Reconfigure It Out


Interior designer Alison Pickart rethinks the floor plan of a Marin County cottage and gives it new life

Photo above and throughout by Aaron Leitz

“The house and the people guide so much of the process,” counsels interior designer Alison Pickart, articulating her firm’s philosophy. The home in this case was a 3,000 square foot 1930’s Marin County cottage, “It’s light and bright, with old but beautiful windows and doors, classic crown moldings and intimate rooms,” says Pickart who lives nearby.

In the living room, Aaron Leitz’s ‘Horizon’ photograph hangs over the mantle.
The vintage brass and mirror coffee table is from Coup de tat, the black and cream “tattersall plaid’ rug is from Dash and Albert

“The biggest issue was the flow of the rooms,” she remembers. “The goal was to maximize the livability of the house while still keeping the rooms intact.” She decided against blowing out the walls to create a open concept floor plan. “It wouldn’t have been appropriate for this style of house.” 

Under Pickart’s guidance, the answer proved to be a simple one: the master suite was moved to the guest room location. “We opened up the bedroom with French doors and continued the wood flooring. We designed the vanity to be in full view and to look like a beautiful piece of furniture.” It was a unique solution that turned the small footprint into a suite that felt gracious and generous. “With both spaces opened up, it felt larger.”

The clients’ collection of Andrew artwork was the jumping off point for the home’s color palette. “That was a huge inspiration!,” she enthuses. “The collection had been living in a portfolio tucked out of the way for more than a decade.” Pickart had them framed and hung. “Seeing them able to enjoy something that they had invested in long ago, and making it work within the new design was truly rewarding.”

The striking wallpaper that unifies the master bath and the master bedroom is Philip Jeffries ‘Soho Hemp’ Broadway Blues grasscloth. The Pipa Bowl Chandelier from Oly Studio.

The reconfiguration proved to be a such a success that the clients “green lit” the rest of the ideas that Pickart had.”They could truly see the value in doing the ‘right thing’ in the ‘right space.’