Open to Change

Sophia Markoulakis | May 31, 2017 | Story Interiors

A successful remodel involves a journey of sorts—with architect, builder and designer charting the course. For the homeowners of a newly remodeled home on a secluded Atherton lot, the journey was several years in the making. Their initial vision of an East Coast traditional-style home morphed into a 5,500-square-foot modern industrial structure over the course of four years, as ideas were shared and trust was forged between the clients and architect Jim Maliksi.

“Over time, they began to appreciate modern design and its lifestyle with less clutter,” says Maliksi. “They also loved the idea of windows and the brightness that they provide. But, I warned them that if we design a modern home, you won’t be able to use your existing furniture.” They decided to go for it, forgoing the pieces that filled their former Spanish-style abode and bringing in interior designer Kendra Nash. “They provided us with about 15 inspirational images, and we talked through them,” says Nash. “Words that resonated with them included modern, clean and architecturally interesting.”

The 14-month remodel consisted of an extensive rebuild, executed by JPM Construction, creating a five-bedroom, 5 1/2-bath dwelling that defied the idea that lots of windows and steel can feel cold and austere. With the addition of lighter-toned walls and custom-stained walnut floors—not to mention further enhancements like custom area rugs from The Rug Establishment and Loloi, along with fabrics from Donghia—the space feels appropriately warm and balanced for this family of five. Though walnut is often shunned for more durable wood such as oak, the homeowners tread “lightly” in the home, according to Nash. “The walnut doors add a richness to the space and bring out great movement. You can really see it on the floating staircase. It’s one of the most beautiful floors I’ve ever seen,” she says.

Metal played a big role in the remodel, as at steel framing wraps the expansive windows and high-end industrial steel doors, and works as part of the structure’s exterior aesthetic. Steel and frosted glass awnings over the front door and rear patio allow light to come in, yet still protect entryways from the elements. The materials were also carried through to the interior with steel-clad glass French doors and partitions that separate and dene the downstairs living spaces.

Other metal finishes were used elsewhere, such as in the living room, where Nash installed custom steel panels from Stoller Metals that surround the replace. In the kitchen, she added stainless steel upper cabinets and a custom stainless-topped dining table by Four Hands. The high sheen of the stainless contrasts with the dark-gray cabinets, quartz counters and ostrich-pattern-embossed vinyl chairs, also by Four Hands. Pops of color were implemented throughout the house via the homeowners’ global art collection. Palo Alto’s Bryant Street Gallery filled in where additional art was needed, including pieces that hang in the living room and guest bedroom. “We had fun working the tones from that piece into the rest of the room,” notes Nash.

The collaboration between the professionals extended to the homeowners as they were on-site every day during the process, recalls Nash. “They were amazing clients and brought forth so many ideas; they wanted to create a home that would be theirs forever,” she says. “I think we did a great job balancing the stronger architectural details with softer materials that make the home feel comfortable and effortless.”

Originally published in the May/June issue of Silicon Valley

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