House SenseAuthor:Lindsey Shook
In Lisa Staprans’ hands, a California ranch home gets a light, bright update
“When I approach a space, I always ask a lot of questions: ‘What’s the flow? What brings these clients joy? How do they like to live?’ I look at the space, and the space talks to me,” says designer Lisa Staprans of Staprans Design. who strives to create authentic spaces that resonate with her clients’ soul.
“The home needed to be a base for them to come back to and recharge,” says Staprans, who’s worked with the active family on and off for many years. They wanted to be able to welcome guests, including their grown children and their friends. And, given their love of nature and adventure, Staprans knew it needed to have a sense of the outdoors. She also hoped to showcase the clients’ beautiful art collection. “They collect original prints, Persian rugs and the husband is a photographer,” she says.
“Opening up the house to be more contemporary was difficult,” she admits. The California ranch-style home, while large, felt dark. “They wanted to achieve a better flow in the home,” Staprans explains. “But they didn’t want to increase its footprint.” Reimagining the home to achieve that sense of openness would take some ingenuity.
Straprans began, literally, from the bottom up. White oak flooring, sourced from Carlisle Flooring, immediately imbued the home with a sense of lightness “It was a real game-changer and it set the tone for the transformation of the house,” says Staprans. New windows, the addition of skylights and sliding doors open up the home to the exterior and underline its airy feeling. A palette of blues and organic textures nod to the natural world just outside.
In the kitchen, a wood-covered center island with a gas drop-in cooktop which looks out towards the backyard, becomes the room’s focal point and a natural gathering place. “I always think of these islands as the heart of a house where people come together,” Staprans shares. A gas drop-in cooktop imagines food prep as a communal activity, with everyone gathered around to help. A sleek hood, hoisted high, keeps the room’s sight lines clear. Sliders open up the room to a covered entertaining patio.
Given that it was an older home, the bathrooms were also in need of updating. “We were able to fit a lot into each space,” she says, noting the master bathroom, which also includes a sauna, “Each bathroom is curve-less which gives them a sense of spaciousness.” Frameless shower doors and new windows that flood the rooms with light were also key to their transformation.
But it was in the home’s living room where Staprans feels she achieved her greatest success. “The change with the most significant impact was making the connection between indoors and out,” she says. Its seamless flow makes the room a natural gathering place in any kind of weather.
But it was the clients’ reaction that confirmed that her instincts about the home had been correct. “‘We love it! We’re so thankful,” the clients texted when they first saw the home. “I recently reached out to them to make sure they’re enjoying it and they responded, ‘It’s better than I had ever imagined.’ That made me so happy.”