Who says a family home can’t be elegant? Even though they have two active young boys, Michelle and Michael Casagrande didn’t want to settle when remodeling their East Sacramento home. That’s where designer Curtis Popp came in. Known for injecting his clients’ houses with his trademark “minimal traditionalism,” Popp teamed up with the Casagrandes to create a home with oodles of style.
The two-year project included the addition of a den on the ground floor and a master bedroom suite upstairs. In the process, every surface of the original 1929 house was touched. One of the best decisions the couple made was to add wainscoting throughout the house to create a bit of architectural interest. “The house didn’t have a lot of detail,” explains Michelle. The wainscoting, painted the same shade of white as the walls, creates a serene, neutral canvas for the couple’s art and furnishings.
For the living room, Michelle’s instructions to Popp were clear: “I wanted it to look like a modern French apartment,” she recalls. While the Casagrandes have a distinct monochromatic style, Popp persuaded them to go with a color palette of subtle pinks, blues, yellows and grays, with pops of black from an oversized modern light fixture and accessories.
In the kitchen, a large island serves as a gathering spot for friends and family. There, Michelle can prepare dinner while the kids do homework or guests keep her company. “It’s a great spot to hang out, talk and have drinks,” says Mike. The family eats dinner every night at a large round table nearby. “This is a pretty kid-friendly house,” says Michelle. Honed Carrera marble counters and backsplashes are easy to clean. The fridge, pantry and microwave are stashed behind cabinet doors for a design that’s easy on the eyes. To keep the look as minimal as possible, the couple even swapped out the signature red knobs on the Wolf range for silver ones.
Popp designed a sleek butler’s pantry as a transitional space between the kitchen and the new den. It’s one of his favorite design tricks, using a small space to break up two larger ones. In the den, the boys can watch sports on TV while their parents entertain in the living room. A diminutive “Mad Men”- style bar is tucked into a corner, with drinks for both adults and the kids.
Upstairs, Popp reconfigured the floor plan to create a new bedroom suite for the couple, located down a short hallway from the boys’ bedrooms. “It’s been the biggest change for our lives to have a little breathing room from the kids,” Michelle says. Marble slab walls in the shower and marble herringbone tile on the floor give the room a luxurious vibe. Because space in the bathroom was at a premium, Popp put the vanity in the bedroom. “It’s superfunctional,” says Michelle. “And it reminds me of my grandma, who had a little dresser in the bedroom where she put on her makeup.”
The remodeled house serves everyone well: kids and adults, friends and extended family. “Everyone likes to come here,” says Mike.