Dwelling: Vintage Modern with a Twist


“The wheels started turning as soon as I saw it,†says Sacramento interior designer Kerrie Kelly about the East Sacramento bungalow she bought and remodeled late last year. The day she got the keys, she handed out project plans and drawings to her “design posse†of electricians, painters, plumbers, carpenters, tile and trim contractors, and “lighting guru†Zack Rosson of Lumens Light + Living in midtown. “I’ve lived in at least five houses in Sacramento,†Kelly says. “But I feel like this one is home, and I’ll probably live here forever.â€

The house:
East Sac Craftsman-style bungalow, built in 1945

Designer background:
Kelly runs her own design company, midtown’s Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, which specializes in residential and commercial interiors. She created her own furnishings line and also is director of interior design at The Art Institute of California, Sacramento. She authored Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide (2009) and blogs at kerrielkelly.blogspot.com.

Design philosophy:
“Everyone deserves great design. . . . We tell our clients where they need to splurge and where they can pull back and use the Ikea rug every now and then.â€

Interior style of this home:
“Vintage modern. I never thought my look would be eclectic, but that’s been the fun part.â€

Big changes here:
Bookcases now flank fireplace and create storage and display spaces in dining and living rooms. Added crown moldings, remodeled three bathrooms, updated existing black brick inset on fireplace with Basketweave Honed Contempo White tiles from Daltile’s Stone a’ la Mod collection.

Had a field day with Zack Rosson selecting new fixtures. “He’s my go-to guy for every client. . . . I think of lighting as jewelry for the home.â€

Family history. “The style is vintage modern because I have modern elements, like the white leather chairs in the dining room, but then there’s all this family history.†Bookcases house her grandfather’s trumpet (she’s also got his pocket watch collection), family photos, her grandmother’s typewriter, books and other mementos.

Design influences:
Ralph Lauren, exotic animal prints and New York City. “I love the Manhattan vibe.â€

Color story:
Dramatic displays of black and white, soothing earth tones, eye-catching touches of garnet, midnight blue

Benjamin Moore’s Almost Black (dining room); Ralph Lauren’s Cottonwood (living room and master bath)

Dining room:
Table from Restoration Hardware. “It’s round, but with the leaf it becomes an oval. I wanted to fit as many people as possible.†White leather chairs from West Elm.

Magpie touches:
Mercury glass, brass, crystal, clocks, candles 

Unexpected element:
Photographer’s tripod floor lamp in living room

Original oak. “Didn’t touch them.â€

Out-of-sight media:
TV tucked away in “lift†cabinet behind living room sofa

Bold move:
Fabric-covered shades on cluster pendant fixture in master bath

Creature comfort:
Voluminous comforter with high snuggle factor for the master bedroom from the Legacy Collection, Kerrie Kelly Design Studio Line

Sofa pillows: Ralph Lauren fabrics with custom fabrication. Some have chocolate suede fabric from a skirt that was too big for her.

What’s underfoot: Dining room rug from Ikea (“a favorite design insider secretâ€); master bedroom rug from West Elm

Takeaway: “As a designer, you need to go through this process every once in a while to understand what you put your clients through all the time!â€


Points of light—When lighting specialist Zack Rosson of Lumens Light + Living in midtown first showed the dining room chandelier to Kelly, her reaction was simple and immediate. “That’s it,†he remembers her saying. “It’s a Craftsman house, so we were making it more contemporary in a sense,†he explains. “It has some of those old iron ventilation grates, and that’s what I was trying to highlight.†Kelly was hooked on the glamour factor. “When I say that lighting is the jewelry of the home, I’m talking about fixtures like this one,†she says. Tip: Rosson often suggests complementary fixtures when rooms are open to each other, such as Kelly’s dining and living rooms. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s the same manufacturer or something that has the same look and feel with a little bit of a twist,†he says.

Bring on the bling—The glass-block window in the master bath protects privacy and provides diffused natural light, but the star here is the cluster pendant over the tub. “I wanted a girlie fixture,†Kelly says. Rosson says he almost always specs can lights over sinks to light up the bowls, but another goal here was to “bring some bling†into the bath, along with a central focus. He succeeded. “It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room. It makes a nice picture.†Tip: Rosson’s lighting rule: “Put dimmers on everything.â€