A young family updates its mid-century home to incorporate treasures from all over the world.
Vaulted ceilings with exposed metal beams painted white give the living area a grand, spacious feel.
Sarah and Sean Doyle have traveled the globe, and their home tells the stories of their many adventures. From Argentina to India to Paris, a relic — or two or three — from each of their stops is displayed somewhere in their recently remodeled 1950s home.
They purchased the ranch-style home in February 2012. Coming from compact apartment living in San Francisco, the young family wanted a place to spread out, and the midtown home’s large corner lot and park-like setting was an immediate attraction.
“After living in a tiny apartment in San Francisco for seven years, we liked the idea of a big yard,” Sarah says. “We came and looked at this, and it was like a park back there, so we knew this was it.”
While the expansive yard was exactly what the Doyles wanted, the home needed an extensive renovation to give them the updated, open spaces perfect for the couple and their two daughters.
“The house was in really beautiful shape,” Sarah says. “We purchased it from the original owner and she had taken really great care of it, but it was a lot of small little rooms. The kitchen looked out the front. So we really just rearranged it. We knew we wanted to just open it up, and we wanted to turn the focus to the back.”
With the help of contractor David Trebilcock and architect Ken Vives, the Doyles took every room in the home down to its studs, removed a few walls to open up the living area and kitchen, moved the kitchen from the front side of the house to the back, and added a master bedroom and bathroom.
While Sarah did consult with interior designer and friend Dustin Dorr, she decorated much of the interior herself, and the home is expertly appointed.
The entire home is painted white, with pops of color in a wall hanging here or a piece of furniture there.
“I like to add color with rugs,” Sarah says of the rich patterns that anchor each space.
Vaulted ceilings with exposed metal beams painted white give an industrial flair, and oak floors throughout the entire home bring a sense of warmth. The overall look is bright, clean, spacious and modern.
“I like white,” Sarah says. “I like big and open. I could see that this house could be that. I knew I wanted white, open, vaulted ceilings.”
The kitchen features creamy Caesarstone quartz counters atop high-gloss white IKEA cabinets that are dressed up with aged brass pulls. Sarah chose open shelving rather than closed cabinetry for upper storage to keep the room’s open feel. It also shows off the stunning marble tile backsplash in a subway tile pattern that runs from the countertops to the ceiling.
Two white and brass pendant lights from Visual Comfort hang over the 8-foot island and help tie in the brass hardware. All Thermador stainless steel appliances from Metro Appliances & More make the kitchen a cook’s dream.
“I like the stainless steel with the brass,” Sarah says of the mixed metals. “We’re eclectic around here.”
The master bedroom and bathroom addition features the same color scheme as the rest of the home. With an elevated view of the backyard and the spa-like feel of the bathroom, the serenity of these two spaces is unmatched.
“This is what we love about this house,” Sarah says about the master bedroom vieww. “It feels like a treehouse. When you are lying in this bed, it feels like you are up in a tree.”
The bathroom features limestone floors, a large Kohler soaking tub and an expansive shower with a pebble floor and glass surround.
Large windows and glass doors across the back of the home provide a perfect view of the infinity-edge pool and the serene backyard. Jeff Landberg with Pool Creations and landscape architect Dave Collins designed the outdoor space.
An artist and close friend of the Doyles, Sara Westover, whose pieces can be found at M.A. Doran Gallery, created much of the artwork that hangs throughout the home. The homeowners purchased other decorative pieces around the house from flea markets all over the country and around the world.
A mid-century modern sunflower floor lamp that Sarah found on Craigslist while living in San Francisco arches over the living room’s sectional sofa. An old wheat sifter purchased from the annual Round Top Flea Market in Texas sits atop the mantel as an intriguing industrial focal point.
Hanging in the entrances to their girls’ bedrooms are African Kuba cloths, or mud cloths, that Sarah bought while in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Sean worked for a stint.
The rooms and en suite bathrooms are mirror images of each other, except for one eye-catching detail. Each girl chose her own paint color for her bathroom vanity. Three-year-old Lucy chose a bold, cheery green, while 5-year-old Maggie chose a bright robin’s egg blue.
Both bathrooms are simply, yet beautifully designed, with white subway tile shower/bath combos and white hex-tile floors. A playful woven wall hanging featuring cows in pale colors hangs in Maggie’s bathroom. Sarah picked it up at a flea market in Africa long before she had children.
“I thought it would be cute in a kids’ room someday,” she says.
And that’s how most of her decorative purchases have been made — in an almost instinctual way.
“I feel sort of drawn to a piece, and I’ll find a spot for it,” she says. “I’m not a ‘matchy-matchy’ person. If I love it, I’ll make it work in the house somewhere.”