Beauty and Brawn


Interior designer Jeffrey Neve reimagines a ranch house in Lafayette as a spirited family home

Custom tables in the entryway were wrapped in navy grasscloth. The star lantern is from Circa Lighting. The runner was found at Caitlin Wilson. Photos here and throughout by Thibaut Cartier

“What I love about this client,” says interior designer Jeffrey Neve of the young family who hired him to redesign this home, “is that we’ve been been working together for over two years and the house is constantly evolving.” 

Previous photo: Custom tables in the entryway were wrapped in navy grasscloth. The star lantern is from Circa Lighting. The runner was found at Caitlin Wilson. Above photo: The bar was repurposed from a former coat closet. Photos here and throughout by Thibaut Cartier

To begin, Neve and his team took the 3200 square foot single story rancher down to the studs, inserting higher ceilings and rethinking the home’s flow. “We approach design from the perspective of the client and what they want to accomplish,” Neve explains. With two rambunctious young boys and an active goldendoodle, it was important that all the finishes, fabrics and furnishings be able to withstand major wear and tear. The client also loves to entertain.

“We tried to give the kitchen plenty of interest while avoiding the basic white kitchen, weaving in gold touches,” says Neve. That started with two tones of paint from Benjamin Moore; the glass-fronted cabinets were washed in Swiss Coffee, while the island and bar sport Evening Dove. Open shelves give the room added dimension. Custom tile from Pratt and Larsen are paired with quartzite countertops. Appliances from Wolf, a Brizo faucet is Brizo, pendants are Circa and counter stools from Serena and Lily round out a vibrant and inviting space.  Photo by by Thibaut Cartier

A master suite was added. So, too, was a mudroom and an office. The backyard was terraced. With all of the main rooms now opening on to the outdoors, the interior is flooded with natural light.

Philip Jeffies wallpaper was also used in the master bedroom. A custom upholstered headboard frames bedding from Serena and Lily.  Photo by by Thibaut Cartier

But, as all interior designers know, there are often things about how a family lives that must be inferred and interpreted. It’s a skill set that requires the patience of a saint, the observational powers of Sherlock Holmes and the ability to change speeds with the dexterity and ingenuity of a driver navigating the Dakar Rally .

The Master bath was divided so the wife could have a proper dressing table and makeup area. “It’s a very nice flow” says Neve, with the master closet on the left and the bath to the right. Photo by by Thibaut Cartier
“When you first walk in to the space you see the vanity with mirror, pendant and a fun bench with fur,” says Neve. Photo by by Thibaut Cartier
In the powder bath, wallpaper from Philip Jeffries highlights a custom vanity and Native Trails concrete sink. The open channel faucet is from Brizio. The sconces are by Arteriors. Photo by by Thibaut Cartier

“In the beginning,” Neve shares, “the plans called for the living room to be the dining room.” It was only after living in the house for almost six months that the clients realized that the dining room wasn’t being used.

In the dining room, a table from Restoration Hardware is surrounded by chairs from Bungalow 5. The pendant is from Circa Lighting. Photo by by Thibaut Cartier

Instead, when the family entertained, everyone gathered in the kitchen and breakfast nook. “So we switched light fixtures, sold a table and chairs and reimagined the dining room as a proper living room with the piano,” laughs Neve. A coat closet just off the kitchen was moved closer to the entryway. Opened up, it’s now a bar that caters to the family’s frequent guests.

In the living room, a sofa, from Palette and Parlor, flanked by side tables from Anthropologie, tops a carpet from Caitlin Wilson. The room’s light, including the ceiling pendant, are from Circa Lighting. A chair from Nathan Anthony is upholstered in  Schumacher fabric. The draperies are from Kravet. Photo by by Thibaut Cartier

Neve was also able to convince the client that the blue and white palette that they had their heart set on would benefit from colorful accents that might better telegraph the family’s energetic style. “In the great room we added pops of coral,” he says, “in the kitchen and eat-in area we added a deeper coral in the Captain’s chairs.” In the living room, a vibrant magenta pink pops against a navy blue sofa from Palette and Parlor.

A rug from Serena and Lily grounds the great room. The custom sofas are covered in Perennials outdoor fabric, the chairs in an outdoor fabric from Kravet. The Side table is from Gabby. The lamp is from Currey and Co.  Lanterns are Circa. We added a built in bench with cushion and open shelves on either side of the fireplace. Cocktail table is custom from LivenUp. The throw pillows are Schumacher. Photo by by Thibaut Cartier

Next up, a sport court, a swimming pool and an outdoor pavilion will be added to the backyard. “It’s been so fun to continue tweaking and updating the house to fit the client’s needs,” says Neve.

Photo by by Thibaut Cartier