Marin Home / BACKSTORY
officially begun their search. But over the next
couple of months, they compared every place
they saw to it, a 3,400-square-foot home with
open floor plan and Scandinavian-influenced
design (the former owners were Danish).
“I always tell my clients that if you keep thinking about a house, there’s a reason,” says their
realtor, Megan Pomponio. The Moraeses kept
tabs on the house, and after another offer on it fell
through, they finally made a bid themselves.
Smart move. The home, built in 2000, is
the perfect antidote to cramped living. The
entry way, which sports a dramatic chande-
lier akin to a deconstructed metal fan, has a
22-foot-high ceiling. Up a few stairs, the living
room and dining room, which are brilliantly
sunny because of a series of tall, slender win-
dows, has ceilings 14 feet high.
After moving in, the Moraeses were so
enamored of the home’s airy feel that they
changed their decorating style, from a farm-
house look to more midcentury modern.
With the help of Anne-Christine Pajunen, an
in-house designer at West Elm, they created a
cool but comfortable look, with a gray chenille
wool couch and t wo gray-blue West Elm Retro
Wing chairs in the living room, all accented by
colorful pillows purchased at Target.
The kitchen, remodeled by the previous owners, has an equally clean aesthetic,
with white laminate cabinets, black granite
countertops and a gray tile backsplash. Just
off the kitchen are a walk-in pantry, home
office and laundry area, all so spacious they
still blow Tiffany away. As does the cul-de-sac out front, where the Moraes kids learned
to ride their bikes this past summer. The
house, the location — they’re ideal for this
young family. And proof you can get it right
the first time. m
OCCASIONALLY, FIRST LOVE really is the best love. At least it was for Tiffany and Tony Moraes, when they started house hunt- ing last year.
The Moraeses had been living in Novato, in
a 1,600-square-foot 1957 home with two young
children and a black lab, and were bursting
out of the place. “Literally, it was like a Tetris
puzzle,” says Tony. “If we brought something
into the house, something had to go out.” They
wanted more space, and if they could get an open
floor plan, good schools, and a cul-de-sac where
the kids could ride their bikes, all the better.
Last January, the couple, who were high
school sweethearts, decided to visit open
houses to see how much they could get on
their budget. This house was one of the first
they saw, and it was the first they fell for.
They didn’t make a bid because they hadn’t