Party of Six


Design Alchemy dreams up kid-friendly home that pays homage to the client’s Danish heritage with a modern touch

The heart of the home, the kitchen is illuminated with pendants from Allied Maker. Photos by Stephen Busken.
Custom cabinetry provides ample storage and space for homework in the breakfast nook area. Photos by Stephen Busken.

“Our mother/daughter familial relationship really resonated and helped us to connect with our client,” says Deborah Costa, founder of Design Alchemy, a Sacramento-based firm she helms with her daughter Kristine Renee. “Family connection was a huge goal, theme and purpose in designing this home, and to be able to connect with both the homeowner and children throughout the process was a very rewarding experience.”

In the dining room, a chandelier by Ravenhill Studio delivers the desired modern and Scandinavian styles. Photos by Stephen Busken.
The piano room and study holds a vintage rocker that is a family heirloom. Photos by Stephen Busken.

Enlisted to work with the architecture team at Dorman Associates and Landmark Builders to bring a 7,600-square-foot, new build to life for a young family of six, Costa and her team were tasked with blending the husband’s love of modern, minimal style with the wife’s penchant for Scandinavian interiors. “In order to seamlessly meld two styles into one harmonious, high-function home for six, our work included initial schematic planning, interior architectural design, kitchen and bath design, as well as furnishings, art and lighting selection, procurement and placement,” she recalls.

A stone sink from Salvatori anchors the powder room. Photos by Stephen Busken.

With four kids and a passion for entertaining, the clients needed large, open spaces for family gatherings, intimate areas throughout to find moments of peace and fun zones where the kids could stay entertained. “We integrated window seats throughout the house, as well as special nooks including a secret escape under the staircase in the basement/media zone, and a ‘cozy corner’ on the third story,” Renee notes. “We listened, learned and absorbed their busy lifestyle—designing discerning spaces that speak to their hectic schedules including a craft room/office with individual work spaces for each child, a ninja warrior course, an oversized edible garden, a waterslide for the kids to escape with their friends and a large mudroom/laundry room.”

In the primary bedroom a custom bed is flanked by nightstands by Noir, the bedding is from Pom Pom at Home and Pinecone Hill.
Photos by Stephen Busken.
All of the plumbing fixtures in the primary bathroom are by Brizo, the lighting is by Visual Comfort and the rug is a family heirloom.
Photos by Stephen Busken.

While style was top of mind, durability and storage were two top priorities. “Everything had to be kid friendly,” Costa recalls. “The homeowner wanted leather everything, we tried hard to honor this wish while adding warmth with rugs, textiles and warm woods.” The team put their custom hats on and spent hours designing cabinetry solutions throughout. “The built in bookcases in the music room off the entry, the back kitchen locker storage for all four children in the mudroom and built in desk systems in the office (again, one for each child) was all very strategic to how they live their lives.”

A custom game room for the kids features a ping pong and shuffle board table. Photos by Stephen Busken.

Located in the center of the home, the kitchen was equipped to handle the majority of the busy, daily action. “The kitchen is the heart of the home in the new build,” Renee says. “Our design team centered everything around the importance of their family gatherings here by architecting warmth. We dropped the ceiling in the kitchen to create a more intimate setting and incorporated clear story windows in the adjacent family room to bring the outdoors in. The dining, family and kitchen room all open into one another, acting as one large communal space for the family to congregate.”

The fun continues outside with a fully-equipped jungle gym. Photos by Stephen Busken.

The final result is an expansive, modern home with Scandinavian feel that perfectly suits their family of six. “The interiors are clean and streamlined, yet still feel cozy with the integration of warm finishes and textures,” Costa says.

A seating area on the outdoor terrace offers the perfect place for conversation. Photos by Stephen Busken.