Elegant yet cozy Mill Valley cottage home

This stunning classic cottage home in Mill Valley, California was an addition and architectural renovation by studio Heydt Designs in collaboration with interior designer Benjamin Dhong. The original home, an outdated modern lodge-style home, had not been updated since the 1980’s and only had two bedrooms and two baths. With an addition of only 700 square feet, this home was updated to five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, with a total living space of 2,700 square feet. The family of six desired an elegant yet comfortable Craftsman style home with Spanish colonial influences outside and contemporary elements inside. The property did not have much space in the backyard, so the front yard is used as a backyard with an addition to the front porch and a patio off the kitchen.

The entry foyer, the entire family room, part of the living room and the breakfast nook are all part of the new addition on the first floor. The relaxed, light floors throughout the home are an engineered, prefinished product, with the top layer being a real distressed oak. New and old decor is mixed throughout the home to give it a relaxed ambiance. Circular windows were used in place of the old triangular windows to complete the new aesthetic, since they look best in a triangular space. The bedrooms have private balconies to enjoy views of the yard. Although the rooms are very compact, the house feels more spacious than it is due to the high, vaulted ceilings, windows and glass doors. The master bedroom, master bath, kids’ bath and guest bath were all part of the new addition upstairs.

This is the front of the home before the remodel, notice how the architectural elements seem outdated.

The foyer has a spot for sitting down, removing one’s shoes and stashing them under the window seat.

An antiqued mirrored cabinet above the mantel conceals a television.

The blue and white patterned accent wall in the dining room adds a nice focal point to the space.

Bright yellow industrial counter stools add a bold punch of color to the otherwise white kitchen, while the oversize pendant adds a focal point to the space and can be found at Restoration Hardware.

The white subway tile backsplash and glass-fronted cabinets reflect the light, brightening the windowless wall of the kitchen.

The kitchen opens out to the front patio where the family can enjoy outdoor dining.

The cozy family room opens out to the front porch, connecting the home to the landscape.

The powder room features faux-bois wall covering and a view outdoors in place of a mirror.

The girl’s bedroom is a mix of contemporary and Victorian pieces.

This small guest bathroom has been designed to make efficient use of space by resting the vanity on a base, light fixtures are from here.

The master bathroom features a Moravian star pendant light, from here.

Photos: David Duncan Livingston