Design house: A modern rustic home in California, designed by Arndt Design and Build

This home has a European meets Californian vibe

A masterclass in modern farmhouse design, Ashton Egbert and her husband purchased what they now lovingly call “Stanford House” in 2015.

We talk to lead designer Ashton Egbert about the design project.

My mother, Kathleen Nixon, and I had just started our own interior design firm, Arndt Design and Build, and we decided Stanford House would be our first project.

(Image credit: Hannah Wilson)


The townhome was incredibly boxy and needed updating, but it had a great floor plan, high-ceilings, and a small yet private backyard.

Inspired by a recent trip to France, we could see that with some fresh landscaping and a water feature the yard could be a relaxing European-style oasis.

The original galley kitchen wasn’t functional for my husband, the chef. However, it had a huge window and we were able to increase the size by opening it up to the living room. We installed a massive island and created a walk-in pantry for major storage. Instead of upper cabinetry, we opted for exposed shelving to carry on that rustic European feel we started in the backyard.

The two bedrooms were easier fixes and mainly needed fresh paint and draperies. The master bedroom fireplace was a bit underwhelming, so we added a statement tile to make it a focal point. All of the bathrooms needed remodeling. But with dramatic tile, statement lighting, fresh cabinetry and new fixtures we were able to provide each with its own unique transformation. We blended vintage European elements with contemporary ones so they’re now a bit rustic in nature.

Large glass block windows wouldn’t have been our first choice, but HOA guidelines said we had to leave them. Making them work with our rustic design choices was the biggest challenge. By accenting them with custom seagrass blinds we were able to tone down the grid pattern without blocking any natural light they let in. Ultimately it was a great decision because we love the indoor/outdoor feel it gives the main floor.


(Image credit: Hannah Wilson)







(Image credit: Hannah Wilson)


(Image credit: Hannah Wilson)


Photography/ Hannah Wilson

Owner & Lead Designer / Ashton Egbert

Interior designer/ Kathleen Nixon

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.