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Drama Class

A study of geometrics and graphic tiles givesthis white, traditional home a bold twist.

Glossy gray custom cabinetry on the island and geometric Tesselle tile give a modern spin to an all-white kitchen.

The same tones are echoed on the contemporary farmhouse-style exterior.  

Designer Anna-Marie Claassen

A Noir Furniture bed is backed by a sofa from Four Hands.

The bathroom features a major pattern pop balanced with minimalist finishes.  

As more and more young families gravitate to the fresh, open layouts of modern farmhouses and Cape Cods, designers have been challenged to create original, out-of-the-box interpretations. When Anna-Marie Claassen of Anthology Interiors encountered a spec home by Joe and Jared Cefalia of JJJ Builders at the very beginning of its development, she steered it in a more modern direction by incorporating the whitest paint, defined lines, black windows and a rustic garage door.

After it sold, the new homeowners hired her to continue executing her vision inside, where stripes and stonework give the house personality and a look that’s anything but elementary.

“I thought we could probably push the envelope a bit more boldly in terms of the finishes so [the home] would really stand out,” Claassen says. She began with geometric tile selections, using the kitchen as a launching pad with black and white Tesselle cement tile on the wall. “When I realized the dimensions of the kitchen, the super-high ceilings, and the open feeling of that entire great room, I just knew that this tile would be perfect for creating drama and a modern feeling in this home that otherwise has a fairly traditional exterior,” she adds.

The kitchen also kicks off the home’s color palette of white, black and gray. A glossy gray island offers a modern European alternative to white, another variation to make the design more interesting and unexpected. Nearly the entire back wall of the home opens up via Australian folding doors to the backyard, where the deck’s wooden furniture ties into the same natural wood notes inside the great room.

The master suite also has that indoor-outdoor feel. Claassen wanted to keep the furniture and colors serene and minimal, but bring in doses of drama with texture. She carried the geometric patterns on the bedding and textiles into the master bathroom, where a large splash of mod square tile sets off the standalone Victoria and Albert tub.

To counteract the bold patterns throughout—and to keep things visually balanced—Claassen incorporated lots of white. White walls, white counters and high ceilings let the geometrics make just enough noise. And being that the patterns use the same tones, everything flows with ease from front to back. “Despite all of the patterns, the colors and the textures, the overwhelming feeling [here] is bright, white, light,” Claassen says. “[It’s a] great California feeling.”