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Before and After: Casual California Home

An extreme purge gives a 1960s ranch a fresh start

Written by Lisa Cregan
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  • John Granen

    There’s no rule that says spring cleaning has to last only one spring. Cheryl and Danny Hansford spent a full 18 months spiffing up the 1960s architecture of their longtime home overlooking a golf course in Pleasanton, California—and swept away a lifetime of tchotchkes, oversized furniture, and outdated accessories in the process. That kind of dramatic change would terrify many people, but the Hansfords fearlessly embraced their big purge and in return got the home of their dreams.

    Rethinking your life with such confidence takes encouragement. Luckily, Cheryl and husband Danny, a steel company executive and avid golfer, got that in spades when they hired interior designer Kelie Grosso. For two years, the couple had been staring at blueprints for a makeover of the one-story ranch they’d purchased in 1999. But until their daughter Anne Marie introduced them to Grosso, owner of Seattle’s Maison Luxe, they hadn’t been able to pull the trigger.

    “We knew we needed more room for our two married daughters and four grandchildren,” says Cheryl, a confessed serial entertainer, “and I really wanted a bigger party space!” But Grosso says Cheryl still “needed a little push.”

    Here, the 1969 ranch is clad in shingles, which gives the house a stylized Craftsman look.

    Photography: John Granen
    Produced by Linda Humphrey with Eleanor Roper

    Interior Design: Kelie Grosso, Maison Luxe, 2806 E. Madison St., Seattle, WA 98112; 206/405-2828, maisonluxe.net
    Landscape Design: Martha Criswell, Martha Criswell Home & Garden Design, Sacramento, CA; 916/719-1906.

    Exterior furnishings: Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net

  • Great Room Before

    First, the Hansfords tore off an old porch that Cheryl recalls as “dark, dark, dark,” which also blocked light into the house. In its place they added 500 sun-drenched square feet of space encompassing a new breakfast room and a much-expanded great room, with unobstructed views of Danny’s beloved golf course.

    Before: Oriental carpets in dark colors like rusty red, navy blue, and hunter green. “They evoke the 1980s for me,” says designer Kelie Grosso.

  • John Granen

    Great Room After

    The next major task was cleaning up the seemingly random French country feel of the place. For instance, the old family room had a cavernous cathedral ceiling, 16 feet at its peak, but the adjacent open kitchen’s ceiling was only 8 feet high. Splitting the difference, they took the expansive new great room’s ceiling down and brought the kitchen’s up to meet it. 

    “It’s amazing. Even though it’s a much larger space, it feels cozier than before,” says Cheryl. Indeed, on a cool Northern California evening, the great room, with its fireplace radiating warmth throughout, is clearly the new soul of the home.

    Shown here, Madeline Weinrib’s “Gemma” rug and Barclay Butera’s zebra-print “Newport” lounge chair with ottoman add a big impact to this neutral palette. Artwork from Natural Curiosities and an Hermès throw maintain the color scheme. 

    After: Big exotic-patterned rugs “are new classics,” says Grosso “But only in simple neutrals. Purple or bright red gets dated fast.” Natural wools, sisals, and seagrass rugs are also high on Grosso’s list these days. “But I might take a sisal and bind it with a Kelly green leather edge to elevate it a bit.” As for tried-and-true Orientals? Grosso still loves them, but not in deep colors. “Orientals with softer palettes feel right today.”  

    Area rug (“Gemma”): Madeline Weinrib, madelineweinrib.com.
    Zebra chair and ottoman (“Newport Chair and Ottoman”); fabric (faux zebra hide leather): Barclay Butera Home, barclaybuterahome.com.
    Mantel (custom); bookcases (custom): designed by Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Bookcase hardware (#38907-12PN): Chown Hardware, chown.com.
    Cocktail table (bone over hardwood frame): vintage.
    Boxes on coffee table: Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Sectional sofa (custom): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Sofa fabric (“Versatility Jute”/Beige #28261.16): Kravet, kravet.com.
    Black pillow on sofa (“Austyn Cashmere Wool”/Charcoal #LFY40399F): Ralph Lauren Home, ralph​laurenhome.com.
    Blanket (“Avalon”): Hermès, usa.hermes.com.
    Celestial map (“Dorali Celestial Map”); photo of horse (Blonde): Natural Curiosities, naturalcuriosities.com.
    Console (antique, French); horse on console: owner’s collection.
    Sofa end tables (“French Moderne Side Table”/Nickel & Mirror #8.80508): Global Views, globalviews.com.
    Table lamp (discontinued): Circa Lighting, circalighting.com.
    Wall paint (“Pale Oak” #OC-20); ceiling and trim paint (“Simply White” #OC-117): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com.  

  • John Granen

    Dining Room

    The whole place went through that kind of recalibration and repurposing. “What’s now the office used to be the dining room,” says Cheryl, adding that the dining room now occupies the window side of the great room, just steps from French doors to the terrace.

    “Before, we’d have to cram the whole family in the old dining room, and it didn’t even have a window,” says Cheryl. “It was just a closed-in hovel! Kelie made it into an office and suggested adding a window with a view of the valley. It’s perfect.”

    Perfect now, but when Grosso first saw the drawings for the house’s radical new plan, she knew the Hansfords’ furnishings were a match for the “before” house, not the “after.” “I said to myself, Oh, no; so many of her things have got to go. But luckily, Cheryl was ready to do it!” The pair walked around the house with a roll of blue tape, tagging anything tired or dated, and shipped it all off to auction or donated it to a charity. “The house’s contents are probably 80 percent new,” admits Grosso, “and it was a tough transition for the Hansfords because they had all these collections. So I said, ‘We’ll put some of it in storage and get back to it later,’ but Cheryl said, ‘No, let’s be honest; we’re never going back.’  ” 

    Cheryl can laugh about it now. “I realized that even though I loved my things, I was living in a ‘grandma’ house. I even got rid of the plaster hood over the stove that I thought was so chic back in the day—suddenly it seemed huge and ugly! Now I’m all about things that are clean and simple.”

    Here, the ebony finish of a steel glassware cabinet was meticulously matched to Kevin Reilly’s “Altar” hanging light for continuity. To keep the mood relaxed, Hickory Chair dining chairs, upholstered in a neutral Moore & Giles leather, rest on a woven seagrass rug. 

    Wall paint (“Pale Oak” #OC-20); ceiling and trim paint (“Simply White” #OC-117): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com.
    Table: (custom): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Chairs (“Linwood Side Chair” #1551-02, by Suzanne Kasler): Hickory Chair, hickorychair.com.
    Chair fabric (“Moccasin Point Leather”/Cream Platinum, Metallic Collection): Moore & Giles, mooreandgiles.com.
    Rug (“Woven Sea Grass”/Linen): owner’s collection. Leather rug binding: Moore & Giles, mooreandgiles.com.
    Bar stone: Calcutta Gold marble.
    Light fixture (“Altar Hanging Light” #ALT0-HL, by Kevin Reilly): Holly Hunt, hollyhunt.com.
    Bar cabinet (custom): John Hewitt, Cabinet Crafters, cabinetcraftersshow​case.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (#38907-12PN): Chown Hardware, chown.com.
    Window shades (“Nimbus” #254, Conrad Original Sunshades): Conrad Shades, conradshades.com.  

  • John Granen

    Entry

    And what could be simpler than a life lived in just three colors?  One way Grosso freshened the style here was by limiting the palette to camel, black, and white, using those colors over and over again throughout the house. “It creates a clear-your-mind kind of house, a fresh, crisp way to live,” she explains.

    While there may be very little color, there is a host of textures to tease the eye—a cowhide rug in the entry, burlap grass-cloth walls in the office, a gloriously worn farm table in the breakfast area, and nubby linen slipcovers in the living room. Pattern also adds interest—like the exotic ikat that upholsters the master bed and the eye-catching zebra-print chair in the great room. The collective impact of the home’s three signature colors is serene and supremely livable. “Kelie made this house so much more comfortable,” says Cheryl. “I can see now how much easier it is to live in a house with less visual noise and more open space.

    “I keep saying, ‘Why didn’t we do this before?’ The house just flows into the outdoors.” And what is Danny’s view of the renovation? “He finally gets to look at the golf course—and Danny always wants to look at the golf course!”

    In the entry, a ceiling lantern from Visual Comfort and table lamp from Circa Lighting illuminate framed family photos.

    Setteecowhide rugfamily photoscabinetpottery on cabinet: owner’s collection.
    Settee fabric (“Lamba” #F6090-17): Osborne & Little, osborneandlittle.com.
    Throw on settee (“Avalon Blanket”): Hermès, usa.hermes.com.
    Pedestal table (antique); mirror behind cabinet (antique): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Table lamp (“Carthage Mini Lamp” #RL3805): Circa Lighting, circalighting.com.
    Hanging light (“Chart House Medium EFC Hall Lantern” #CHC3430, by Visual Comfort): Visual Comfort Lighting Lights, visualcomfortlightinglights.com

  • Living Room Before

    Before: The impressive fireplace was a great focal point, but the old living room was cluttered with tchotchkes.

  • John Granen

    Living Room After

    After: The existing concrete fireplace was sheathed in Venetian plaster. A sofa by Maison Luxe and two tufted chairs from Milling Road provide abundant comfort.

    Wallcovering (#W3036.116): Kravet, kravet.com.
    Ceiling and trim paint (“Simply White” #OC-117): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com.
    Sofa (custom); coffee table (custom); art (antique botanical prints); area rug (antique, silk): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Sofa fabric (“Stonewash”/Loomstate #1211/01, by Great Plains): Holly Hunt, hollyhunt.com.
    Faux zebra pillows: Oly, olystudio.com.
    Table to right of sofa (“Twig Table”/Nickel #8977): Global Views, global​views.com.
    Lounge chairs (“Tufted English Chair” #577-39-9, Milling Road Collection): Baker, baker​furniture.com.
    Chair fabric (“Divine”/Pewter #ED85063.935, by Threads): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Pillows in lounge chair (Tibetan lamb): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Throw: Williams-Sonoma Home, williams-sonoma.com.
    Mantel: existing. 

    Circle sculpture (“Large Circle Sculpture,” discontinued): Arteriors Home, arteriorshome.com.
    Brushes on mantel: Wisteria, wisteria.com.
    Blinds (“Nimbus” #254, Conrad Original Sunshades): Conrad Shades, conradshades.com.
    Alabaster lamp (vintage); end table under lampbasket beside mantel: owner’s collection. 
     
  • Breakfast Room Before

    Before: The kitchen had a large window overlooking the porch, but space was limited. 

  • John Granen

    Breakfast Room After

    After: By expanding onto the old porch, the pre-​renovation exterior window became a pass-through from the kitchen to the new breakfast room; it’s flanked by built-ins that keep everyday dishes and linens at hand. 

  • John Granen

    Breakfast Room After

    After: Covered in a casual print from Raoul Textiles, an accommodating window seat in the new addition overlooks the garden and golf course. Conrad shades filter the sunlight; Windsor chairs from O & G Studio flank a handsome farm table.

    Wallceiling and trim paint (“Simply White” #OC-117): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com.
    Cabinetry (custom): John Hewitt, Cabinet Crafters, cabinetcraftersshowcase.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (#38907-12PN): Chown Hardware, chown.com.
    Farm table (vintage): Big Daddy’s Antiques, bdantiques.com.
    Windsor chairs (“Fox Point Windsor Arm Chairs”): O & G Studio, oandgstudio.com.
    Pendant light (“Gwenwood” #DC2100-HL): Urban Electric Co., urbanelectricco.com.
    Shades (“Nimbus” #254, Conrad Original Sunshades): Conrad Shades, conradshades.com.
    Vasebowl on table: Astier De Villatte, astierdevillatte.com.
    Banquette fabric and pillows (“Suriname”/Camel #823B32): Raoul Textiles, raoultextiles.com.  

  • Kitchen Before

    Before: The kitchen felt outdated and featured a plaster hood that Cheryl thought was too bulky. 

  • John Granen

    Kitchen After

    After: The kitchen was given a fresh, streamlined look. Original cabinets were given new doors, while a Viking stove and hood replaced outdated appliances. Calcutta Tia marble sheathes the backsplash and counters. 

    Wall paint (“Pale Oak” #OC-20); ceiling and trim paint (“Simply White” #OC-117); cabinet finishupper cabinets (“White Dove” #OC-17); cabinet finishlower cabinets (“Revere Pewter” #HC-172): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com.
    Cabinetry (custom): John Hewitt, Cabinet Crafters, cabinetcraftersshowcase.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (#38907-12PN): Chown Hardware, chown.com.
    Dining bench at island (custom design by Maison Luxe): Cisco Brothers, ciscobrothers.com.
    Bench fabric (“Ice House Stripe”): Ralph Lauren Home, ralphlaurenhome.com.
    Pendant lights (“Montauk XL Pendant” #RL16002PN, by Ralph Lauren Home); wall sconce by farm sink (“Alton Pivoting Sconce” #TOB2081, by Thomas O’Brien): Circa Lighting, circalighting.com.
    Striped rug (“Cabana Stripe”/Midnight): Madeline Weinrib, madelineweinrib.com.
    Range: Viking, vikingrange.com.
    Range hood (custom): designed by Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Marble countertop and backsplash: Calcutta Tia marble.
    Farm sink (“Single Bowl Farmhouse Sink”): Franke, franke.com.
    Faucet for farm sink (“Bridge Faucet” #U.4791L, by Perrin & Rowe): Rohl, rohlhome.com.
    Island countertop: soapstone.
    Island sink (“Cisterna” CCK-110-19): Franke, franke.com.
    Island faucets (“Single Lever Mixer” #U.4700, by Perrin & Rowe): Rohl, rohlhome.com.

  • John Granen

    Kitchen Detail 

    After: An antique display cabinet from France holds treasured serving pieces; beautiful blue-and-white urns are displayed on top. 

    Wall ovenwall microwave: existing.
    Display cabinet (vintage); blue-and-white urns on cabinet (antique): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net

  • John Granen

    Master Bedroom

    Grosso's simple color scheme continues in the master bedroom where texture and pattern add interest. The shade of gray in the Kravet fabric enveloping the bed harmonizes with terrace walls outside. A Baker chaise covered in silk mohair provides a spot to relax. An antique Oushak carpet is delightful underfoot. 

    Wall paint (Edgecomb Gray” #HC-173): ceiling and trim paint (“Pale Oak” #OC-20): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com
    Headboard (custom); area rug (antique silk): MaisonLuxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Bed fabric (“Bansuri Slate”): Kravet, kravet.com.
    Coverlet (“Channel Coverlet” by Kelly Wearstler, discontinued): owner’s collection.
    Euroshamback (“Laundered Winter” #29906.1, by Calvin Klein); euroshamfront (“Bordered Gilt,” by Barclay Butera); drapery (“Mitsumata Chalk” #9561.1, by Calvin Klein): Kravet, kravet.com.
    Duvet (“Belgian Linen”/Ivory): RH, rh.com.
    Nightstand (“Meade,” discontinued): Williams-Sonoma Home, williams-sonoma.com.
    Lamp: owner’s collection.
    Lampshade: Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Chaise (“Dapha Juliette Chaise,” discontinued): Baker, baker​furniture.com.
    Chaise fabric (“Glant Silk Mohair”/Mocha #9725-2): Glant, glant.com.
    Pillow on chaise; Throw on chaise: owner’s colleciton.
    Blinds (“Starfish” #M13C): Conrad, conradshades.com.
    Ceiling fan (“Highpointe”/Brushed Steel #CF205BS): Emerson Ceiling Fans, emersonfans.com.  

  • John Granen

    Master Bath

    Inspired by the designer’s love for French style, a vintage 19th-century Louis Philippe gilt mirror hangs from antiqued mirror panels accented with rosettes. Illumination is provided by rock crystal sconces from Kallista and a sparkling ceiling light from Matthew Studios. 

    Wallcovering (#W3036.106): Kravet, kravet.com.
    Vanity (custom): John Hewitt, Cabinet Crafters, cabinetcraftersshowcase.com.
    Vanity paint (“Edgecomb Gray” #HC-173): Benjamin Moore & Co., benjaminmoore.com.
    Countertop: Calcutta Tia marble.
    Flooring: Calcutta Tia herringbone marble.
    Chair (custom): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Chair fabric (“Divine”/Cream #ED85063.120, by Threads): Lee Jofa, leejofa.com.
    Large mirror: antiqued mirror panels and rosettes.
    Gilt mirror (antique): Maison Luxe, maisonluxe.net.
    Vanity sconces (“Rock Crystal Wall Sconce” #P33221, Counterpoint by Barbara Barry): Kallista, kallista.com.
    Ceiling light (“Angela” #ANL119-PC): Matthew Studios, matthewstudiosny.com

  • John Granen

    Garden

    Out back, custom iron fences suggest a feeling of walls for the outdoor room. 

  • John Granen

    Garden Detail

    Lemons and limes grow in abundance and make a lovely centerpiece. 

  • John Granen

    Patio

    Landscape designer Martha Criswell created the expansive two-tier terrace. Blue batik pillows from Ralph Lauren accent seating pieces, including a white Janus et Cie “Azimuth” settee and white barrel tables from Wisteria.

     

     

  • John Granen

    Patio

    An outdoor dining area is furnished with an “Azimuth” table and “Vitali” chairs by Janus et Cie. Horse heads mounted on the exterior of the home are from Big Daddy antiques. 

    Sofas (“Azimuth Cross Settee”); chaise (“Azimuth Cross Chaise”); sofa cushions (“Spinnaker”/Pebble, colorway discontinued); table (“Azimuth Dining Table”/White); chairs (“Vitali Dining Chair”/Earth Brown); seat cushions on dining chairs (“Spinnaker”/Tonal Beige #06-00): Janus et Cie, janusetcie.com.
    Garden stools (diamond patterned stools): Wisteria, wisteria.com.
    Navy pillows (“Robbins Hill Paisley-Batik” #LCF64815F): Ralph Lauren Home, ralphlaurenhome.com.
    Patio heaters (Ferrara Heaters): existing.
    Horse heads: Big Daddy Antiques, bdantiques.com.
    Urns (“English Village Urn”); topiary: Elegant Earth, elegantearth.com.
    Patio stone: bluestone.
    Sectional sofa (Pacific Collection); sofa fabric (“Spinnaker Pebble”): Janus et Cie, janus​etcie.com.

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