

Master Bathroom with Subway Tile and Chandelier

In the master bathroom, a tub by Drummonds stands on a floor marked by Waterworks tile. The adjacent shower features a Waterworks mosaic tile floor and subway tiles in a classic running bond pattern on the walls. The light fixture is by The Urban Electric Co., and the Rose Tarlow Melrose House shade fabric is from Shears & Window.

Reupholstered Armchairs, Bench, and Chandelier Decorate a Master Bedroom

Armchairs reupholstered with a Colefax and Fowler check provide comfortable seating in the master bedroom. Triggs upholstered a Bailey bench by Jayson Home with a stripe by Elizabeth Eakins to place at the foot of the bed. The Rittenhouse chandelier is by Arteriors.

Triggs kept the master suite predominantly tone-on-tone and selected a check for two upholstered chairs in a sitting area to work in concert with the stripes covering a bench at the foot of the bed. A leaf pattern marks the Roman shades. “Playing with the size of the prints is what keeps the room interesting,” she says. The master suite is also enhanced with 6-inch-wide tongue-and-groove planks, which feature a coffered ceiling to distinguish the adjacent sitting area.

Backyard Shaded by an Existing Oak with Pool

The house was sited so that the property’s existing oak would shade the rear porch, where a swing by Vintage Porch Swings sways next to a pair of rush chairs by Redford House wearing a Thibaut fabric. Scenic Scapes installed the landscape, including the salt-water swimming pool, and specified the smaller plantings. Landscape architect John Dalrymple created soft grassy sections around the lot.

When it came to siting the house on that property, the architectural duo conducted a series of light studies. “We determined where the trees would cast shadows and decided the optimal placement for the house was the center of the property,” says Barber, who positioned the pool in the sunniest locale. “The wife wanted the landscape to be soft,” he adds, “so there are large grassy sections in front, which continue around to the back and provide softness while connecting the whole house to the landscape.” 

For most of us, there are certain sights and sounds that instantly evoke memories of our childhood homes. The crunch of leaves underfoot on a cool fall afternoon or smoke rising from a grill at a family gathering are all it takes to instantly transport many people right into their old backyards. For one couple with roots in the South, it was likely recollections of a screen door slamming or sipping ice-cold lemonade on a porch swing on a hot summer night that drove the decision to build a home that evoked the spirit of their childhood domiciles. “They wanted to create a house for their children that had the feel and the character of where they both grew up,” says designer Tineke Triggs. “That meant including things like the wraparound porches you’d find on a beautiful old plantation house.” 

A coveted 1-acre flag lot in Atherton offered up the perfect backdrop. After scraping a 1950s ranch-style structure, Los Angeles-based architect Tim Barber and senior project manager Kirk Snyder crafted a classically proportioned Georgian-style home with clapboard siding and a cedar shake roof to take its place. The house stretches five bays wide and is marked by a timeless gable over the front door. “There are enough big porches and screen doors to capture the outdoor living feel reminiscent of their youth,” Snyder says. “And fortunately, that idea translates well to Northern California.”

When it came to furnishings, Triggs saw it as her mission to respect the architecture while still being mindful of the youthfulness of her clients. “I wanted to work with traditional pieces, but not things that felt stuffy or like your grandmother’s house,” says the designer, who utilized transitional fabrics to support that concept. 

But if there’s any question about the home’s overall intent, the sight of the swing suspended by ropes on the back porch is a reminder that it’s time to slow down and go looking for that pitcher of lemonade. 

Mindy Pantiel