This San Francisco Home Brings Color to Modern Farmhouse Style

After a whole-house renovation, comfortable furniture, colorful accents, and natural textures furnish this family home with modern farmhouse style.

It was the location, not the layout of this 66-year-old home in the San Francisco Bay area that sold Jen and Lenny Hochschild. The large tree-lined lot offered plenty of space for gardening and gathering outdoors with friends as well as play space for their three children.

"We love to entertain and moved back to the Bay after a brief stint in New York because we realized that we cherish the indoor-outdoor lifestyle and wanted to enjoy it year-round," Jen says. Indoors, a to-the-studs renovation was the solution for everything else.

outside of gray-blue farmhouse
David Greer

The design, Jen says, is inspired by what she and Lenny love about Sonoma. "A country farmhouse," she says, "with an easy in-and-out flow and lots of access to the outdoors." But not your standard cookie-cutter farmhouse. "We said, 'Let's do something different,'" Jen says. That mantra held true through the whole-house design, guided by architect Heidi Richardson and architectural designer and project manager Jennifer Tidwell. They rethought conventional floor plan labels and refreshed familiar styles in each room. Interior designer Allison Bloom of Dehn Bloom design firm completed the spaces with furnishings and fabrics chosen for comfort and flexibility.

Tidwell had the job of fitting in everything the Hochschilds were looking for: multiple dining areas including a place to house an heirloom dining set, a breakfast nook, a kitchen bar for the kids to hang out and do homework or guests to sit and have a drink while dinner is prepared; a great-room so kitchen and family living are interchangeable; vaulted ceilings to feel airy and casual; multiple doors for easy indoor/outdoor flow; and a practical space for guests. All with a bright, modern farmhouse ambience.

Tidwell tackled the home's layout first by moving the kitchen to the opposite side of the home, where the cooking space, dining area, and family living area now fill one wing of the home that opens to the backyard, vegetable gardens, and courtyard gathering spaces such as a boccie ball court and a fire pit. The family's private spaces—bedrooms and baths—are on the upper level, while the guest room resides on the main level. A Murphy bed lets the kids' playroom (and nearby bath) serve as a guest suite when needed. "We spent a lot of time designing and it paid off," Jen says.

bold yellow dutch door in entryway with boho cushion
Dave Greer

The same trick that boosts curb appeal lifts the mood just inside the side entrance of Jen and Lenny Hochschild's home. The sunny Dutch door opens to a neat and tidy mudroom.

A breezeway connects the home to the garage and provides access to the home's courtyard, where alfresco entertaining space abounds.

sitting area with leather chairs and black shelving
David Greer

The living room is bathed in gray—the same cozy hue covers the walls, trim, and built-ins. Vintage leather club chairs and wood accents introduce natural textures, while pillows and art in orange and pink support the space's rich spirit. "All the other living spaces are light," Jen says. "The dark color gives the living room a calming, library feel."

kitchen with black subway tile and marble countertop
David Greer

A mix of countertop materials provides pleasing contrast in a mostly white kitchen. Dark soapstone (which darkens with use) and white-and-gray marble are natural complements. Wrought-iron wires woven into a sphere give the chandelier above the island plenty of visibility without blocking the view of the simply designed custom range hood.

kitchen banquette seating built-in shelves
Dave Greer

Whether for breakfast or board games, the kitchen's corner banquette is ready. The cushions are covered in forgiving performance fabrics. The table and bench are family heirlooms that fit perfectly in the new space.

Reproduction cup-style pulls adorn the drawers; turn latches secure the Shaker-style cabinet doors. Directly across from the refrigerator, this wine cooler chills more than 40 bottles at a time. Drawers to the left of the cooler hold entertaining necessities.

kitchen sink in island
David Greer

An apron-front sink is right at home in the farmhouse-inspired design. The sink is fitted with a commercial-grade faucet for efficient cleanup.

stove with blue tea kettle
David Greer

Jen loves to cook with homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and this precision dual-fuel range is her favorite kitchen feature. Lenny picked out the deep navy brick tile for the backsplash.

bedroom with blue and white bedding
David Greer

Shallow built-in shelves near the master bed turn an otherwise plain sidewall into a display of books, artwork, and accessories.

Designer Allison Bloom

"Think of shelves as 3-D versions of artwork you'd put on your walls."

—Designer Allison Bloom

"We knew we needed a guest space, but we didn't want to designate a whole room for it," Jen says. Tidwell combined two part-time needs—a kids' hangout and a guest bedroom—into one always useful room. A bed that pulls down from a wall cabinet functions as a huge chalkboard and creative space when visitors are not in residence.

Updated by
Liz Strong

Liz Strong is a Los Angeles-based photographer and interior designer.

She has worked as a decor and home editor for Coastal Living, producing and styling content as well as art directing projects from start to finish.

Liz is the founder of her eponymous company, Liz Strong Style, where she often collaborates with clients and publications, including Better Homes & Gardens, for editorial and advertorial features.

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