Paint She SweetAuthor:Abigail Stone
Fixtures and finishes were the tools Kristen Pena used to modernize this Noe Valley home
The homeowner is a writer who treats her home as a sanctuary. Her teenage children and their friends have made the home neighborhood their hangout. For interior designer Kristen Pena, the challenge was to create a space that balanced serenity with durability.
The house hadn’t been remodeled in two decades. “She wasn’t only looking to update the furniture but to also modernize the fixtures and finishes in a way that felt current and fresh,” says interior designer Kristen Pena. “Our design philosophy has always been to layer texture and various natural materials to make a home feel elevated yet approachable.”
Better storage, refinished floors, updating the kids rooms and tackling the bathrooms were a few of the projects on the agenda.“She wanted to keep the blueprint of the house the same so we had to maximize the storage and counter space in the kitchen without changing the layout,” says Pena.
Even without changing any structural elements, revising floors and painting the walls brought the house modernized the house. “It gave us a great canvas to design with!” Pena explains. Unexpected touches, like the dark floral Ellie Cashman wallpaper that snakes around the dining room, the office’s salmon pink walls, and the dramatic dark teal walls in the master bedroom which, paired with soft pink and grey fabric, create a cozy cocoon, ensure that the home while tranquil and spare is still lively. A diptych by Crystal Lui in the living room drove the color palette in the main rooms. their pale, muted tones keep the focus on the people and pets who congregate here. “Now she’s living in a house she feels very proud of,” says Pena.