Out in the Open

Natural materials, color and character create comfort and flow throughout an extra-large living space.

There are countless advantages to open-concept living. But when there aren’t any walls to define your primary living spaces, one small design change can quickly be a catalyst for a full overhaul. That’s exactly what happened when a Carmichael couple brought in designer Victoria Tanforan of Pacific Design Group to design a custom dining table and buffet piece for their great—and we mean great—room. Cut to two years later, and she would be completing a full redesign of all the various “zones”—a total refurnishing of the living room, dining room and den, cosmetic upgrades to the kitchen and powder room, and lighting and paint refreshes throughout.

Tanforan sourced a number of antiques to complement the couple’s art collection and create a balanced mix of old and new design. Their collection of antique books is displayed throughout the space.

Located by Ancil Hoffman Park, the ranch-style home features a strategic mix of natural materials that feels indigenous to the neighborhood but also fresh and modern. “I love to work with materials that are inspired by nature,” says Tanforan. “In a space where each room spills into the next, it’s a fun challenge to use so many materials while also keeping the space feeling balanced. We went through countless samples of wood, metal, fabric, rattan, paint, rugs, greenery and more. We would plot these materials all over the great room and study the way they show up at different times of day.”


In the end, a “modern California ranch” aesthetic made this great room more than just great—it brought dimension and style that pretty much anyone would be open to.

living room
“I started on this home at a time when it seemed like everyone was keeping to neutral grays and whites,” says Tanforan. “The owners wanted their space to feel personal, warm, not like it’s trying to be a model home.”