A Laid Back California Ranch
When Kendal Agins Friedman purchased her 1959 California ranch house, she did so with an almost alarming level of certainty. It's hard to believe anyone could get past the dreary brown exterior with sherbet trim — much less fall for the chopped-up floor plan. "I was seduced by the gorgeous location," explains the interior designer, "with majestic oaks in the front yard and the San Francisco Bay out back." To her, the home's potential was immediately clear.
In this photo: The view from the living room encompasses the dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, and a deck beyond. Vintage seats covered in Belgian linen gather around a Hickory Chair table. The "modern" art? Really just framed goatsbeard plants.
A Cozy Living Room
Though Friedman's decorating style is without a doubt refined, it's also secretly family-friendly. Credit the aesthetic fake-out to soft, comfortable pieces like the living-room coffee table, a leather ottoman that practically begs guests to put up their feet, or the velvet-upholstered armchair that turns a corner of the breakfast room into a reading nook. Even that aforementioned linen sofa is eminently cushy (not to mention slipcovered). "I wanted a casual, back-to-basics lifestyle — a home that references nature and history, and revolves around people interacting," Friedman explains.
In this photo: Friedman bought her living room's London bus signs and 19th-century tea tins at a local antiques store. She paired a linen sectional by Verellen and an 1890s leather chair with a Restoration Hardware ottoman. The nickel lamp is by Visual Comforts.
Bright Idea: No flowers necessary: A couple of oversize fronds in a large vase are all it takes to make a statement.
The hunt for old soda bottles draws Friedman back to the nearby Alameda flea market at least once a month. When arranged in multiples, these soda siphons, salvaged British lockboxes, and oversize 19th-century tea tins appear not as bric-a-brac but singular graphic moments.
Friedman's 9-year-pld twins, Alexis (left) and Arianna chose the mounted butterfly specimens for their room, furnished with four-poster beds, duvets, and pillows from Restoration Hardware.
Antique and Modern
A glimpse inside the master bedroom reveals a linen-upholstered bed by Plantation, a midcentury French leather sling chair, and a Venetian cut-glass mirror from the 1920s.
Friedman uses a Pottery Barn dining table as a desk in her office, which occupies the lower level of the home.
In the bathroom's dressing area, a vintage black lacquer cabinet stores sweaters. The 1880 tin traveling trunks are British; the 1940 Oushak rug, Turkish.
"I lean toward timeworn antiques," says Friedman, "playing the luster of those things against sumptuous fabrics."
Bright Idea: The ultimate in bathroom luxury? A lounge-worthy sofa, like this corduroy covered Biedermeier.
Kendal Agins Friedman with, from left, daughters Alexis and Arianna, and the family's Havanese, Chloe.