I have a special guest today! Kim Wheeler from Northern California Style! Kim has a kind heart and positive energy that is addictive. AND she is very talented with fashion. This recent post on shopping your closet is so helpful. I also love the New Traditional California Style of her home here in northern California and her cabin in Lake Tahoe.
Kim From Northern California Style
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Mary Ann. It was a fun idea to have me on your blog at the same time you are my featured guest on, ‘Californians at Home.’ I am honored to be on your wonderful blog!
Where were you born, Kim? Have you always lived in Northern California? How many children do you have and how long have you been married?
I was born in the Bay Area and actually only live about five miles from where I was born! My dad, his mother’s family have been Californians since the 30’s. I have two boys, Jackson who is 23 and is off on his first apartment and real post-college job, and Griffin who is 20 and studying at the University of Utah.
What elements define your interior design style?
I think my style is very California with a bit of modern and traditional. I love natural light, plants and white walls, touches of wood, and elements of nature, but I also have a fondness for prints and wallpaper and vintage pieces and touches of fun!
What factored into the renovation of your current home in Los Gatos, California.
Is there anything left that you want to do?
Well, we had lived here almost 12 years before we renovated and by that time knew we wanted to make it more open, light-filled and create an indoor-outdoor feeling. We had to keep the same footprint though, so we removed a large interior wall and relocated the main living space to the center and back of the house. We added bifold doors and more windows to take in the pool and yard.
We used a fourth bedroom to create a better main bath and a new custom closet. I also added six skylights, three French doors, and a front patio to give us more living space on a tight lot.
I still have to finish choosing some wallpapers, and window coverings, and I’m currently working on office spaces for my husband and myself.
Is there anything you would do differently?
Honestly, I think my one regret is not building a formal pantry, but I’m not sure how we were going to make it work.
What do you love most?
The bar is probably my favorite space. I like the vintage-looking mirrored tiles and how I can display my glassware on the open shelves and the hammered sink, dark gold faucet, and contemporary pulls. It’s a mix of modern and elegant, at least that is what I was trying for.
What paint colors did you use in the interiors for your new traditional California Style?
I used Oxford White, a great neutral white, in most spaces, trim in Distant Grey, baths in Decorator’s White, and front bedrooms in Cloud Cover, all by Benjamin Moore.
Tell us about the tiled backsplashes in the kitchen and dining room.
The kitchen backsplash is a mosaic by Marble Systems called Ponte Basket that has a hint of a wood look to it and something about it seemed very organic and a good foil to the matte subway tiles. The bar has a 70’s era look mirrored tile with gold veining, a nod to my parent’s dining room, and is Yesterday’s Glass by Jeffrey Court.
What is your most recent purchase for your home?
A glass desk and a shearling chair for my own office/ workspace! I’m excited to have my very own area after using the kitchen counter for 12 years!
What is your favorite piece (or pieces) in your home that has meaning to you?
I have a bench from Mexico that was my mom’s that is on the new covered porch that we found just as the house was done and it miraculously fit in that space perfectly. I think she would love knowing it is there.
Shop Northern California Style:
Can you recommend a few home shops in the Los Gatos area that you love?
I’m kind of obsessed with a new home store, Home by Ling Interiors, which is beautifully curated by a talented designer with a great eye. I also find things at Harvest, which is a Bay Area chain and has some great chairs, pillows, and cool pieces.
You recently purchased a home in Lake Tahoe, California, Can you tell us a little bit about it?
We bought it just as the pandemic started and we were lucky to have it during this past year. It’s what they call a kit cabin and is a log cabin that was built from a kit back in the 1950s! It’s only 600 or so square feet, but it’s perfect for us and nestled next to the Tahoe National Forest on the west shore.
I spent many childhood summers at Lake Tahoe, so I am hoping my family will get to do the same. Right now I am in the process of updating it little by little, hopefully without changing the old-school charm of it too much.
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