Warmth Amid the Berkeley Fog

An interior palette of foggy grays and rich blues overlooks the beautiful bay view outside this Berkeley, California, home. “I needed to create a warm, organic, yet modern feeling in the home,” says interior designer Cheryl Burke. “The trees outside, which are seen in almost every room, behave as another feel.”

The home, designed by noted San Francisco Bay Area architect Frederick Confer, was built in 1939. While the customers wanted to retain the original layout as much as you can, they also desired updates for the 21st century. Burke’s careful edits and additions created a home for now that remains true to its roots.

in a Glance
Location: Berkeley, California
Size: 3,300 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths

Photography by Christopher Stark

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

Burke played with a palette of soft mushrooms and grays for the primary rooms and hallways, including heat and showcasing the owners’ art set.

The stunning Ango chandelier, made from silkworm cocoons, is just one of Burke’s treasured pieces in the home. “It seemed to fill the space beautifully and be another almost piece of artwork in addition to a light fixture,” she says.

Chairs: Vintage Thayer Coggin, upholstered in fabric from Urban Burp; chandelier: Ango, Studio Workshops; artwork: Rebecca Whipple

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

The house’s impeccable condition required a simple interior. Burke focused on under-designing the interior. “I think it is far more elegant to be subtle with color, texture and pattern,” she says.

Table: B&B Athos Table; wall color: Benjamin Moore, #1535 Seattle Mist

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

Occasional bursts of color — like with this brilliant blue wall at the entryway — include present components without introducing a lot of new pieces, keeping the design clean and modern.

Wall color: Benjamin Moore, #2057-20 Galapagos Turquoise; rug: Ikat wool carpet, Stark Carpet

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

The pub and kitchen nook got a coating of custom light mushroom — only a shade darker than white. The pub features simple white formica countertops, with lively undercabinet rope light for glam style.

Undercabinet light: Rope Lighting, Policelli Lighting

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

Sunlight filters in through the south side of their home — each room was oriented toward this pure light. Burke took out the first floor-to-ceiling drapes and set in sunshades. Heavy window coverings are not necessary for solitude in the main chambers because the home sits high on the hillside.

Couch: Charles Sofa, B&B Italia

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

No significant recessed lighting was set up — just chandeliers and sconces. “We wanted to keep it somewhat from the age of which it came out,” says Burke.

The mirror and candle sconces from the living area were lucky finds in the regional Alameda flea market. Burke stripped off a few layers of paint in the mirror and then restained it into a custom color.

Armchairs: Classic, Urban Home Berkeley; pillows: Custom, Osborne & Little; coffee table: Antiques du Monde/1st Dibs

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

“The cloths we selected don’t shout ‘look at me.’ Rather, they have subtle nuances and give off richness in their feel and feel,” says Burke. Colours of blue upholstery at the living area play off the wall color in the entrance and the view outside.

Artwork: Deborah Paswaters, Caio Fonseca, Anne Wolf; tripod floor lamp: Vintage, Omega

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

The serene master bedroom is just one of Burke’s treasured spaces in the home. Low-VOC paints and all-natural fabrics result in a healthful and allergy-free space. The gray linen custom sunglasses are black-out drapes to encourage a fantastic night’s sleep. “We’re attempting to create a warm, calm, relaxing sleeping cave and space,” says Burke. “It is so restful in there!”

Rug: Stark Carpet; bedding: Bella Note; unwanted table: Ironies

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

The wall color in the master bedroom is a shade lighter than the hot grays from the primary living spaces. “It affects very dramatically all day long,” says Burke. “It goes out of a gray to a green.”

Table lamp: Luna, Currey & Co; wall color: Hazy Skies, Benjamin Moore Aura

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

The stunning oak trees that inspired the color palette are observable in the bedroom window. The high position of the home on the hillside gives it a private, treehouse-like feel.

Cheryl Burke Interior Design

A powder room off the entrance gains character from an original sink and classic Italian mirror. A timeless sconce in Circa Lighting provides a finishing touch.

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