Marin Home / BACKSTORY
wouldn’t have to share a bathroom, an issue
that had sparked sibling squabbling.
So at long last, the Weisses made an offer,
purchasing a four-bedroom, five-bath home
in the Horse Hill neighborhood of Mill Valley.
Because construction was still in the early
stages, they were able to choose all their own
finishes and tweak the design. One room, originally slated to be divided into a bedroom and
small study, was made into a kids’ media space
and a main-floor bathroom became en suite.
They also decided on small changes to the
kitchen. And an area the architect had envisioned as a TV room became a home office; the
TV was then positioned on the wall above the
great room’s t wo-way fireplace.
While the Weisses were no strangers to
“It was not an easy job to hang it,” says Audra.
home construction, the scope of this project
was over whelming. Fortunately, Audra put her
faith in Mill Valley–based interior designer
Jennifer Messina, who helped them choose
everything from paint to pillows. For the kids’
media room, Messina suggested simple PB
Teen sofas, a West Elm media console and a
modular rug by Flor. The enormous chandelier
above the stair well is Restoration Hardware.
Nine months after closing, the family
moved in. And while the inside was more or
less done, the outside not so much: “it was a
giant mud pit,” Audra confides. But the couple
had big plans, including adding a large swimming pool and patio and an expansive pergola,
which now lets in light but keeps the area temperate during the day. Mounted heat lamps
maintain a toasty temperature after sundown.
The transition from old home to new wasn’t
without challenges. “It was hardest on my son,
who was leaving behind a tight group of neighborhood buddies,” Audra says. But a year later
the entire brood, including the family dog, are
loving their new digs. “A few months back,”
Audra says, “I checked in with my son about
how he was adjusting, and he said, ‘It feels like
we’ve never lived any where else.’” m
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MILL VALLEY RESIDENT Audra Weiss is quick to admit she and husband Jim weren’t he type of clients real estate professionals covet. “We
were perpetual lookers and could never pull
the trigger on anything,” she admits.
At one of countless open houses they
attended, the Weisses met realtor Joshua
Deitch of Coldwell Banker, who mentioned a
house not yet on the market they might like.
But, he cautioned, this was a spec house and the
project wasn’t far enough along to get a sense of
things. They kept in touch.
Several months later, the phone rang and
Audra and Jim went to see this work in prog-
ress. “The space was still quite raw,” Audra
says. But they saw potential. Lots of potential.
Of particular interest: the home’s design
was focused on blurring the lines between
indoor and outdoor spaces. “The Nana doors
weren’t in yet, but the home was framed out
and you could just see how nicely it would all
flow,” Audra says. Another plus: their kids