Interior designer Susie Novak reinvigorates a Silicon Valley home with a mix of classic and modern California touches.
A couple with a teenage son and a massive, bounding pooch wanted a refresh for their 3,753-square-foot, five-bedroom home in Los Altos. They also wanted a reimagining of their living spaces that perfectly complemented their extensive art collection.
A rug from Stark lines the cozy dining area.
Susie Novak, principal at Susie Novak Interiors, was selected for the project. “Our main focus was the dining, living room and guest rooms, but we added styling elements in other rooms as well,” says Novak, who notes that her clients had invested in some exceptional furniture in the past, including A. Rudin chairs and sofas, and wanted to keep the pieces. “This is a great story of investing in good pieces and keeping them through the years. You can always change the fabric for a whole new look.”
Designer Susie Novak restored several classic pieces in the home, including A. Rudin furniture.
THE DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
“I like to create a bridge between organic modern, midcentury and some traditional elements,” says Novak, who says her aesthetic is California modern with a British flair. “I like a mix of clean neutrals, fun pops of bold color and modern sculptural forms. In the Bay Area, we work with a lot of older homes, so the architecture plays a part [in our approach]. I also take into consideration the client’s style goals and lifestyle; from there, we bring in our classic, [slightly edgy] California modern point of view. We like to have fun and make it beautiful, of course!”
While Novak says the couple wanted a significant new look for their living room, they also needed a large rug that was durable enough to endure their 100-pound dog. “That wasn’t the easiest to source,” says Novak with a laugh. “But we selected a rug from Stark Carpet that’s super durable and looks beautiful.”
Pillows from The Citizenry grace a bedroom.
THE LIVING SPACES
In the living room, Novak and her clients wanted a moody, masculine vibe—and the designer loves the tone-setting noir console. Standout pieces in the room include lamps from RH and Kelly Wearstler, a side table from Oomph and poufs from Missoni. Novak dressed other areas, including the dining room, with vintage pieces and complemented them with new elements like a rug from Stark.
Art plays a central role in the home.
When taking on clients who have incredible taste and a strong aesthetic, Novak knows she has to remain mindful of not overstepping design boundaries. Her guiding principles helped tremendously with this project, as the couple fell in love with their home all over again. She also helped the couple rediscover the essence of how every room lives. They achieved what designer Jean-Louis Deniot once noted about luxury: It happens when everything seems flawless and a balance is reached among all elements; it’s understated theatricality. And the new luxury in this Los Altos home? “They love it,” says Novak.
“Susie was able to design a space that is both luxurious and livable,” says one of the homeowners. “She was incredibly collaborative, helping us highlight our favorite pieces for a final product that feels elevated and very personal.”
A tone-setting vase from Rejuvenation sits in the light-filled kitchen.
Chairs and sofas, living room
Pillows, guest bedroom
Lamps, living room
Poufs, living room
Side table, living room
Lamps, living room
Rugs, dining and living rooms
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY THOMAS KUOH