Family Home Guide: Design, Decor, and Organization Ideas to Help Make Your House a Home

There’s no need to sacrifice elevated home design simply because you have a busy family in mix. We’re sharing some of our favorite home design, decor, and organization tips plus a look inside some stunning family homes to help you make your home as fun and livable as it is sophisticated.

Tackle Home Organizing For Real — 3 Bay Area Professional Organizers Share Their Best Tips

home organziation
Photo by Holly Blakey, Breathing Room Organization.

Imagine this: everything in your home has a designated spot, your kids coloring books aren’t mixed in with your bills, your clothes aren’t crammed into your closet, there’s a zen corner for you to do yoga. You can think straight, take a deep breath. 

Clutter happens, it’s natural. Especially since the pandemic has transformed homes into multi-purpose spaces, and the previously separate compartments of life/work/school have Picasso’d, one thing has become abundantly clear: our surroundings have an impact on our mood and well-being. In fact, a recent National Geographic article states that, “Clutter can cause our bodies to release cortisol, the stress hormone associated with the fight-or-flight response. Long-term exposure to clutter can induce chronic stress.” That said, achieving a mindful, clean home — one that simultaneously provides a productive, inspiring environment while being a respite from the busyness of daily life — is still possible. Read more.

Bella Notte Linens

Partner Content

Bella Notte Linen

Bella Notte celebrates 25 years of washable artisan luxury linens, created to provide sumptuous, easy care living. Dedicated to your comfort, Bella Notte handcrafts home linens created entirely from their Novato atelier. Choose amongst their harmonious palette of 17 non-toxic dyes and responsibly sourced textiles to inspire effortless elegance throughout your home. To experience Bella Notte visit them online.

Your Guide to Houseplants and Their Many Benefits

house plant

Winter is the season when we start spending more time indoors and start feeling a little overwhelmed — even blue. Luckily, adding some green can boost indoor air quality and your overall outlook. Here are the top, and easiest (you won’t need a horticulture degree to keep them alive), houseplants to chase away air pollutants and the bah humbugs. Take a deep, fresh breath and read on. Read more.

Sunrise Home

Partner Content

Sunrise Home


We’ve devoted an entire boutique within our showroom to family friendly furnishings, Our sofas and sectionals feature fade resistant, sun resistant easy care fabrics. Comfortable, great looking and long lasting upholstery that you can really live on. With hundreds of Sunbrella and crypton fabric options as well as slipcovers this collection is the answer to your decorating concerns. Our design team will happily and capably assist you with your dimensions and room planning. We have also designed dining, coffee and console tables that will stand the test of time. You want family friendly furnishings that represent your style and personality but that can withhold real life wear and tear. Come experience our new space aptly entitled NO WORRIES and see why we are so excited! Visit us soon and take advantage of our new Partnership Program offering twenty percent off all of your purchases for two years.

831 B Street
San Rafael, CA

A Bay Area First-Time Buyer Finds a Home in Marin

Susie and family.
Susie and family.

SUSIE SUMMERS LOVED urban living. But when it came time to dip her toe in the real estate market, she recognized that purchasing in Marin County made better long-term sense than staying in the city.

“I was spending most of my weekends here for one activity or another,” she recalls. Buying into a community with quality public schools was also a priority. Nothing unusual about this decision — though in Summers’ case it was admittedly putting the cart before the horse. “I was still single at the time, but knew I’d eventually want kids.”

So when the right home came up after just three months of browsing, she didn’t waffle. “I saw it and put in an offer the very same day.” A month later the movers arrived to pack up her Cow Hollow apartment and unload its contents into her very first home.

The four-bedroom Craftsman was in great condition; still, she wanted to put her personal stamp on the place. So she brought in professionals, including San Anselmo–based interior designer Ann Lowengart and San Rafael contractor Martin Arrington, to create a space that better reflected her enthusiasms and taste. “They were an amazing team,” says Summers. “I got really lucky.” Read more.

North Coast Tile & Stone

Partner Content


Family owned and operated for over 30 years, they are the North Bay leader in tile installation and granite fabrication for residential remodels, new home construction and commercial jobs. From start to finish, North Coast Tile is dedicated to working with you on accomplishing your vision. Hundreds of granite, quartzite, marble, soapstone, limestone and onyx slabs to choose from in their acre large outdoor yard. Inside is a beautiful boutique tile showroom offering hand selected tile lines from all over the world. Six designers are on staff to help you achieve your vision. At North Coast Tile they are also happy to work with you and / or your Designer, Contractor and Architect. Expertise, knowledge and trust make them the tile company that provides the solid foundation you will need to get your project started.

3854 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA

Builder Michael Muscardini
Architect Jeff Zimmerman
Featured home

A Mill Valley Mediterranean Turned Modern For a Growing Family

Mill Valley Mediterranean
Patio and backyard with a view.

The “one,” as it turns out, was a four bedroom three-and-a-half bath Mediterranean style in nearby Mill Valley. Laura was skeptical at first. The home needed updating and she struggled to see past its nineties-era finishes. But John convinced her that the home’s location, floor plan, and square footage ticked all the boxes. And, with a little prodding, she eventually came around. Then with the help of contractor Tony Anello of Anello Painting and Construction in Novato and interior designer Jill McCrae of JM Interiors in Mill Valley, the couple managed to turn this dated knoll-top house into their family dream home.


Partner Content


Our kitchen makeovers transform your existing shelves and drawers into the kitchen of your dreams. No renovation required. You can choose to do the makeover yourself, with our online coaching sessions, or have us come in and do it for you. We can even coach your kids to help! Either way, we’ll give you the tools and the know-how to make your kitchen shine. PLASTIC-FREE LIVING MADE SIMPLE The best part of your Blisshaus kitchen is that living without plastic becomes easy. With our shopping lists and bags, you’ll find it simple to shop plastic-free at the store. Back at home, everything has its perfect spot and decanting your food will be a breeze. You’ll be amazed how much your garbage and recycling will shrink. Get inspired with our Before & After stories at

[email protected]

How Healthy is Your Home? Expert Tips For Upgrading Your Space

How Healthy is Your Home? Expert Tips For Upgrading Your Space

Mill Valley, California-based architect Sherry Williamson, known for her high-end residential interior architecture, custom furniture and lighting, is an expert in healthy homes and LEED platinum requirements, and was one of the pioneers in the field before it gained the widespread visibility both in the industry as well as in consumer consciousness that it has today. We recently spoke to her about what “healthy home” means in practical terms and what steps you can take now to make your own home healthier. And, given the current spotlight on global health—and the fact that we’re all spending a whole lot more time in our homes— isn’t this something we should all be thinking about? Read more.