The Stuff Memories are Made of


Courtney B. Smith adds layers of love inside a newly renovated Marin home

In the family room, a pair of Lee Industries chairs faces a custom sofa covered in a Thibaut performance fabric. Photos by Alanna Hale.

“I help families create vibrant homes that support better living,” says designer Courtney B. Smith who is known for curating classic, lavish interiors. “My tagline is #livememorably, because I believe that a home feeds a family, and sets the stage for the memories we create.” She and her team used their approach to make a memorable residence for a family for of four who are active in their community. “Their overall goal was a functional and beautiful home,” she notes. “They needed selections that weren’t precious or delicate, and a place that could just as easily host a Warriors game night as a school fundraising dinner.”

The all-white kitchen features stools from Serena & Lily. Photos by Alanna Hale.

Prior to hiring Smith’s firm, the couple had just completed a renovation of their 2,200-square-foot bungalow that is located in Marin county—updating the kitchen, bathrooms and other interior architectural details. “Like many families, they ran out of steam after a pretty major remodel,” she recalls. “The house generally got a big upgrade, and then they took a break. They never focused on furniture layout or a cohesive décor plan, and by the time they reached out to me they were frustrated with what they thought was too little square footage, no space for the occasional overnight guests, and a lack of comfortable flow (both visual AND physical).”

Overtime, they had inherited hand-me-down pieces and purchased one-off furniture selections that felt disjointed. “When we initiated the project, they were done with their Ikea phase, and ready for more permanent solutions,” Smith recalls. They did keep an existing living room rug that would serve as inspiration for the overall color palette. “Shades of red and coral, hints of blue, cream, gold and green, became the foundation and everything else was selected to tie back to this statement. My client’s wardrobe also inspired our palette—she wears a ton of blue and has a classic, fresh, preppy style,” says Smith. “Because the floor plan is a very open one, with sight lines from almost every space to the next, it was very important to consider the entire scheme together.”

In the dining room, wallpaper by Les Indiennes compliments the clients’ existing furniture and pendant light.
Photos by Alanna Hale.

Once the color concepts were finalized Smith started to mix patterns to add a layered feel and tell a unique story. “My love for pattern and color runs deep, not only for the energy they bring into our homes, but also because they make family living more relaxed,” she remarks. “I like to play with color saturation and intensity, mixing things up so that the eye easily moves around a space.”

Rebel Walls wallpaper makes a bold impact in the playroom. Photos by Alanna Hale.

A standout piece in the home is a cleverly designed navy blue built-in bookcase that frames the existing fireplace in the family room. “Previously, the fireplace and mantle stood solo, and the room felt unbalanced,” she remembers. “By creating a library wall around the fireplace, we were able to balance the room, add a ton of storage and create zones that made sense.” This allows the family to maximize their space, take advantage of the views and enjoy every detail of their new home. When asked how they reacted to the reveal Smith notes, “They love it, and wish they’d done it sooner!”