Designer Homes

Tour a Designer’s Totally Kid-Friendly, Wildly Chic Home

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In the Crocker Highlands neighborhood of Oakland, CA, interior designer Chloe Warner shares a 1920s French-cottage-style house with husband Andrew, five-year-old son Ferris, and three-year-old daughter Lily. Over the four years the young family has made this their home, Chloe has filled it with a rich mix of passed-down family heirlooms, a reverie of floral patterns, and an abundance of fab yet functional kid-friendly touches. The resulting look—which she terms “chic traditional”— is colorful, layered, youthful, and above all, happy. So you can imagine how happy we were to take a spin around her inspiring space.

In Chloe’s den, a Barbara Barry for Henredon sectional topped with custom pillows is backed by walls painted Philip’s Perfect Colors’ Dusk. Pink is one of the sweetly traditional shades that makes an appearance in many a Chloe project.

In Chloe’s den, a Barbara Barry for Henredon sectional topped with custom pillows is backed by walls painted Philip’s Perfect Colors’ Dusk. Pink is one of the sweetly traditional shades that makes an appearance in many a Chloe project.

The Heart of the Home

Of all the rooms in the house, Chloe and her family hang out most in the cozy, blush-hued den. “We call the area behind the sectional ‘the kids’ office,’” she says. Ferris and Lily spend a ton of time back there playing with Legos or doing puzzles, while more-involved (and potentially messy) projects such as craft kits from Kiwi Crates are saved for the kid-size art table in the kitchen. “They’re hardly ever in their rooms!” says Chloe, who laughingly calls her children “prolific and engaged little artists.” After the kids hit the sack, Chloe and her husband curl up on the couch and catch up on their favorite TV shows.

Demonstrating her penchant for a patternful mix, a sofa upholstered in Lee Jofa fabric (“big, old-lady florals are kind of my thing,” says Chloe) riffs off curtains made from Élitis’s India fabric.

Demonstrating her penchant for a patternful mix, a sofa upholstered in Lee Jofa fabric (“big, old-lady florals are kind of my thing,” says Chloe) riffs off curtains made from Élitis’s India fabric.

A Grown-Up Space

The den might be the heart of the house, but Chloe’s favorite room is the formal living room complete with double-height ceilings and a working fireplace they crank up when it gets chilly. When her friends come over, the gals all pile on the couch and have “good, fancy cocktails by the fire,” Chloe says. “It’s a grown-up room. There’s that fireplace, a bar, great art, and precious antique lights I’m always telling my kids not to throw a ball around. It feels so airy and generous, and, when you’re in here, it’s like this is how you should be a grown-up. And that feels so special since I don’t get to do it that often.”

Chloe has a thing for what she calls “paper-bag browns.” Painted Philip’s Perfect Colors’ Mink, her living room walls provide a warm but neutral backdrop to classic furniture pieces like this armchair in custom black linen from Barclay Butera Home.

Chloe has a thing for what she calls “paper-bag browns.” Painted Philip’s Perfect Colors’ Mink, her living room walls provide a warm but neutral backdrop to classic furniture pieces like this armchair in custom black linen from Barclay Butera Home.

Under a fiddle-leaf-fig canopy, Chloe leans back against a chinoiserie cabinet she inherited from her grandmother.

Under a fiddle-leaf-fig canopy, Chloe leans back against a chinoiserie cabinet she inherited from her grandmother.

Family-Style Decorating

Throughout her home, Chloe has worked in pieces passed down through her family for generations. An antique ram’s head, shot by her grandfather in the Yukon before World War II, presides over a corner of the living room. “I grew up in Montana, and my dad is a zoologist, so I’m very comfy with taxidermy,” says Chloe, who also credits spending summers in Maine with her grandparents for her “zesty, Republican decorating influence.” In the dining room sits another precious piece: a reflective silver screen from her grandma.

Design to me should be timeless, should be interesting, and should feel good for a long time. I keep pieces forever. I decorate intensely and completely—and then I’m done.

— Chloe Warner
In a dining room made formal by grasscloth walls, a vintage white sideboard, and a painting by Roger Mühl, Lucite chairs are a welcome breath of modern whimsy. “They were affordable and wipeable,” says Chloe. “Sometimes at the end of a project when you have small kids, bulletproof is all that matters.”

In a dining room made formal by grasscloth walls, a vintage white sideboard, and a painting by Roger Mühl, Lucite chairs are a welcome breath of modern whimsy. “They were affordable and wipeable,” says Chloe. “Sometimes at the end of a project when you have small kids, bulletproof is all that matters.”

Old-School Entertaining

“I’ve always loved a dinner party—drinks at seven, dinner at eight,” says Chloe. “No need to reinvent it.” When she and her husband have people over, they like to start with drinks and appetizers in the living room before heading to the dining room for a proper sit-down meal. While Chloe always keeps a well-stocked bar, she loves to have a least one special cocktail at the ready when guests are arriving. “I find it more welcoming to say ‘Here’s an Aviation’ rather than ‘There’s the bar,’” she says. So her husband, Andrew, will man the bar while she handles the food. Her go-to passed app is a caramelized onion tart from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, which she discovered at her cookbook club, where a new cookbook is selected each month, and all members make a dish and bring it potluck style to the get-together. “I’ve been doing it for six years,” she says. “It’s the gravity of my social life, the best thing I do.”

After struggling with the design of her bedroom, Chloe got the jolt of inspiration she needed to finish it after painting it—moldings and all—Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green. “Suddenly it was the most exciting room in the house,” she says.

After struggling with the design of her bedroom, Chloe got the jolt of inspiration she needed to finish it after painting it—moldings and all—Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green. “Suddenly it was the most exciting room in the house,” she says.

Using a lot of color and pattern makes design feel dimensional and fresh—it won’t feel dated and old, and you won’t tire of it quickly.

— Chloe Warner
Rather than fight the previous owner’s bed-in-a-corner orientation, complete with a hanging pendant light and wall mounts, Chloe embraced it with an architectural canopied bed, which “made it seem purposeful and not like a ship crashed in the corner.”

Rather than fight the previous owner’s bed-in-a-corner orientation, complete with a hanging pendant light and wall mounts, Chloe embraced it with an architectural canopied bed, which “made it seem purposeful and not like a ship crashed in the corner.”

Literary and Leisure Pursuits

By her bed, Chloe always keeps a huge stack of books and a precarious pile of magazines. She just finished California by Edan Lepucki and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton—both get two thumbs up—and flips through Porter, The World of Interiors, T, and Us (“I need to know the stars are just like us!”) whenever she gets the chance. During the week, Chloe is coaxed awake around 7 a.m. by a fresh mug of coffee—Four Barrel is her favorite—brewed and delivered to her in bed by her husband. If it’s a weekday, it’s all systems go getting the kids settled with their nanny and zipping off to work, but weekends unfold more leisurely. The young family might take a walk to the farmers’ market for fruit, flowers, and fresh green juice. Or they’ll head to the Claremont to splash around in the pool club, or further afield to Indian Springs in Calistoga.

Chloe opted for multiple patterns in this beyond-bright corner, from the Greek key print on the chaise to the Bob Collins and Peacock Alley fabrics on the window seat and pillows.

Chloe opted for multiple patterns in this beyond-bright corner, from the Greek key print on the chaise to the Bob Collins and Peacock Alley fabrics on the window seat and pillows.

The “Home Office”

Tucked into a corner of her bedroom, which gets some of the best light in the house, is the chaise Chloe calls “command central.” It’s where she nestles in to knock out work with her MacBook when need be, though she tries to keep work-at-home to a minimum. “Balancing work and family life can be really hard,” she says. “I love working—I have my dream job. But I also love coming home to my family. Above all else, I try to approach both with an optimistic attitude.”

On the wall outside Chloe’s top-floor guest room live a smattering of artworks, from mounted horns to her own paintings. “I gravitate toward watery colors in what I make and buy,” says Chloe.

On the wall outside Chloe’s top-floor guest room live a smattering of artworks, from mounted horns to her own paintings. “I gravitate toward watery colors in what I make and buy,” says Chloe.

Inspiration Points

“I love nature, but I’m not one of those people who translates what I see in nature into design,” says Chloe. Instead, she pulls design inspiration from visually arresting textiles, wall paper, architecture, and art including the abstract-expressionist paintings by Helen Frankenthaler and Landon Metz.

Step into the guest bedroom and the first thing that will catch your eye is the Clarence House fabric adorning the pillows, the bed skirt, and the curtains. “Symmetry feels very calm to me,” says Chloe. “It feels formal in a way that I enjoy.”

Step into the guest bedroom and the first thing that will catch your eye is the Clarence House fabric adorning the pillows, the bed skirt, and the curtains. “Symmetry feels very calm to me,” says Chloe. “It feels formal in a way that I enjoy.”

Florals make my home. They’re somehow able to be both fun and formal-leaning at the same time.

— Chloe Warner

Related: Inside a Designer’s Family-Friendly Lake House →

Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

3 Responses to “Tour a Designer’s Totally Kid-Friendly, Wildly Chic Home”

  1. boofinky says:

    a warm and fuzzy boobtubeless place

  2. Cheryl at ARTZZLE says:

    Beautiful home. It contains tons of tips for those Eclectic people out there. Very nice.

  3. Isee says:

    smashing detailed Furniture

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