This Mill Valley project by award-winning architect Gil Schafer III in collaboration with British interior designer Rita Konig has been the topic of numerous blog posts, several of them right here at Café Design. I do realize that I’ve crossed the fine line between admiration and obsession a long time ago, but recently Gil Schafer has updated his portfolio and never before seen images of this home, as well as others from his book A Place To Call Home, are now available in high resolution digital format and I just couldn’t resist. For those of you that had fallen for this project just as hard as I did, here’s an updated tour with photography by Eric Piasecki. And because each time I post images of this home on Instagram (quite often) I get asked about paint colors, art work and furniture sources, I’ve also included the original captions from an Elle Décor article written by Celia Barbour?from a few years back.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I am a huge fan of British designer Rita K?nig as I so often post images of her work. ?I find everything she does, from her interiors, design columns and curated online shop to be effortless, chic and very beautiful. She perfectly captures the essence of English country living – all that is comfortable, pretty, if quirky at times.
Rita currently resides in London with her husband and daughter but a few years back she had a Manhattan apartment that has inspired me ever since I first saw it. Her bedroom in particular captured my attention and I’ve saved a picture for future reference. As I am in the process of designing my daughter’s new bedroom, the image of this utterly feminine and romantic room came to mind. I’d love so much to design our own bedroom in similar lines, but I know my husband (an ex-military) would never in a million years go for flowers and fluffy curtains (his words, not mine). But my little girl would! Anyway, a few new angles of Rita’s former bedroom popped up in my Pinterest feed the other day so I dug a little deeper and gathered every image I could find. Voilà!?
If you’ve been following this blog for some time, then you know how much I admire the work of British designer Rita Konig. Her project in Mill Valley, California, for Stella & Dot founder Blythe Harris is by far one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen. And I know I’m not the only one saying this! Since its publication in Elle Decor two springs ago, this house has appealed to thousands, generating blog ink around the world.?
While doing some research for Wednesday’s post, I came across some progress pictures that got me thinking. They are shared by Clayton Woodworks Carpentry of San Francisco and give us a glimpse into the great amount of work that goes into a project like this before we can admire the glossy shots published in our favorite magazines.
It’s easy to imagine that the business of interior design is a glamorous one, one that consists of endless shopping trips with clients, selecting colors and playing around with pretty fabrics. But the reality is very?different. While it’s true that the design process itself is fun and exciting, it is also true that it only represents a small fraction of the job. The rest is a delicate balancing act between many different trades and vendors, project managing and coordinating craftsmen and artisans, dealing with unexpected setbacks and deadlines, constant trouble shooting. And then there’s that budget.
And while architects and designers can create beautiful drawings and mood boards and interior plans for their clients, it takes a lot of hard work and skill to implement those creative ideas.?So this post is dedicated to all of those talented people behind the scenes, from vendors, contractors, paperhangers, seamstresses, and other artisans, and of course project managers, whose names often get forgotten (if ever mentioned) because they are the people that make any beautifully imagined home come to life!
Beautiful homes are published every month yet some of them remain in our minds forever. Not just because of their beauty but because they make us feel a certain way. This home is like that. Everywhere you look, there’s an inviting nook and happy colors that make you feel comfortably at home, there are pretty views and a strong connection to the outdoors. Nothing feels too precious, despite the home’s impressive value.
My fascination with the Mill Valley home of Blythe Harris is nothing new. Between the 2016 Elle Decor spread that started it all and Gil Schafer’s latest book A Place to Call Home, which gives us a detailed tour, I’ve analyzed this home and dissected its charming rooms on many occasions, a handful of them here on the blog.
And as we’re kicking off a new year of design stories, I thought the best way to begin is to write about something I absolutely love (and judging by your reactions on social media, I know that many of you love it too!). I gathered everything I could possibly find about the house and its surrounding gardens, and compiled the pictures into one gigantic post.