PJ Bremier - Article Launched: 09/28/2007 09:55:18 PM PDT
What's there to like about this year's Marin Designers Showcase house, a fundraiser for the Auxiliary of the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership? Plenty. A vintage, classically styled home, swathed in gorgeous colors and sleek finishes; some eco-sensitive decorating choices; and a savvy new design lecture series at noontime.
The six-bedroom, brown-shingled home, on the market for $5 million, perches on five secluded Dominican-area acres that border thousands of acres of open space.
Unlike the ubiquitous Tuscan-look sprawling across Marin neighborhoods, this home doesn't boast of cavernous spaces and big furnishings; instead its good bones of a symmetrical facade, sensible floor plan, parquet floors, old-fashioned woodwork, paned bay windows and accessible outdoor spaces reflect an understated approach.
Even with its 6,500 square feet, the emphasis is on gracious living rather than living large, giving designers a chance to use their lightest hand. Thanks to a cooperative homeowner, dedicated designers and careful house chairs Jan Andersen and Kathy Van Fleet, the result is a freshened home with an elegant and harmonious feel throughout.
"This setting to me is very serene," says Showcase president Alma O'Malley.
"When you come in the house, there's still that wonderful feeling."
Hershon Hartley Design is responsible for the glamorous modern take on tradition that continues that "wonderful feeling" as visitors transition from the outdoors. The San Anselmo company brought in modern furnishings from American designers; dangled crystals from the chandelier and the draperies and subtly played with light in a mirrored screen and table, modern glass accessories, the glossy fireplace surround and hearth, even the silk threads of the carpet. "It's a soft, seductive look, in a much less-intense chroma than we're used to working," JoAnn Hartley says.