Nest: Modern, Not Stark

Designer Katrina Stumbos used bold, graphic lines to enliven a modern new build.
katrina stumbos remodel living room
The shag rug, large sectional and velvet chair provide touches of softness that contrast with the porcelain tile floors. Photo by Marcus Meisler.

When designer Katrina Stumbos was brought in to do the interiors for a new four-bedroom residence in Carmichael, the directive from the homeowners was clear: Achieve a look that is unapologetically sleek and chic. “They wanted something very contemporary, with smooth finishes and white tile flooring everywhere,” she says.

The challenge, however, was creating a sophisticated, minimalist look that didn’t come off feeling barren and uninviting. “I didn’t want it to feel cold, but it was a balancing act. When you have white floors, that can be tricky,” explains Stumbos.

charmichael entry by katrina stumbos
The house gets bold, graphic lines from the the zigzag edge on a table and a minimalist art print on the wall. Photo by Marcus Meisler.

She set about making several subtle but smart design decisions that introduce warmth and texture to the space while still satisfying the homeowners’ wants. The porcelain tile, for example, has a matte finish to minimize any harsh glare and also to offer more traction for people entering the house with wet feet after swimming. The fireplace that anchors the living space has a velvety faux-plaster finish instead of stark white. Furnishings and the lone area rug were chosen “for their texture and color and softness,” says Stumbos.

In the kitchen, Stumbos balanced white painted cabinetry with an island and a focal wall in walnut. “Natural materials give more contrast and warmth,” she notes, “so I wanted to bring in wood where I could.” Quartz countertops with prominent veining along with jewel like statement pendants make it a showstopper of a kitchen.

blue chair sitting area by Katrina Stumbos
Blue armchairs soften the space and introduce a splash of color. Photo by Marcus Meisler.

Gold-finish light fixtures make big statements throughout the home, especially in the dining room, which required a voluminous chandelier to fill the void created by the towering ceilings, explains Stumbos.

The result, says the designer, is a bright, uncluttered space that still packs a lot of personality: “We were able to keep everything very contemporary while infusing the place with lots of character.

modern kitchen renovation
Gold-tone fixtures, walnut cabinets, upholstered chairs and boldly veined quartz infuse the sleek space with warmth and character. Photo by Marcus Meisler.

INTERIOR DESIGN: Katrina Stumbos
ARCHITECTURE: Sage Architecture
CONTRACTOR: Alli Construction

dining area
A glass tabletop floats over a sculptural black wood frame. “That piece gives the room a lot of texture and pattern,” says designer Katrina Stumbos. Photo by Marcus Meisler.