Color Coated LifeAuthor:Lindsey Shook
With bold colors and modern moments, Wit Interiors gives a historical home a second life
“This is my third project with this client,” says designer Whitney Riter Gelinas of Wit Interiors about a recent project her firm completed in Los Altos. Their relationship began when she curated a home for the client when he was single. “He was adamant that he didn’t want it to feel like a bachelor pad as he hoped to someday turn it into a home for a family,” she recalls. “Three years later he called me to say his then girlfriend was now his wife and they needed help converting her Mountain View home into a family home for their young son then shortly after finishing that project they called to say they might have found their forever home in Los Altos and wanted my opinion before purchasing it.”
“While it had a lot of classic charm, what really blew them away were the expansive grounds that included a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, edible garden and large children’s play structure,” she says. “This kind of outdoor space is very rare in Los Altos, especially this close to the downtown shopping district, so our challenge was to make the inside layout fit the clients lifestyle.” Originally built in 1911, the charming Craftsman-style home was deemed historical therefore major renovations couldn’t happen outside but inside they worked with Divittorio Architecture and Jim Walters Construction to completely transform the interior.
First, the team focused their efforts on creating a floor plan that would grow with their flourishing family. “Originally, what would later become the family room, was three small rooms so we opened it all up allowing lots of space for playing and lounging,” she recalls. “In contrast upstairs was one strangely large room that didn’t have a defined purpose so we were able to break it up into a small playroom, bathroom and kids room.”
They then shifted their attention to breathe new life into the home and achieved this by infusing each space with color and modern, playful details. “This was the rare occasion where I could show what I thought was a bold concept only to be told to go bigger,” she remarks. “We decided early on that we wanted to keep all of the walls white so we could layer in bold patterns and lots of bright colors. Bright pops of neon throughout really energize the space. Between COVID and all the world events these days I think clients are really longing for a space that feels happy and lifts them up!”
From bright yellows in the baby room to a midnight blue dining room and fuchsia pink mudroom, they transformed the historic home into a colorful, contemporary escape. “The bright pink cabinets were 100% our clients direction,” says the designer. “She asked for Pepto Bismol pink mudroom cabinets and we couldn’t be happier with the result. Something about that shade of pink is so energizing. The minute you walk in the room you can’t help but smile.”
After dealing with lockdowns, construction delays and a few other hurdles, the project was completed and the homeowners were amazed that each room was an exact replica of the renderings. “As a new family of five, home took on a whole new meaning,” she notes. “Life can get very messy and overwhelming with new babies so it’s made a huge difference having a home that really reflects their personality and makes them smile in the midst of the chaos.”