Beautiful homes are published every month yet some of them remain in our minds forever. Not just because of their beauty but because they make us feel a certain way. This home is like that. Everywhere you look, there’s an inviting nook and happy colors that make you feel comfortably at home, there are pretty views and a strong connection to the outdoors. Nothing feels too precious, despite the home’s impressive value.
My fascination with the Mill Valley home of Blythe Harris is nothing new. Between the 2016 Elle Decor spread that started it all and Gil Schafer’s latest book A Place to Call Home, which gives us a detailed tour, I’ve analyzed this home and dissected its charming rooms on many occasions, a handful of them here on the blog.
And as we’re kicking off a new year of design stories, I thought the best way to begin is to write about something I absolutely love (and judging by your reactions on social media, I know that many of you love it too!). I gathered everything I could possibly find about the house and its surrounding gardens, and compiled the pictures into one gigantic post.
If you remember from the Elle Decor story, the place used to be a YMCA camp that sat abandoned for years. Despite its inhabitable state, it was love at first for the clients who saw through it and imagined its true potential. To realize their vision, they enlisted the help of New York architect Gil Schafer, assisted by the local firm Chambers + Chambers. Limited by the building’s century old structures and the size of the lot, ingenious solutions had to be found – like excavating the ground under the house and expanding the footprint vertically. As for the interiors, British decorator Rita König began collecting pieces that could bring old stories and new life into this quirky house. The gardens too were limited in size, the plot was quite shady to begin with but Berkeley-based landscape architect Franziska Moller created a brilliant plan. Climbing roses and ivy as well as artificial grass between the different buildings keep things manageable despite the shade. The beautiful photography is by Erick Piasecki.