“The design is a series of compromises,” says Corine Maggio, whose clever layout makeover made the home she shares with husband Beacher Schneider and their young son Shiloh their dream home.
Their 1930s home in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to some of the finest homes in the world, was bought in 2018, just weeks before Shiloh was born. Corine, founder of CM Natural Designs (opens in new tab), she said, she and Beach initially thought it would be a starter home, “but we fell in love with the location, the light, the views and the yard, so we started to rule out what needed to be done to make it our long-term home,” ‘ ‘ Colin said. “After a few rounds of space planning, it became clear we could make it work, especially by adding a separate home office.”
The main purpose of the renovation was to create a house that could grow and develop with the family over the decades. “This was achieved by opening up the kitchen, dining room and living room, which used to be separate. It was also achieved by creating a more functional kitchen space and maximizing storage space in all rooms.
When it came to decor, Corine was overwhelmed by the options. “I saw so many images and styles that I liked in this industry, so narrowing down what I needed for my own home was a slightly painful part of the project. I did style research on all of my clients, and I hope in the beginning I’ve done it myself once before because I thought it would save me a lot of headaches and changes that I ended up making. I’m a very decisive person, so when it comes to my own home, I feel indecisive about myself surprise.
Despite Corine’s hesitation, the resulting interior is a masterpiece of classic retro casual style. “After our makeover, we don’t go a day without talking about how much we love our home. We are so lucky.
The clever idea of this house begins before you step through the door.
“Our front door was very small and inside there was only room for a display case and nothing else, so we added a nice antique rattan chair outside as the space was covered. It’s perfect for guests to sit on and put on and take off their shoes , but it’s also great for holding groceries when your hands are full and you’re arguing with a toddler while trying to open the front door,” says Corine.
“We also hung an original piece of art. I love art and own a lot of it, but don’t always have wall space. This piece reminds me of a trip my husband and I took to Lake Maggiore, Italy, from context Judging by it, it’s perfect because it shows a couple walking and it’s a transitional space.
Antiques and antiques are one of the living room ideas used to set the tone for the scheme.
‘The exhibits are large antique cabinets. When we had a showroom, it used to be where we replaced the items we sold, and when we moved, it came with us and fits perfectly within inches,” Corine said.
“My favorite color combo is probably navy and brown, you can see them on chairs, pillows and rugs, but I wanted to liven it up, so I painted the coffee table I found on Facebook Marketplace a light green , and re-upholstered a vintage-inspired banquette (also available on the Facebook marketplace) with red ticking stripes that almost reads a soft pink that goes perfectly with the rug. Both elements bring the room to life freshness.
Corinne and Beacher make compromises in the living room. They removed the wood-burning fireplace and put in a reading nook. “It gives us more storage space, which is key, because we don’t have a playroom, so it can hold a ton of toys. It also adds seating in our main social space,” says Corinne.
Kitchens involve some tricky space planning.
One of Corinne’s kitchen ideas was to use some very narrow spaces (7 inches deep) for cabinets. ‘It ended up doubling our pantry. It’s perfect for cans, jars and boxed foods,” she said. They also needed a place to store the steam oven. “The steam oven can’t be used in the cupboard because it steams and destroys the cupboard, so we were next to the sink. A pull-out electrical garage has been built on the restaurant tower. It pulls out of the counter when you use it and hides when you’re done.
Corinne originally chose a putty color for the cabinets, but “they just didn’t sing, so I switched to Westcott Navy by Benjamin Moore, and that really worked,” she says.
She fell in love with Calacatta Caldia marble for the countertops. “Heavy, high-contrast textures are all the rage right now, but I wanted something that felt more classic, and I wasn’t worried about it showing all the wear and tear.”
On the furnace walls, glass wall cabinets are used to store and display china, while open shelves are used to hold the household’s most commonly used tableware. “I wanted a natural wood element to contrast the form, color and texture of the rest of the kitchen, so a shelf was a great way to do it. Functionally, it worked really well as we were preparing dinner or grabbing a bowl of cereal You don’t even need to open the cabinets.
Tray rails for hanging pots and pans. “It’s a way for us to free up cabinet space for other things, and I love the look. It’s down to earth and gives the kitchen a farmhouse feel,” says Corinne.
Since the kitchen is galley style, Corinne felt there wasn’t enough room for an island, but since it’s a spacious kitchen, knew it could hold a few small things. “A standard island looks weird at that size, but the meatloaf is the perfect size to not feel out of place because it’s more of a piece of furniture,” she said. ‘Plus, I love the rustic feel it brings. It originally came from a butcher shop in the 1940s. You can’t fake that kind of clothes.
Because the dining room, kitchen and family room are all open plan, one of the more subtle ways Corinne differentiates the space is to use panelling in the kitchen and wallpaper in the family room.
“The restaurant is the center of our home in every way,” says Colleen. ‘The dining table is a complete legend. I bought a beautiful antique from France but ended up feeling it was too grey for the space and bought a much cheaper one from a local thrift store. The table is really beat, but I’m not worried. It just adds more characters.
The art of the restaurant has gone through many iterations. “This room didn’t feel like it worked with the rest of the house until we opted for this Italian vintage herb.”
One of Corinne’s best restaurant ideas is the swing. “I love swings,” she said. “When we have guests, this is the first place they go. Shiloh uses it every day. Surprisingly, it doesn’t get in the way at all. I’m going to add a hook to the wall so it can be pulled aside , but we ended up needing it no more.
“We built a 10-foot-by-12-foot structure in the backyard for my office, which was key to our longevity in the house,” says Colleen. “As a designer, I have tons of samples and random stuff to store and organize. Having a space away from the house to do this is critical.
The structure is set in a garden, so one of Corinne’s home office ideas was a nod to the greenhouse, which is why she chose Sloane British wallpaper. Tables and chairs are retro, and black bookcases provide maximum storage.
Corinna knew exactly what she wanted her master bedroom to look like. “I feel strongly that a bedroom, especially for adults, should be a place to rest. If it can be avoided, it should not be a multipurpose room. It should also be a room free of clutter and distractions.
Her bedroom ideas for creating a cozy sanctuary included painting the walls dark. “I love dark walls, and in our bedroom, the dark paneling is like a cocoon. It feels so peaceful and down-to-earth,” she says. It was a bit too much to take it all the way to the ceiling, so we put it partially on the wall and painted the rest of the walls and ceiling with PPG hot stone, one of my all-time favorite colors. By putting on The walls and ceiling are painted the same color, it will confuse the eye into thinking that the ceiling is higher than it is now.
Corinne decided to free up space from the master bathroom to create a dedicated laundry room. “The bathroom was bigger than we needed because we had a tub in another bathroom and we could pull the tub out here and take a shower in this bathroom. It ended up being a huge life upgrade for us ,”she says.
Corinne is able to implement a range of bathroom ideas. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity in small spaces, partly because you can do things that would be overwhelming in a large space,” she said. ‘Floral Peter Fasano wallpaper is a perfect example. Small spaces like this are often forgotten and I don’t intend for that to happen. The shower is small, but that’s a sacrifice we were willing to make to steal some area for the laundry. Wood isn’t always the obvious choice for bathrooms, but wood bead panels and trim bring a stately element to the space and take the whole space to the next level.
“I love Shiloh’s room. It’s a space that’s modern enough but still has a nostalgic feel to it. The space is soothing and just as good for his toddler now as it was when he was a teenager,” Colleen Say.
She thought about it carefully, incorporating many clever ideas. Vintage beds and dressers bring a more comfortable, weather-resistant feel to the space, while S Harris’ wallpaper has a felt texture that softens and insulates the room. A blue plaid quilt contrasts the greens and browns throughout the room, adding a classic pattern.
A lovely touch is to hang a vintage photo of Shiloh’s grandparents above the dresser. “I love that it makes him feel like we’ve all been young once, and he’s not alone, but connected to the lineage of those who made him who he is.”
Interior Design / CM Natural Designs (opens in new tab)
Photo / Beth Friday