Interior designer Ann Lowengart describes the home she created for a stylish couple and their two young children as “hip and edgy but family style.” Glossy finishes and high-impact details mix with family-friendly materials and loungeworthy furniture in a home that emphasizes glamour but doesn’t lose sight of functionality. This is a home for a family who wasn’t afraid to make bold choices and have a little fun.
When she met the homeowners, Lowengart was immediately taken by their casual but refined personal style and how their newly purchased house in Marin County, California, didn’t reflect that at all. She wanted the home to embody the sense of style of the owners, so she removed the dated trappings of the 1990s house and put its large rooms, tall ceilings, natural light and well-executed floor plan to good use. “It was the perfect blank slate,” Lowengart says.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple with 2 young children
Location: Tiburon, California
Designer: Ann Lowengart
Size: 3,700 square feet (about 344 square meters); 4 bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms
Lowengart prepped her canvas by painting many of the interior walls Decorators White in an eggshell finish and painting the floors high-gloss black. “Every time you use a flat paint, it sucks the light,” she says. These finishes keep light moving. In the dining room Lowengart used a high-gloss paint in a gray called Deep Space.
The dining room doubles as a library. “We didn’t want it to be just a dining room,” says Lowengart, reinforcing the idea that often rooms serve more than one purpose. The gray walls emphasize the couple’s colorful collection of books, and the niche backed with Glow Wallpaper from Flavor Paper stands out as a bold move. Whether they’re dining or reading, the sturdy dining table and acrylic chairs invite the family members to take a seat.
Lowengart replaced an existing half wall that split up the living room and dining room with a brass balustrade, opening the dining room up to more light and introducing more glamour.
The living room sits just below the dining room. Lowengart had the custom couch on the right filled with a softer material so the homeowners could lie down on it and relax while watching TV on the opposite wall. A second sofa gives friends and family a spot for gathering and lounging in front of the two-way marble-surround fireplace.
Like the dining room, the living space has a sophisticated edginess but still feels casual and comfortable. Lowengart kept the color palette subdued, primarily using neutral pieces to fill the room. Dark sofas pick up the home’s charcoal theme and anchor the room, while accessories from Alexander McQueen and Alexandra Von Furstenburg add playful color and pattern. A crystal chandelier by Christopher Boots hangs above the room like a glittering tree topper.
Designer tip: “Pick one bold piece for the room,” Lowengart says. She set the tone for this room with the dramatic light fixture and built everything around that. She kept the rest of the bigger furnishings subtle, but punched up the edginess with accessories. “That’s where you can really play,” she says.
See this Thoroughly Modern and Family Friendly Home on Houzz.
Houzz Tour: Thoroughly Modern and Family Friendly