Right at Home


KJM Interiors makes a bold yet subtle statement inside her Piedmont home

A pair of sofas by Lee sit next to the fireplace surrounded by chairs from A. Rudin and a pink wing chair by Burton James. Photo by Liz Daly.

“I believe personal spaces should be a source of energy and inspiration and there is always a way to make a space more unique, more functional, and more engaging for its residents,” says Bay Area designer Kathryn MacDonald of KJM Interiors on how she approaches each project. She applied this same way of thought when renovating her own home in Piedmont that inspired her to leave her job in the wine industry and become a designer.

Fireclay Tiles line each backsplash, complementing the faucets by Watermark.
Photo by Michael Keeney.
A custom table made of salvaged black walnut and blackened steel was made by Bolster Furniture. Photo by Michael Keeny.

The 4,000 square foot home she shares with her husband and three kids was originally built in the 1920s and needed major updates to suit their active family. “Prior to moving in, we knew we had to address a crumbling kitchen and improve the flow for family living,” she says. “Originally, the formal dining room was off the kitchen and separated by a wall and swinging door, and the formal living room was across the hallway with a large addition done on the back of the house in the 1970’s that added another living space.” 

Custom chairs feature Schumacher performance velvet and a Lauren Hwang New York Kantha stitch jacquard fabric on the back, sit below a Noir chandelier. Photo by Liz Daly.
A faux horn buffet and pair of lamps by Made Goods sit in the dining room.
Photos by Liz Daly.

Aside from needing to modernize the overall flow, they needed more living space and seating. “The primary layout challenge was the lack of living space around the kitchen,” she notes. “That simply won’t work for a family with young kids.”

MacDonald tucked in a small bench covered in fabric from Schumacher into the round stairwell. Photos by Liz Daly.

Her team began by swapping the dining room and living room to create a family den that is open to the kitchen. Then they reconfigured the original wet bar to add wine storage and incorporated a built in breakfast area with seating and storage below.  

Lush Life by Cowtan and Tout adds a playful touch in a nursery. Photo by Liz Daly.

“I try to create one grand statement in a space and then build around it,” says MacDonald on her design direction with color and texture throughout. The bold dining room does just that, drenched in a rich velvety midnight blue that is balanced by moments of black and white and muted hues throughout the rest of the home.

A bold pattern tile from Cle dance across the master bathroom floor.
Photo by Michael Keeney.

As many designers know, working on their own home is often the last priority on the list. However, MacDonald and her husband pushed through even while juggling work and family, curating their forever home. “We did most major renovations while I was pregnant with our first child, and the remaining living space came together while I was pregnant with our second,” says MacDonald. “I credit the burst of creativity and sense of urgency that comes with pregnancy as tremendously helpful forces in finishing my own spaces.”