Interior designer Amanda Barnes used her extended time at home amid the pandemic to reimagine her Hillsborough residence.
When homeschooling and working from home quickly became the norm for mother-of-two and interior designer Amanda Barnes of Amanda Barnes Interiors, it was finally time to take on a project she’d been putting off—her own home. “At a time when the business of making a home functional and beautiful had never been busier, I made the decision to shut down and focus on the chaos breaking loose in my own home,” Barnes says. After wrapping up her existing projects via FaceTime, Barnes got to work. “I always want our house to feel like home for my kids,” she says. “I want them to feel like their spaces provide comfort—and feel familiar—despite the updates. Through COVID, I just focused on freshening up our home to feel more modern and collected.”
The home’s hues draw inspiration from California’s coastline and mountainous terrain.
The cozy dining area reveals Barnes’ blueprint for the home’s aesthetic: simple lines, natural hues and a bit of drama.
In the Hillsborough abode, both of her kids’ rooms received a fresh face, and the guest room was converted into a home office, along with a few updates to the living room and kitchen. “After sheltering in place for so long, all of the things that had been bothering me about our home—elements I never made time to address—finally got some love,” Barnes says.
The kitchen shines with hardware from the Aspen Collection by Top Knobs, which is complemented by cabinets dressed with Benjamin Moore Simply White paint that contrasts the lower cabinets painted with Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon hue. The chandelier comes from Arteriors Home.
Just as she would for a client’s home, Barnes created design boards and floor plans, collected finish samples and consulted with her two very young, very opinionated “clients.” Her son isn’t a huge fan of change, so his nursery was dismantled by removing one piece of furniture at a time. On the other hand, her daughter was eager for a revamped room. “Part of redesigning a space is creating a feeling of comfort and familiarity for kids so they feel ownership—and hopefully pride—over their spaces,” Barnes says. Next, she approached the rest of the house based on their current needs given their dynamic, shelter-in-place living situation. “Every day was like a game of chess in our house,” Barnes says. “We were moving [furniture] pieces around and trying to be strategic with everyone’s school and work schedules, but it was exhausting.”
Throughout the home, Barnes transforms nooks into highly functional and gorgeous spaces.
As Barnes draws a great deal of inspiration from the outdoors (think the California coastline and mountainous terrain), the revamp of her home is characterized by neutral palettes and soft, fall colors. “We kicked the kitchen up a notch by bringing in the green along the lower cabinets and the island, which I love,” Barnes says. “In the evening, the cabinets often look gray with the lighting, but midday, the vibrant green hues bring so much joy to the heart of our home.”
A rug from HD Buttercup lines the comfortable and inviting living room.
The subtle green custom cabinets are complemented by dark wood floors, marble countertops and a gorgeous, draping Arteriors Home chandelier. Likewise, a mix of new and old plants, pillows and decorative items add an elevated level of comfort and sophistication to the dwelling.
For the wow factor, Barnes chose a three-arm chandelier from Serge Mouille for her son’s bedroom, along with a rug from McGee & Co.
As the stories go these days, wait times for shipped products were much longer than expected. Aside from COVID-related speed bumps, another challenge Barnes faced was her own indecisiveness. “When I’m designing something for myself, I usually can’t make up my mind,” she says. “I struggled initially with painting anything green and sat with the idea for a few weeks before I brought it up to my husband. It was a big leap for me to swap the kitchen paint from white to green. In the end, I absolutely love it!”
A bright bathroom offers hints of the outdoors.
As Barnes’ kids head back to school, their home is modernized, refreshed and ready for anything life throws at them. “While there were many silver linings of being home together as a family, the chance to breathe new life into our own home was certainly a perk,” she says.
Amanda Barnes Interiors
Rug, daughter’s bedroom
Rug, living room
Lambert and Fils
Chandelier, daughter’s bedroom
McGee & Co.
Rug, son’s bedroom
Lamp, son’s bedroom
Three-arm chandelier, son’s bedroom
The Shade Store
Drapery, kids’ rooms and office
Young & Son Hardwood Floors
Custom stain and flooring throughout
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY BESS FRIDAY