When this 1960s Mill Valley bungalow became home to a young couple and their four small children, it was clear that its renovation would require a deft mingling of various influences and styles. The wife is a San Diego native, while the husband grew up on New York’s Shelter Island, and a large collection of antique furniture handed down from his East Coast family needed to find its footing in their new California home. The homeowners enlisted mixmaster Benjamin Dhong, principal of San Francisco–based Benjamin Dhong Interior Design, to create a family-friendly retreat that would combine the aesthetics of both coasts.
But when Dhong spotted the gray-shingled Craftsman, which evokes a Cape Cod cottage, and took note of the towering redwoods lining the property, he felt that on the outside, at least, the blending of the homeowners’ characters had already taken place. “It was the perfect marriage of California and the East Coast,” Dhong says. He set about transferring that sensibility to the interiors, working closely with architectural firm Heydt Designs to create a clean, classic aesthetic for the five-bedroom home. “I wanted it to be traditional, but I also wanted it to feel like today,” says Dhong, who harmonized vintage pieces with new elements to create the gracious design.