Windows on the World

MIX ONE TIRED mid-century home and one creative, beach-loving woman, and what do you get? An inspirational beach house that has everything except the beach.

When Kimberly Hagin went shopping for a house, the ocean was not the first thing on her mind. As the regional manager for the high end Fleetwood Windows — and a longtime renter — she wanted to buy a fixer in which she could showcase her company’s windows.

“The number one thing for me was the view,” she says. “I really wanted a fixer so I could manipulate the environment and install big glass doors.”

Hagin and her realtor, Patricia Navone, searched about five months before finding a home in the Corte Madera hills. The house was dark and had a strange layout, but Hagin immediately envisioned how it might look if she replaced the front wall with windows and doors, opening up the view. She also fell in love with its whitewashed vaulted ceilings, which “added character and warmth.”

As soon as Hagin moved in, her small remodel turned into a major project. She knocked out the front wall and decided to break down the wall between the living room and the porch to make the space larger and add windows as well. Each of these projects required having several very long steel supporting beams lifted by crane into the house. Hagin reconfigured the bedroom/bathroom layouts on both floors. And she switched the awkward lower-level entrance (which led straight to bedrooms) to a sleek, upper-level glass door. When you walk into the home now, you’re swallowed up by views.

Hagin did all this with a modern, beach inspired style that even the most seasoned interior designer would envy. The color scheme is gray, white and blue, reminiscent of the ocean. The shower in the master bath is lined with tiles of a “beach glass” hue. Even the artwork evokes water: above the Cost Plus dining room table hangs an old sail, creatively draped between antique fence boards. On a nearby wall, Hagin placed a black sea fan dramatically alone in a frame. “Kimberly is really creative,” says Navone, “and she’s also resourceful in finding materials.”

She’s dedicated, too. Two weeks after closing, she moved in and pitched a tent in the living room, camping indoors through a chilly winter as the home was renovated. It was worth it. “I used to live in Newport Beach and when I bought this place, I thought, ‘I could make this feel like I’m living at the beach again,’ ” she says. “Now, I’ve got a beach house. Just no water.”


WHERE SHE PURCHASED The Chapman Park neighborhood of Corte Madera

WHAT SHE BOUGHT A four-bedroom mid-century home

LISTING AGENT Chris DeNike, Zephyr Real Estate

SELLING AGENT Patricia Navone, Pacific Union and Christie’s International Real Estate

STATS Price per square foot for homes in the neighborhood: $835