A Stunning Saffron Backsplash Is Just the Beginning in This Menlo Park Home

Updated 11/14/19

R. Brad Knipstein

When a Northern California-based couple set out in search of a new home for their family of four, they stumbled upon a dated, ranch-style house in the charming peninsula town of Menlo Park just north of Palo Alto in Silicon Valley. Though the couple immediately fell in love with the neighborhood, the house, which was originally built in 1950, needed a major overhaul.

To bring their vision of an inviting, farmhouse-style home to life, the couple called on the expertise of Lynn K. Leonidas of Landed Interiors & Home. Given the new homeowners' penchant for entertaining, "the design really is all about the kitchen, aka the heart of the home," the interior designer tells MyDomaine. "We used as many Shaker-inspired elements as possible and to keep the space neat and uncomplicated as a backdrop for lively family gatherings."

Scroll on to take a full tour of the colorful family home—because the stunning saffron backsplash is just the beginning.

menlo park house exterior
R. Brad Knipstein 

Leonidas worked with contractor Cristopher Pizzot of C. Pizzo Construction and the architects at The Kastrop Group to rebuild the 2400-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom family home using the original 1950 foundation footprint.

"The clients had a vision in mind for a modern farmhouse, and the original homes in the neighborhood are the single-story, ranch-style houses so we considered how to design a two-story home with architectural language that was not too out of place," divulges the designer.

Factory Light 4 Rod Pendant
Schoolhouse Factory Light 4 Rod Pendant $299
small-space entryway
 R. Brad Knipstein

"Since the inspiration is farmhouse style, we paid attention to simplifying the structure," Leonidas continues. "The millwork trim and cabinetry define the language, so they needed to be simple and stripped down." In the entryway, sleek cabinets and understated shiplap wall paneling reflect the designer's pared-back approach.

"We also worked with an open floor plan, so the colors, cabinetry, and hardware needed to be cohesive across the space," says the designer. "We were inspired by traditional Shaker farmhouses and used the brighter paint colors from the Shaker palette." Here, an abstract painting by Sophie Lourdes Knight infuses bold hues into the space.

VL45 Radiohus Pendant
VL45 Radiohus Pendant Vilhelm Lauritzen for Louis Poulsen Lighting $418
art-filled stairway
 R. Brad Knipstein

Farmhouse-inspired elements are seamlessly carried over from the entry into the stairwell. "The clients wanted a spectacular statement, and it was really fun to incorporate another farm design element into the space: a railing comprised of hog wire traditionally used as outdoor fencing material," says Leonidas.

Although the house itself is brand new, sentimental family heirlooms fill the space with character and charm. "The clients had many landscapes painted by their great-grandfather that we arranged in a gallery wall at the stairway and a grandfather clock we positioned at the bottom of the stairs," says the designer.

Nomad Bench in Natural Walnut
Jacob May Design Nomad Bench in Natural Walnut $1250
tiled guest bathroom
 R. Brad Knipstein

The home's color scheme was inspired by both nature and the Shaker color palette, boasting shades such as honey yellow, forest green, and sky blue. "The clients wanted to feel very sunny and joyful in their home, so we made sure to incorporate a lot of colors from the Shaker palette," explains Leonidas.

honey yellow wall sconce
Rejuvenation Carson 12" Wall Sconce in Honey Yellow $219
kitchen with yellow tile backsplash
 R. Brad Knipstein

In the kitchen, a saffron-hued zellige tile backsplash shines. The deep green kitchen island grounds the sunny shade and the cabinetry and millwork trim are comparatively pared-back, painted in an opaque shade of off-white.

Zellige Tile in Indian Saffron
Clé Tile Zellige Tile in Indian Saffron $20
kitchen with shaker cabinets
 R. Brad Knipstein

Surprisingly, Leonidas favorite feature in the space isn't the spotlight-stealing backsplash. "Our cabinetmaker worked very hard with us to calculate and ensure that the seams in the Shaker paneling were laid out equally," explains the designer. "It’s such a subtle touch that you wouldn’t notice immediately unless you are a designer or architect."

Saturn Cabinet Knob
Rejuvenation Saturn Cabinet Knob $10
farmhouse-inspired dining room
 R. Brad Knipstein

Seeing as the homeowners are avid entertainers, Leonidas commissioned a custom solid oak farmhouse dining table, complete with extension leaves, so the couple can easily host large dinner parties in their new home.

Bertoia Side Chair in Chrome
Harry Bertoia for Knoll Bertoia Side Chair in Chrome $664
living room with stone fireplace
 R. Brad Knipstein

"Since the clients were starting from scratch, it was important that we started building their furniture collection," explains the designer. "It’s so important to buy high-quality foundation pieces that are long-lasting and then build upon them as time goes on." Invest in key furniture pieces first before moving on to accessories, advises Leonidas.

Speaking of accessories, "we love the leather pendants by Lostine in the living room," gushes the designer. "The client loved the idea of pendants hanging at different lengths, and these fixtures are the result of a collaboration between the manufacturer and the lighting designer. They worked out beautifully!"

Sarah Pendant Cone
Lostine Sarah Pendant Cone $488
upright piano in living room
 R. Brad Knipstein

The living room also boasts the family's beautiful upright piano. "We filled the rest of the space with neutral, solidly built furnishings to keep the design simple and understated against the vibrant artwork and accessories to come in the future," the designer explains of the room's design.

Oxxo Sconce
Cisco Home Oxxo Sconce $709
green tiled bathroom
 R. Brad Knipstein

In the kids' bathroom, verdant green tile from Pratt & Larson is stacked vertically, visually increasing the height of the space. A custom-made walnut vanity brings warmth to the cool, earthy color palette.

U/2 Sconce
Schoolhouse U/2 Sconce $79
blue tile bathroom
 R. Brad Knipstein

The master bathroom also boasts vertically stacked tile in a nature-inspired shade: heron blue. Travertine tile floors, brushed nickel fixtures, and a clear seeded glass pendant complete the look.

Field Tile in Heron Blue
Heath Ceramics Field Tile in Heron Blue $Price Upon Request

The result is a colorful family home in Northern California filled with farmhouse charm, family heirlooms, and Shaker-style—aka the perfect house for this young family to grow into.

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