Give & Take


Without sacrificing style, interior designer Timothy Godbold architects the perfect compromise for a Kentfield family

In the entryway, the light, found at GardeShop in Los Angeles, is by Giopato & Coombes. Photography by Jose Manuel Alorda. :

TIMOTHY GODBOLD is a man of many facets and seeming contradictions. A former Australian, he now vibrates between Bridgehampton, NY, and San Francisco. Fascinated by military uniforms (he wrote a book about their influence on fashion), he spent many years designing women’s fashion, first for Ralph Lauren and then under his own label. That same complexity is apparent in his interior design work. “I think luxury should be comfortable and accessible and I like for my work to appeal to both men and women,” he says.

That philosophy was at the core of what made him stand out for the clients, a young family in Marin County. “I was chuffed to hear that they saw eye to eye about my work,” Godbold remembers, using the English slang for pleased.

In the sprawling family room, many of the pieces, including the travertine table nestled
in the corner, the tall white pillar light and the grouping of pieces near them, were found on 1st dibs. Photography by Jose Manuel Alorda.

In fact, it was the husband’s appreciation for Godbold’s work that clinched the deal. “Graeme is Scottish and I lived in England for a number of years so we both have a similar sense of humor. Katie comes from a Scandinavian background and has an innate appreciation for simplicity and more natural-looking interiors that evoke a sense of calm.”

In the dining room, Apparatus Studio’s Synapse pendant hangs over sculptural chairs, discovered at Jayson Home, which cluster around the clients’ own round single- pedestal dining table.

While the home, 9,000 square feet spread over three floors and set into the side of a mountain, was new, it had traditional bones and details. “The previous owner had extensively decorated and customized the house to their taste, so it felt heavy-handed,” Godbold remembers. The clients were hoping for something less expected, more simplified and ‘more Godbold’ as they put it,” he laughs. It would also need to be child- and elderly dog-friendly. “We wanted everything to be functional and not too high maintenance.”

The 3 Arc light from Allied Maker that hangs over the kitchen island is based on the traditional fixtures that illuminated the gaming tables in a billiard room. Photography by Jose Manuel Alorda.

Here that meant a foundation of strong, simple seating, sculptural accessories—like the Jayson Home chairs in the dining room, a coffee table of his own design in the living room and the family room’s travertine table and Stephane Ducatteau steel and concrete galets—and arresting lighting, like the Serge Mouille chandelier suspended from the living room’s ceiling.

A hand-drawn
face by Godbold, which nods to Miro and Picasso, brings a whimsical note to the bathroom.

“Katie keeps telling me jokingly how much she loves me and that all home design decisions must go through me from now on. She said I’m the first designer she trusts because at times in the process I came out with an idea from left field and even if she wasn’t convinced (like in the kitchen, where it took me some time to coax them to lose the uppers and pull out the traditional range hood), I didn’t waiver.” Soft and strong. In this case, opposites are very attractive.