May 30, 2024

A Southern California homeowner—who had lived in 1920s houses before she and her husband purchased a teardown—knew exactly what she wanted in her new residence: color, depth, and a fair heaping of family-friendliness. “We were super excited [to] play around with all these design aspects: big pantry, big laundry room, and an open-concept kitchen, like a great room,” shares the mom of two young children. She also knew just the designer for said vision: San Francisco–based AD PRO Directory designer Regan Baker, who had been connected to her through a college friend of hers. She ventured to ask Baker—known for her use of contemplative hues and moody layers—to push the line. “I liked all [the projects in Regan’s portfolio] but wanted to really amp up the color and pattern, which I think she was happy to do,” the owner says. “And [she was] excited to have a client who was willing to be a little more wild!”

Baker was ready to design in multicolor without sacrificing her own elevated signature, so she hewed to a nuanced green-and-blue palette. “There are definitely 35 paints in this house!” the designer laughs. Think color blocking courtesy of Benjamin Moore’s Yarmouth Blue on the vent hood in the kitchen paired with a Clé Tile Zellige Tea Ceremony–clad backsplash; playful Hygge & West’s Quilt pattern wall covering in celadon complemented by a mischievous geometric print rug from Cold Picnic in the pantry; and Benjamin Moore’s bright, mossy green Chimichurri on tidy custom millwork in the playroom.

The creative talent also abided fastidiously by the family’s function-first mandate. “Something I really appreciated Regan for,” notes the homeowner, “was that we wanted the house to be not just beautiful, but super functional. ‘I want everything to be wipeable, I want soft corners, and I don’t want anything to be precious,’” she recalls sharing during an early meeting. Their collaboration yielded the brand of unexpected yet delightful results that comes from a simpatico designer-client relationship.

Case in point: The family room features a sturdy Article sofa clad in a cheeky Kravet Crypton plaid that Baker had originally conceived for accent pillows—not, as the homeowner envisaged, for the entirety of the sofa. But its ultimate impact in the space, aided by three works by artist Kelly Knaga, which are arranged triptych-like above, and an Aelfie Zahra flat-weave grounding below, is Baker’s masterful amalgam of joviality and refined design. “We were stylistically aligned,” reflects the designer. “It’s the most colorful project we’ve ever done. We had a lot of fun!”

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