Tour a Sunny Family Home in Palo Alto Designed by Niche Interiors

|October 5, 2017

When this Palo Alto couple approached San Francisco-based Niche Interiors to design their home, they were just beginning their family and looking for a space to grow, play and entertain. Beginning with a brand new property, the designers were able to take complete advantage of the blank slate to showcase their elegant style and the client’s sunny characters. 

The result is an airy home complete with custom furniture, seamlessly combined indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces and an eco-conscious design. See the full project on the Niche website here and get an inside look as we talk with Jennifer Jones, owner and founder of Niche Interiors, below.

Niche Interiors San Francisco Home Designer Palo Alto Home Decor

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors and Kuoh Photography

McGuire: Did you design this project from a blank slate or was it a remodel?

Jennifer Jones: We started this project with a brand new, empty home and two wonderful clients who wanted a contemporary and sustainable space for their growing family. So, pretty much our ideal project!

McGuire: What drove your inspiration for this project?

Jennifer: Our clients both lead busy work lives and wanted a neutral and calming space to unwind. Bold patterns and colors are definitely not their thing, so we were challenged to create interest with texture and unique furniture profiles.

Niche Interiors San Francisco Home Designer Palo Alto Home Decor

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors and Kuoh Photography

McGuire: The website mentions the family was concerned about harmful chemicals off-gassing into their new home. Can you explain what this comes from and how you avoided it?

Jennifer: Our clients were expecting their first child and were astutely aware of the impacts that new furnishings could have on a baby’s development. One of our top priorities as eco-conscious designers is to ensure safe indoor air quality in our clients’ homes. We achieve this by specifying products and finishes that emit as few VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air as possible. We used zero-VOC paint, opted for hardwood tables rather than MDF, and designed custom non-toxic upholstered pieces made locally without harmful flame retardant chemicals. Natural fabrics and rugs, such as organic cotton and wool, round out the space.

McGuire: The description also mentions the master bed was designed by Niche Interiors. How often do you design your own furniture pieces?

Jennifer: We love designing custom pieces for our projects! This gives us total control — from the design details and proportions to the FSC-certified wood frame and natural latex foam.

Niche Interiors San Francisco Home Designer Palo Alto Home Decor

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors and Kuoh Photography

McGuire: Can you point out the other pieces your team designed for this project?

Jennifer: The platform bed in the master is a Niche design, along with the two contemporary sofas in the family room.

Niche Interiors San Francisco Home Designer Palo Alto Home Decor

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors and Kuoh Photography

McGuire: The neutral color palette makes this home feel so bright, open and welcoming! What inspired your color choices — including the fun pop of color in the nursery?

Jennifer: The individual tastes of our clients are always the starting point for each design. These clients preferred a relatively neutral palette, no clutter and unfussy furniture. We opted for a cool palette of grays, blues and ivory punctuated with rich wood and copper accents. The nursery was one room where we played a bit with color — the graphic rug gives the room a splash of happy sunshine and the blue walls are subdued enough to easily transition through to the toddler years.

Niche Interiors San Francisco Home Designer Palo Alto Home Decor

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors and Kuoh Photography

McGuire: Based on the design, it seems like this family loves entertaining. How do you optimize a home for guests and get-togethers?

Jennifer: Yes, our clients are big fans of casual entertaining. We maximized seating in the family room and oriented the furniture towards the kitchen to encourage interaction between the two spaces. I think that starting with a strong furniture layout is the key to optimizing a home for entertaining. Be sure the sofas and armchairs are placed close enough to have an actual conversation without raising your voice!

McGuire: We’re a bit obsessed with outdoor entertaining and living spaces right now. This home has a gorgeous patio seamlessly blended with the interior. Would you discuss this space briefly and explain how you tie together an outdoor and indoor space?

Jennifer: Color is one of our favorite ways to connect indoor and outdoor spaces. Choose one or two of the dominant interior hues and turn up the saturation for outdoor furniture and accessories.

Niche Interiors San Francisco Home Designer Palo Alto Home Decor

Photo courtesy of Niche Interiors and Kuoh Photography

McGuire: Now, we get to talk about how awesome Niche Interiors is! What makes your team, your process and your designs stand out from the rest?

Jennifer: Well, I’ll start with the most obvious reason — our incredibly talented, diligent, and detail-oriented designers. We all come to work every day with the same intention: To provide the most seamless design experience for each of our clients. We’ve developed an engineering approach to a creative process – it’s organized and efficient and ensures that our clients always know what to expect. Detailed budgets, accurate timelines, and consistent communication allow our clients to relax and enjoy the process of designing their home! We bring our refined design eye to each project, but the style is always slightly different to reflect the personalities of the homeowner.  

McGuire: After 10 years designing in the region, what changes have you noticed in design, particularly with trends in the Bay Area?  

Jennifer: We’re finally emerging from the reclaimed wood bonanza and industrial trends and into more tailored spaces with eclectic design elements and global references. I love to see that color is back! As for the interior design industry, things have changed significantly in the ten years since I started Niche Interiors. While online shopping has exploded in popularity, so have people’s appetite and interest in handcrafted furnishings and local artisans. It’s all about the mix!

Want more Niche?

Earlier this year, Niche Interiors celebrated their ten-year anniversary designing in the Bay Area! You can learn more about the firm on their website where you can meet the team, learn about their precise approach to design, and tour several other beautiful projects!

You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as they design homes in every region of the Bay Area and share plenty of home inspo along the way.

Category Home Inspiration, Real Estate

Tags , , , , ,

McGuire Real Estate

McGuire Real Estate

More posts by

You May Also Like