Patterns and Statement Lighting Bring the Energy into This Sunny Family Home in Kentfield

Located steps from Mount Tamalpais in Kentfield’s scenic Kent Woodlands area, a 1960s-era house seemed like an ideal spot for a professional couple to raise their two young daughters. The house was on a large lot that overlooked a valley. But, it soon became clear that the home’s choppy layout and lack of windows didn’t fit with the family’s lifestyle.  “We wanted an open floor plan where we can all be in one room and be together more — the way people live today,” the husband says.  He spent hours poring over blueprints, but the solution evaded him. That wasn’t the case for interior designer Ann Lowengart, whose eponymous firm has offices in San Anselmo and Palm Beach.  “Annie is really thoughtful about spaces,” the husband says. “Her ideas blew us away.”

Creating an Open Floor Plan

lowengart floor plan
Colored panels from Andrzej Michael Karwacki’s “Equanimity Series” add color and texture to the white walls in the formal living room. The chaise lounge is from Kroll Furniture. All photos by David Duncan Livingston.
After the family decamped to a nearby rental property, the builders implemented Lowengart’s vision, gutting the first floor and eliminating several walls to create an open floor plan.  To bring in more daylight, they relocated the powder room to a niche underneath the stairs, creating space for an entire wall of south-facing windows. New folding doors in the entry corridor likewise flood the space with natural light.  The builders also installed new hardwood flooring, as well as coffered ceilings, trim work and wainscotting painted in the same crisp white as the walls throughout the main level.  The addition of black-framed windows “provides drama against the white walls,” Lowengart says. After the construction crew departed, the designer and her team descended on the home, installing wallcoverings, window treatments, art and furnishings. 

The Living and Family Rooms

lowengart living room
A bubble chandelier from Oly Studio adds a sense of whimsy to the formal living room, where a sofa from Stoich Designs & Upholstered Furniture anchors a convivial seating area in front of the fireplace. The area rug is from Stark Carpet.
In the living room, an area rug from Stark Carpet with a geometric pattern creates a graphic backdrop for a cozy seating area in front of the fireplace. Carpets with geometric themes likewise elevate the entry corridor and family room, which is furnished with a breakfast table from RH and a sectional sofa covered in a sumptuous mohair.  “The husband really loved those transitional motifs,” Lowengart says.
lowengart family room
Underneath a pendant from Circa Lighting, a Parsons table from RH and leather chairs from Hunt Leather Co. create a spot for informal meals in the family room.

The Powder Room

lowengart powder room
Powder rooms provide an opportunity to “go big or go home,” says interior designer, Anne Lowengart, who incorporated a groovy wallcovering by Thibaut in the new powder room. The ceiling light is by Vaughan Designs.
Indeed, accented by black moldings and a coordinating ceiling pendant, a wallcovering by Thibaut with a complementary geometric pattern creates a moment of excitement in the powder room.  “Go big or go home,” Lowengart says. 

The Dining Room

lowengart dining room
A trio of polished nickel caged lantern pendants from Circa Lighting illuminate the bright and airy entry corridor, where newly added doors open to the infinity pool and covered dining area overlooking the canyon. 
Lighting also plays a key role. A glass bubble chandelier by Oly Studio introduces a sense of whimsy in the living room. A modern, angular, brass fixture commands attention over the walnut table in the adjacent dining area.  “We built the dining room around the chandelier,” she says, pointing out that it can be seen from the front door. “It’s imperative.”

The Kitchen

lowengart kitchen
Clear glass globe pendants from Circa Lighting seem to float over the island, where bar stools from Made Goods create additional seating.
The functional spaces are equally well-appointed. Classic white cabinetry, light countertops and a subway-tile backsplash define the spacious open kitchen, where the teenaged daughters often do their homework at the expansive island while dad prepares dinner.  “It’s been wonderful,” he says, noting that he honed his culinary skills during the pandemic.

The Mudroom

lowengart mudroom
A bench cushion from Harsey and Associates complements the dark cabinetry in the newly added mudroom. The polished nickel lantern pendant is from Circa Lighting.
In contrast, the new mudroom is outfitted with charcoal cabinetry that includes a built-in bench and open shelving. As a result of all the extra storage, there’s far less clutter afoot, adding to the home’s overall sense of serenity.  After Lowengart and her team installed the furnishings, it was time for a big, TV-style reveal, a party that included floral arrangements, food and music.  “I was amazed by the result,” the husband says, adding that he’s already hired Lowengart to revamp the home’s exterior and the upstairs bedrooms. “Annie always has our best interests at heart.” This article originally appeared on

More from Marin:

Tate Gunnerson
Tate Gunnerson is a Chicago-based freelance journalist with an equal appreciation for natural beauty and good design.