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Anh-Minh Le | Photo: Paul Dyer | June 5, 2018
With style and practicality in mind, designer Tineke Triggs conjures up a dream home for a couple with young kids.
After stints at a successful tech company, Tineke Triggs’ clients—a husband and wife in their 30s—were in the enviable position of being able to build their dream home. They purchased a property in Hillsborough that, after a two-and-a-half-year effort, is now the site of a “modern barn,” as Triggs describes the exterior aesthetic. Her firm, Artistic Designs for Living, was brought on board to tackle the interior design and architecture, while Arcanum Architecture was responsible for the structure itself. Among the clients’ priorities was the creation of indoor and outdoor spaces where the family—which includes two young children and a Pomeranian named Zoe (who, fun fact, is the sister of the famous Boo, dubbed “the world’s cutest dog”)—can congregate. To that end, the bedrooms are intentionally modest in size, with a generous footprint for the open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas that also offer direct access to the much-used backyard.
The 5,000-square-foot residence holds four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms; the husband and the wife each have their own office too. And even Zoe has a designated sleeping spot carved out of the stairwell, complete with a barn door. “We created something that really spoke to the clients themselves,” says Triggs. “The husband, the wife and the kids were all involved. As we got to know them, they told us what they do and how they like to use the house. We really were able to communicate that and create that in the design.” ADL crafted interiors with a warmth and coziness that conquer the newness of the two-story home. The integration of various textures and finishes was key. For example, in the entry, Élitis’ subtly patterned Indomptée wallpaper backs a built-in upholstered bench, and bleached-gray oak wood planks are underfoot throughout. In the great room, the vast layout prompted Triggs to install timber beams overhead. “You want to create something interesting on the ceiling because it’s such a long ceiling,” she says. “Putting [the beams] horizontally breaks up this cavernous long space and makes it a lot more balanced.” On one end of the great room is a kitchen that Triggs designed for family gatherings, large and small. The sleekness of the quartz-topped island is juxtaposed with McGuire bar stools with a walnut seat, cord-wrapped back and blackened steel base. Nearby, a 9-foot dining table flanked by chairs of Triggs’ own design provides a slightly more formal setting. Rounding out the great room is a living area, where a pair of sofas, also by Triggs (and covered in a Holly Hunt textile), beckons.
While the great room, as well as the soothing master suite, are done in neutral palettes, bolder tones and prints have their place in the house too. In the husband’s office, where he also enjoys watching sports, there’s the royal-blue built-in that spans an entire wall. The wife’s office, where she sews and pursues her hobby of fashion design, is enlivened by a Romo floral and rosy ceiling. In the daughter’s bedroom, York’s Meet Me In... motif, featuring city names, serves as a colorful backdrop for a striped bed. The guest bedroom is anchored by a velvet upholstered bed, whose duck-egg-blue hue is picked up in the Casamance patterned fabric employed for the window treatments.
With indoor-outdoor living another priority for the family, Triggs also turned her attention to the backyard, which includes a pool. An eating counter is ingeniously situated just outside the kitchen; the two are separated by windows that slide into pockets, allowing dishes and drinks to easily be delivered to alfresco diners. Rather than an open-air dining room, the clients and designer opted for a laid-back lounge, appointed with a stone fireplace, television and bar. Since it is entirely covered, and fans as well as heaters are mounted on the ceiling, it can be utilized year-round. Elsewhere in the backyard, a fire pit is surrounded by Teak Warehouse chairs and Jo-Liza ottomans, forming an additional venue for respite.
For Triggs, who grew up in Woodside and worked in high-tech and finance before embarking on a design career, ushering clients through a remodel can be a challenge, she says. Fortunately, her uberorganized approach—“We do tons of spreadsheets”—has resonated with the Silicon Valley set, who make up about half of her San Francisco-based firm’s clientele. When homeowners are collaborating with a professional for the first time, as was the case with this Hillsborough abode, Triggs understands that education is part of the design process. With the project lasting more than two years, as it neared completion, the clients expressed some nervousness to Triggs. “We created everything way ahead of time so that when we finished designing the house, we could move them in right away,” she explains. “That means they made decisions really early on about furniture, and they didn’t see it for months. A couple of weeks before the install, I remember them saying: ‘What if we don’t like it? We can’t remember what we picked!’ And I told them, ‘No, you’re going to love it. It’s going to be great.’”
Originally published in the June issue of Silicon Valley