Woodland Wonder

How do you turn a nondescript house into a stylish home for a young family? Designer Lori Brazier accomplished that goal.
woodland farmhouse dining
Dining room: “The art in the dining room is one of the last pieces that got decided on,” says designer Lori Brazier. “I knew I wanted to do something that was an unexpected contrast.”

When Ronnie and Jenn Mafrici moved to Woodland from the Bay Area, they wanted a modern farmhouse that reflected their style and their lifestyle, says the couple’s interior designer, Lori Brazier. “They were looking for something durable for them, functional for their two girls, and a place to entertain because they like to have a lot of friends and family over.”

The house they purchased—a 4,000-square-foot 1995 ranch house with builder-grade cabinets, outdated vinyl flooring and a suboptimal floor plan—was big on space but had little going for it in terms of style. “It is a gorgeous property,” Brazier explains, but the inside cried out for an overhaul.

woodland entry room
Entry: Brazier tied together the black and white elements in the entryway by hanging a mirror that spans both sections of the wall.

The top-to-bottom remodel started in the kitchen. “The layout was horrible, so we gutted the room and completely reconfigured everything,” says Brazier. An awkwardly situated island and eating nook gave way to expansive double islands, one for prepping, the other for dining. “This way, everyone can hang out in the kitchen and not be in the way of the chef.”

The great room, with its vaulted ceilings and shiplap walls, is spacious enough to seat a crowd comfortably but also allows for armchair seating in the corners for a more intimate experience. “Because the room is so long, we wanted to cover the whole space with areas to hang out,” says Brazier.

woodland kitchen
Kitchen: The kitchen’s finishes—black and white cabinets, quartz marble countertops, touches of brass on the plumbing and light fixtures—lend the space a classic feel.

In the dining room, Brazier introduced color and sophistication with a bold giclee print and green velvet chairs. “That deep green runs through the entire home and pairs so nicely with all the black and white that’s typical of a farmhouse,” says the designer. The wood cabinets here were a no-brainer: “I didn’t want any more white cabinets because there were already so many in the kitchen, and that light wood was exactly what I had in mind. It let us pull in a little more of an organic element here.”

woodland great room
Great room: The great room’s distinctive fireplace is covered in a custom paint finish and features a mantle crafted with wood sourced from a friend of the owners.

The entryway’s 6-foot-high board-and-batten wainscoting makes a dramatic statement. “This space sets the tone for the whole house, with the black and white paint, the warm woods, the brass chandelier,” explains Brazier. “I can’t imagine a better welcome than this.”

woodland great room
Great room: A transitional space between the kitchen and the great room features a waterfall bench in black soapstone, the same material used for the fireplace hearth and the bar and dining room countertops.