When one homeowner set out to build her forever home in Sonoma, California, she tapped Lori Anderson Wier of Anderson Wier Studio to bring the fantasy to fruition. The aim was clear: Craft a modern farmhouse grounded by cozy interiors filled with character and elements that highlight the surrounding landscape.
For the four-bedroom home–built during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic—the client served as her own general contractor while her father, a builder, designed it based on the goals she had outlined. “My client built her previous residence and wanted to carry through many of the elements that had worked well into the design of the new property,” Anderson Wier explains. “I was brought on to build upon these ideas and create a more mature and nuanced vision of her family home.”
So Anderson Wier got to work designing many of the common spaces. A focus on interior architecture was a must to bring a sense of intimacy to the large home. “We used tongue-and-groove paneled walls, intricate molding profiles, and beamed and paneled ceilings to create spaces that feel good on their own, even without the added layers of furnishings,” says the designer. A subtle, earthy color palette—achieved through furnishings and fixtures–warms the house throughout.
Unexpected aspects became cost-saving maneuvers. The addition of a window between the kitchen and pantry made a wall of custom brass-and-marble shelving unnecessary. Leftover stone slabs from the kitchen were used to create an apron-front marble sink in the nearby laundry room.
The resulting home is like a breath of fresh air. “It has a modern sensibility, but it isn’t stark,” Anderson Wier says. “The rooms are large, but they still feel cozy.”
In this open-concept space, Anderson Wier created distinct zones by playing with topography and scale. A low-slung sofa is paired with a large vintage trunk and oversize table lamp. It’s all anchored by a fireplace with a soapstone surround and plaster-clad chimney, which matches the plaster-clad vent hood across the room in the kitchen.
Sofas: Jayson Home. Armchairs: Carl Hansen. Sconces: Mullan Lighting. Rug: vintage from Passerine.
Anderson Wier selected a mix of cabinetry styles and finishes. A window provides a view from the kitchen into the pantry and of the mountains beyond.
Pendant (over island): Urban Electric Co. Dining chairs and bench: O&G Studio. Stools: Sun at Six. Fixtures: Waterworks. Rug: vintage from House of Séance.
A combination of open shelving, tall cabinets, and drawers offers ample storage space.
Tile: reclaimed cement tile from Exquisite Surfaces. Wall tile: Fireclay.
Surrounded by windows, this gathering space is all about simplicity. “The color palette we used in more saturated tones elsewhere takes on a slightly sun-bleached character here,” Anderson Wier says.
Chandelier: Apparatus. Dining table: Verellen. Dining chairs: FDB Møbler. Drapery fabric: Rogers & Goffigon.
“The room is bathed in the same foggy blue color from the floor to ceiling,” Anderson Wier says. “A variety of textures, from the Swedish style flat weave rug to the linen upholstery, and the tactile, dimensional quality of the millwork feel approachable and easygoing.”
Rug: Tibetano. Coffee table: Seer Studio. Sofa: Clad Home. Lounge chair: BluDot, in Fermoie fabric.
“Laundry rooms that feel cheerful and bright have a way of elevating the most mundane household chores,” Anderson Wier says. “In this case, the laundry room isn’t tucked away and hidden from view. It opens into the main stair hall, so we approached the design with the same amount of care and consideration we took with what would typically be considered more important spaces.”
A set of rolling laundry carts hidden by the custom cabinetry catches items from a second-floor laundry chute. Perforated metal doors provide ventilation, while a delicate sconce from Mullan Lighting and a sink with a Waterstone faucet aid with tasks.
“This pint-size place tells the story of the house in one gulp,” says Anderson Wier.
Wallpaper: Marthe Armitage. Sink and brackets: Stone Forest. Tile: Waterworks. Art: Amy Berlin.
The original layout of the primary bathroom and dressing room made little sense. “Access to the dressing room was limited to a single door that was neither centered nor tucked into a corner,” Anderson Wier says. “To me, that meant that the transition between the two spaces needed to become an integral part of the design.”
She persuaded the client to create a wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry complete with a library ladder and a hidden door in the bathroom. The homeowner requested to continue the hardwood flooring in the space. “It’s not the typical solution for a bathroom floor, but in this instance, it feels exactly right,” says Anderson Wier.
Fixtures: Waterworks. Sconces: Cedar & Moss. Rug: vintage from House of Séance.