California Charmer

 What happens when you bring together on a project one of America’s most acclaimed architects and a mega talented interior designer? Well, for starters, very happy clients and a guaranteed feature in a shelter design magazine. This month’s issue of Elle Decor tells the story of a Manhattan couple that decided to purchase a 19th century abandoned camp in Mill Valley, California, with the hopes of transforming it into their dream family residence. With a shared attachment to happy childhood memories of camping days and mountain trips, the couple researched for an architect /designer team that would be respectful of their property’s history, details and rustic appeal while making it suitable for young family living; enter architect Gil Schafer and London based designer Rita Konig. Far from being in a habitable state, Gil and Rita had three years to work their magic and turn the property into a functional, stylish home. It’s too bad there are no ¨before¨ pictures but the ¨after¨ ones are simply stunning!

Rita Konig, Gil Schafer Exterior

To increase the footprint of the home without changing its bones, a lower level has been created by excavating into the hills. Crisp white trim and shutters create the perfect contrast with the charcoal grey painted shingles.

Rita Konig Living

¨Decorating should be fun!¨, says designer Rita Konig and she definitely nailed it with this living room. Bright and happy, with just the right amount of feminine touch, the space feels cozy and inviting. Good lighting and small tables are a necessity for comfort:

¨When I’m thinking about designing a sitting room, the result I’m looking for is to sit back in a fabulous sofa with somewhere close by to put my drink…to me that sums up extreme comfort and a deep sense of luxury.¨ Rita Konig

Patterned bamboo shades throughout the house and wood paneled walls are signature elements of Rita’s rooms that further accentuate the home’s rustic charm.

Rita Konig Bedroom

Rita Konig Kitchen

Cheerful wallpaper, rustic table paired with glossy chairs make this breakfast corner feel so fresh!

Rita Konig Library

With darker green and charcoal walls, the library exudes a more masculine vibe.  I particularly love the high-gloss white floors that react with the light, creating the prettiest glow.

Rita Konig Reading

In this reading nook, as well as in all other corners of the home, Rita amazes with her ability to hang artwork. Mismatched frames, modern prints mixed with vintage and antique pieces look effortlessly chic.

Rita Konig Bath

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! If you’d like to read more about this project, head over to Elle Decor. Wishing you all a fabulous week!



P.S: All images by Eric Piasecki for Elle Decor.




  1. March 15, 2016 / 8:57 am

    Is that living room coffee table also practical? Just asking out of curiosity, because i would not ‘dare’ to have something like this, especially with a flower vase with water placed on it 🙂 And all those books around it! Scary situation 🙂

    • Eva Contreras
      March 15, 2016 / 9:31 am

      Well, it might need some care for sure 🙂 and most probably the flowers are part of the photo shoot styling. But overall, I think this coffee table works great for families with young children, with no sharp corners to worry about. Plus it can instantly turn into additional seating at parties 🙂