Worlds Best Homes

Design house: See how an interior designer turned this small space into a modern, light-filled home

Color and pattern are at the forefront of this exquisite home in San Francisco

small home with a modern update
(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Constructed in 1900, this Italianate residence underwent renovations in 2014. The clients chose Margaret Ash, principal designer at Margaret Ash Design to provide them with their dream home – full of color and life. 

For over 13 years Margaret Ash Design has been providing clients with distinctive, bespoke interiors and are known for a hands-on, personalized client approach.  

Originally from the South, her clients were drawn to Margaret’s southern aesthetic and expertise in layering color, patterns and texture and seamlessly infusing antiques with new and custom pieces. 

We talk to Margaret Ash about the design project – enjoy the tour!

Family room and kitchen

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

A combined family room and kitchen area accomplishes both the objectives of functionality and casual entertaining with deck access. An East-facing view provides ample natural light throughout the day so darker hued blues were used to help anchor the setting. 

The artistic centrepiece of this living space is an Original Framed Indigo Textile by St. Frank.

Dining room

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Shades of blue are used to accentuate various rooms throughout the home and the dining room is no exception. 

As natural lighting in this room is more subdued, a beaded chandelier from Made Goods along with four Circa Lighting wall sconces become the source of adjustable lighting.  

The lighting has been softened for an overall sense of coziness, enhanced by a hand-knotted oushak rug. The warmth of the dining room is also weighted by an antique Louis Philippe mirror, centred over a gold and black shagreen console. 

Parlor 

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

In this modern-day parlour room, Margaret Ash used harmonious tones of blue to evoke an ambiance of formality while still being inviting and comfortable. 

Flanking the fireplace are custom armchairs in performance blue velvet from Lee Industries. A Kayce Hughes Blue Splatter painting sits above to fireplace, continuing the theme of blue that runs through the property.

Powder room

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Master bedroom 

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Using her expertise in textiles and fabrics, Margaret Ash used texture, color and pattern to create a sense of warmth and serenity in the master bedroom of this Italianate home. 

A white rattan bench anchored at the foot of the bed and antique botanicals framed in a verdigris bamboo wood were used to pay homage to nature, bringing elements of the outdoors inside. 

Home office

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Child’s bedroom

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Shades of green create a sense of playfulness and simultaneously draws in the outdoor foliage. 

The emerald green-painted grass cloth nightstand is a primary fixture of the theme and intertwines its hue with the green-framed euros as well as the green detailing on the headboard and bedspread. 

More natural tones emerge with the antique pine desk that is paired with the white leather campaign desk chair. The six-piece hanging basket art – above the bed – continues the modern rustic theme in this space.

Media room 

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Situated on the top floor with access to a roof desk, the media room provides an alternative space for entertaining. 

Primary seating is a Lee Industries performance blue velvet loveseat, centred below a Kayce Hughes painting of aqua and blue-and-white parallelograms. Ikat stocks from Mecox Gardens provide additional seating while conserving space. 

A faux shagreen coffee table on a grey and white area rug helps to elevate the lightness of the East-facing media room. An antique French Louis XVI and an antique Italian side table bring contrast to the room without overpowering the space. 

Deck

small home with a modern update

(Image credit: Tim D Coy)

Interior design / Margaret Ash Design

Photography / Tim D Coy