English Charm in California

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The new, April issue of ELLE DECOR features a very interesting house in Mill Valley, California. The home was renovated by one of my favorite architects, Gil Schafer while the interiors were designed by Rita Konig. Located in Mill Valley, California, just outside of San Francisco, the property was once a 19th century summer camp, but had fallen into disrepair in recent decades. The homeowners, Mark Harris, an attorney, and his wife, Stella and Dot Creative Director and co-founder, Blythe Harris were living in Manhattan when they stumbled upon the property while touring homes as they contemplated a move to the west coast. They took one look and practically ran, screaming for the hills. Then, nostalgia set in and reminded of the summers of their youth at rustic camps, they decided they had to have it.

A few phone calls and a cross-country move later, Gil Schafer and Rita Konig were on board to restore the camp to its splendor. The mindful renovation made the new additions to the house feel as if they’d been there all the while. The color palette, quirky, personal accents and art all have a very distinctly British charm, thanks to Rita, who along with her clients, infused a great deal of personality into the house. Blythe remarked that she was shocked that her attorney husband, Mark became as passionate about the design of the home as he had, even being on-site as the salvaged floorboards were installed to ensure that the grooves between them were irregular in order to appear as if they were original to the house. This house may be a little more rustic than my own style, but I absolutely love that it emanates personality, character, and charm. You can tell that everything in this home means something to the family, which is exactly as it should be. I always say that the most beautiful homes are the most personal. This house is just the thing to get me in the mood for our trip to London and Paris at the end of the week!

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{Photography by Eric Piasecki for ELLE DECOR}

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