WHEN TRICIA AND Scott McWhorter began house hunting two years ago, they had a tall order: five bedrooms and a large, usable yard. They’d been renting in Ross, their lease was about to expire, and they wanted a place big enough for their four kids, ages 14 to 20, two dogs, and all their sports paraphernalia, including basketballs, soccer cleats and running shoes.
“They’re the most active people I know,” says their realtor, Donna Goldman. “They’re all athletes and they’re always doing something.” Indeed, the four kids are basketball players (as was the 6-foot-6 Scott); some play soccer or run track; and Tricia hikes, bikes and runs marathons.
The McWhorters sought a house to fit their lifestyle. They hoped to stay in Ross or Kentfield and looked in those areas, but when Goldman, who was also the listing agent for this Sleepy Hollow home, encouraged them to visit, they found what they wanted.
They loved the home’s traditional East Coast feel, as well as its open kitchen/family room and pool. “But the biggest selling point for me,” says Tricia, “was the basketball court,” located at the back of the three-quarter-plus-acre lot. Another selling point: the property is just a few feet from steps that lead to hiking trails.
The house itself was also a lure. Built in 1992, it’s an elegant home filled with classic details such as crown molding, walnut floors and a wooden staircase leading from the entryway. It’s become the perfect backdrop for Tricia’s eclectic style, which mixes the traditional with the unexpected.
In the living room, for example, she’s combined a grand piano (covered in silver-framed family photos) with a leather-cushioned wingback chair custom-made at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, as well as a lamp made of tree branches. In the first-floor office nearby, computers coexist with antique Spanish leather chairs topped with cowhide pillows.
But the backyard is the real stunner. It feels wonderfully like Provence. There’s a sitting area, with Rodney Hunter outdoor furniture covered in Louis XVI–style fabric, and a long, dramatic travertine dining table that sits beneath a wisteria-covered trellis, overlooking the pool and pool house (equipped, aptly, with a home gym).
A large bay window over the kitchen sink looks out upon it all. It’s one of Tricia’s favorite spots. “I love watching the seasons from there,” she says. “I always know what month I’m in,” especially when “the back path is filled with leaves in yellow and gold.” It’s a rare moment of respite, one that anchors this active crew at home.
WHERE THEY PURCHASED The Sleepy Hollow neighborhood of San Anselmo
WHAT THEY BOUGHT A five-bedroom contemporary Cape Cod
LISTING AGENT Donna Goldman, Alain Pinel Realtors
SELLING AGENT Donna Goldman, Alain Pinel Realtors STATS Price per square foot for homes in the neighborhood: $555–$890
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