Marin Home / BACKSTORY
proximity to the kids. “Mid-century mod-
ern” was not on the list. Neither was Marin.
When searches in the city and East Bay
proved fruitless (thus taking BART off the
list), they started to look in Marin, where
— they guessed — they’d have to compromise on the view to find a house they could
afford. Then their agent, Anna Pennington
Boucher, found this home.
The house was hand-built by the original owner and had much of what makes
California mid-century so appealing,
including floor-to-ceiling windows that face
southeast with views of Alcatraz, Treasure
Island and the Bay Bridge. Beamed ceilings
reminiscent of Eichler. A sun-drenched,
workable kitchen. “It had almost everything
on the checklist,” says Boucher.
Alas, says Wainstein, “it was also a mess.”
The master bedroom was painted deep
burgundy and had black carpet. The dining
room was painted bright yellow, even on the
ceilings. But the Atlanta transplants could
see it had good bones. Before they moved in in
May 2014, they replaced the carpet with wire-
brushed oak floors and painted the entire
home in a neutral palette.
They found their existing furnishings —
including a couple of Eames-style chairs from
IKEA — worked well, despite the relocation
from a loft. And they’ve covered the walls with
period-perfect paintings by abstract expressionist Ary Stillman, who was one of the New
York School artists and was Lack’s great-uncle.
Wainstein and Lack, a business consultant,
have filled the home with family whenever
possible, hosting a seder for 27 this spring.
When they’re alone, they spend time restoring
the home’s garden, creating a patch of succulents and tending the orchids left behind. So
when Lack’s sons asked what they wanted as a
housewarming gift, they didn’t hesitate, asking only for symmetry: three fruit trees. One
for each of the boys. M
WHEN BARRY LACK and Jeff Wainstein’s Mill Valley home was built in 1947, the original owner added a sentimental touch: he
planted three Monterey pines in the backyard,
one for each of his daughters.
It’s a fitting legacy for Lack and
Wainstein, whose reason for moving here
was family. The longtime couple had lived
in Atlanta for years, most recently in an
industrial-style loft, when Wainstein, a
medical director for a health care organization, was given a job transfer. The
employer’s marching orders for Wainstein?
Move any place west. They chose San
Francisco because two of Lack’s three sons
live in Cow Hollow.
After a brief stay in the city, they cre-
ated a checklist of what they wanted in a
home, including a view, a garden, a kitchen
that works for two, access to BART and