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Kentfield Residence Design by Studio VARA

Living room with white walls and vaulted ceiling together with wide sofa set on a nice rug. Photo credit: Bruce Damonte

When the owners purchased this 1970’s ranch home in Kentfield, Marin County, it was dark, dank, and in danger of sliding down a hill. The interior was dated and needed to be updated to modern standards.

The existing plan had the main stair located in the kitchen, disrupting the flow to the dining area and making the kitchen feel cut-off, small and cramped. The stair was creatively relocated to the front of the home, enlarging the kitchen without increasing the footprint and creating an open passage to the dining area with views to the living room. Light was brought in by removing deep eaves and decks all around the house, and wood ceilings were painted white to reflect light and focus attention on the interior elements.

The interior design was driven by the owner’s extensive art collection, which challenged the designers to consider sightlines and art placement throughout the process. The furniture selections also respond to the art, as the firm collaborated with the owners on various custom pieces throughout the home. An oversized bespoke sectional anchors the living room while a custom rug adds a woven graphic texture. A machined aluminum dining table in jet black lends drama to the small dining room, and the custom breakfast nook table in the kitchen is topped with 1960’s vintage French tiles by the artist Roger Capron and flanked by a custom charcoal blue linen banquette. The primary bed is made from solid walnut in a modern design that highlights the sapwood of the slab, sitting on another custom rug.

Photo credit: Bruce Damonte

Designed by: Studio VARA

Technical Info

  • Architect & Interiors: Studio VARA
  • Structural Engineer: GFDS Engineers
  • Civil Engineer: Tarnoff Engineering Corp.
  • Landscape: Humanature Landscape Design Inc.
  • General Contractor: Summit Professional Builders
  • Photography: Bruce Damonte Photography
  • Press distribution: v2com

About Studio VARA

Studio VARA is a San Francisco-based design practice driven by a deep commitment to architecture as a material craft and a discipline grounded in ideas. With the city as reference point and inspiration, they create holistic, well-considered design solutions and human-centered experiences at many scales.

They have developed a process-oriented approach that allows design solutions to arise organically from the unique ecology of each project. Clients are engaged throughout the design and construction process in a working environment attuned to their aspirations and infused with ease and clarity. Together, they work side-by-side with contractors and consultants to foster a truly team-oriented process. From the exterior form to the interior furnishings, this flexible, collaborative design approach builds trust and yields spaces that profoundly shapes clients’ lives.