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Sometimes the key to great design is letting someone else take the lead.
If you've ever had to make more than two big design decisions in a row, you know what doubt feels like. “Did I pick the right color? Is it too shiny? Too dull? Is that chair too much? That lamp too weird?” Second-guessing is no fun. Especially when there’s a budget involved (there’s always a budget), and you need everything from drapes to a dining room table. That’s the situation Marco and Beth Lara faced when they moved into a brand-new 3,500-square-foot El Dorado Hills home in 2013. “Our home in the Bay Area was much smaller,” Beth says. They had a ton of choices to make. And they wanted to hit the bull’s-eye the first time around. “We both have our specialties in our work, and neither of us likes shopping or doing any type of design work,” Beth says. She’s a part-time scientific consultant. He’s a CPA. They work at home (within arm’s reach of each other in their shared office) and have a daughter, Sofia, 5, and son, Nicolas, 1. So they made a smart move. They hired interior designer Todd Peddicord. They told him they didn’t want a “fancy” home, but one where all the colors and fabrics and furnishings created a comfortable, harmonious feeling. “Nothing was selected to impress anyone but them,” Peddicord says. “Everything had to work for them and their children . . . and with children, function is always a huge aspect of the home. Always.”
DESIGNER 411: Todd Peddicord, Peddicord Designs, Folsom. “We wanted a designer who could do as much as possible all at once,” Beth says. Todd filled the bill. “We completely trusted him.” Not everything got a green light. Beth and Marco both had veto power, and Peddicord worked diligently to get them the things they loved and still stay within the budget.
THE SCENARIO: “We really liked this neighborhood because we would be able to walk the kids to school, and there was new construction . . . so chances were that there were going to be a lot of young people, like us,” Marco says. Beth’s parents live in the area, and they both liked Lennar, the homebuilder. “All those things pulled us here,” Marco says.
GETTING STARTED: “We had our first meeting at the model home,” Peddicord says. “That way, we could walk the floorplan, and I could see the kitchen countertop and flooring they had chosen, so I knew what we were working with. I could measure the drapes, and I knew how big the windows were, what the size of the area rugs would be. I used the model as a template.”
LAUNCH POINTS: “Sometimes, especially if it’s a first home, people aren’t yet sure of their style. . . . It’s hard for them to put it into words,” Todd says. “That’s my job. To interpret.”
CREATING BALANCE: When Todd asked Beth and Marco what items they would be bringing to the new home, artwork was the answer. He used the prints and paintings they had collected to create smart pairings of masculine and feminine shapes balanced by formal and informal surfaces. So angular furnishings accent the curvy lines of the art over the living and dining room fireplaces, for example. Leather, wood and woven materials add sensual, natural elements in both rooms; glass (the mirrored buffet in the dining room) and metal accents add formality.
AN OFFICE THAT WORKS: Darria and Lyndell Deatherage of Closet Gallery in El Dorado Hills built the cabinet/dual desk unit. Todd took it from there, displaying Marco’s stringed instruments on the wall and printing out Beth and Marco’s iPhone photos of Sofia and Nicolas on sheet metal. “I will often take personal photos, have them printed in black and white and blow them up to add drama,” Todd says. Cost effective and brilliant.
HOME GALLERY: Todd’s approach to the Laras’ artwork was simple: Play it up. He reframed some pieces and created a gallery of family photos outside the office. “Todd took what we had and made those things better,” Marco says. “He made our things fit into the whole plan.” So smart.