A newly constructed home for an Atherton family gets an aesthetic foundation from designer Edel Legaspi.
Designer Edel Legaspi chose organic-shaped furniture to offset the linear geometry of the living room.
A single mother of three, who’s an entrepreneur and VC in Silicon Valley, recently built a new 11,000-square-foot home in Atherton. The home, designed and built by Peninsula Architecture & Pacific Peninsula Group, was in need of an interior design characterized by rooms that possess a mix of function and beauty.
The family room features chairs from Lawson Fenning.
The homeowner, who invests in multiple businesses in the community, supports the arts and collects works by women artists, hired Edel Legaspi, a principal at Legaspi Courts Design, to tackle the expansive job. “We collaborated very closely with the client to select furnishings, art and accessories,” says Legaspi. “We designed all of the public entertaining and living areas throughout the home along with the primary suite. Areas included the kitchen and open-plan living-family area, a media-library room, as well as a series of spaces that were designed for frequent gatherings.”
Legaspi, whose own aesthetic is decidedly modern, says she begins the design process by asking her clients about the goals for each space, along with how they envision living in each room and how it should feel. “We then have discussions on more specific things like what they like and don’t like. I try to [learn about] my clients as much as I can in the most organic way, so that I can create a design specifically for them. My goal is always to bring out my clients’ personalities in their homes in the most authentic way. This comes with a mutual collaboration of ideas.”
The home boasts an extensive modern art collection
“The main objective from the client was to make sure the home was comfortable for the kids,” says Legaspi. “She also wanted rooms that were not just beautiful but also livable for everyday use. This directive is ingrained in all the projects we take on, so our approach always considers practicality balanced with beauty. In designing homes, we first take on the layout of the rooms and what each piece of furniture does.”
Legaspi says that every furniture selection becomes an important player in how rooms live and flow. Which means each chair in a room, for example, has a purpose and has been site-tested in a range of ways. Even the furniture’s finishes support their use in a particular room.
As a brand-new build, the home featured gorgeous modern details, and the interior architecture allowed Legaspi and her team to layer and shape the home to reflect the client’s aesthetic and lifestyle. “The result is a home that [holds] a lot of exceptional art without sacrificing that feeling of a highly personal and comfortable environment,” says Legaspi. “We purposely put some of the most important pieces in the highest-traffic areas so that the family and anyone who visits the home gets to interact with these pieces daily.”
Designer Edel Legaspi
Because the client possesses a remarkable art collection, Legaspi says her team’s main challenge was to ensure that the overall design didn’t compete with the art itself. “There are many significant pieces of work throughout the home, so we wanted the rooms to allow the art to live in the space harmoniously so that a balance of warmth, beauty and livability is apparent,” she says.
This space is oft en used for entertaining guests, so Legaspi had a slight dilemma: how to off set the square layout of the room and make it flow seamlessly with interesting pieces. She chose organically shaped furniture covered in high-texture finishes and deep jewel tones. Standouts are a sofa from Jean de Merry and sculptural lounge chairs by Kimberly Denman, which are positioned to encourage cocktails and conversation.
“The dark cobalt circular rug from Edward Fields anchors the room, and an Italian-style floor lamp from Orange Furniture illuminates the sofa corner,” says Legaspi. The room is graced by artworks from Mika Tajima, Nairy Baghramian and Aaron Garber-Maikovska, among others.
Minotti sectionals grace the inviting sitting room.
“In the dining room, which also serves as a reading room, we scaled back the art and let the hanging light sculpture by Gabriel Scott and two commissioned God’s Eye tables by Kelly Lamb take center stage,” says Legaspi. “The rich aubergine painted walls give the space a sense of coziness and drama, and it’s the perfect backdrop for the sculptural furnishings in the room.”
Rounding out the space are Gubi Beetle chairs from A+R Store upholstered in Knoll fabric and trimmed in Holly Hunt leather. A custom wine-toned rug by Stark Carpet lines the room, and organic white glass vases from Accessory Preview contrast brilliantly with the room’s moody tones.
A Gabriel Scott light fixture offers a bit of whimsy in the dining room.
“The kitchen was perfectly designed by the architects at Pacific Peninsula Group, and its connection to the breakfast area and double-height family room provides warmth and a relaxed vibe in this corner of the house,” says Legaspi, whose team selected an oversize custom hood, which is flanked by handmade tiles from Ann Sacks.
The kitchen island, which has become a hub for both entertaining and family time, is illuminated by a Brendan Ravenhill chandelier and surrounded by Elysian stools from Lawson Fenning covered in Spinneybeck handripped warm gray leather.
A hanging daybed by Jim Zivic sets a relaxing tone in the home’s primary suite.
The ultimate goal for this space, says Legaspi, was to deliver a bright and airy sanctuary. The results are spot on, with a sanguine palette and pieces like a hanging daybed by Jim Zivic from Ralph Pucci that give the space a sense of whimsy. The designer also layered the room with exceptional pieces, including a Jupiter acrylic and bronze coffee table by Stacklab and a Matsuri floor lamp by Joseph Pagano—both from the Una Malan showroom in Los Angeles.
Lawson Fenning bar stools offer comfort and style around the kitchen island.
“With this home, or any other [space] we design, we want our clients to enjoy every area we create,” says Legaspi. “Our homes, more than ever, are sanctuaries for our mental and physical health. If we can be a part of creating spaces to support this notion, then we’ve done our job. Our client feels her house is a true reflection of her and how she lives—she’s so happy with the outcome. We’re so fortunate that we had a client entrust us to give her a home that provides joy, comfort and beauty for her and her family.”
Edel Legaspi, Legaspi Courts Design
Architect and Builder
Kimberly Chang Mathieu, KCM Fine Arts
Gubi Beetle chairs, dining room
Rug, living room
Light sculpture, dining room
Sofa, living room
Custom tables, dining room
Lounge chairs, living room
Sectionals, sitting room
Floor lamp, living room
Jim Zivic daybed, primary suite
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROGER DAVIES