Marin Home / BACKSTORY
warmer climate. When Peck saw this home
online, she thought it was perfect.
Still, Peck, a serial renovator, could not
resist making a few changes, even though the
house was essentially done. She repainted
the entire place, remodeled the master bath
and worked to warm up the modern home. A
striped Gervasoni couch and chair, as well as
a brown deep shag rug, now furnish the living
room. Antique metal ice-fishing lures sit in a
bowl on the large square table. A pillow that
says “Be Nice or Leave” rests against the couch.
The family room is equally fun. In the fireplace, Peck has placed a metal “nest,” filled
with square, circular and cylindrical fireplace
forms. Above it, she’s hung a modern painting
by Pamela Smilow that echoes the “grellow”
(green/yellow) leather Italian chairs nearby.
And over the room’s dining table — ringed by
mismatched chairs — she’s put an industrial
metal lamp originally from a school gymnasium
in Poland. “Cesca,” says Ahlberg, “has the most
wonderful taste of any client I’ve ever had.”
That’s especially apparent in the backyard,
which Peck overhauled. She ripped out the grass
and expanded the steps to more easily reach
the 45-foot pool. In the process, she created a
stunning minimalist concrete deck, edged by a
gabion — a metal cage filled with construction
rocks — that functions as a simple art piece.
Peck did make concessions to age, but nothing
that reeks of AARP. After moving in, she realized that she could not use the finger channels
that open the kitchen cabinets. So she’s replacing
them with handles, most likely from Miele, maker
of her oven. They’ll be stylish. Of course. M
WHEN OLDER MARIN residents ay they’re buying a house for accessibility reasons, a few images pop into mind: walk-in bathtubs, extra
handrails and an utter lack of style. Francesca
Peck, a retired psychotherapist, begs to differ.
Peck’s Kentfield home is the definition of
style, filled with an eclectic mix of modern art,
antique metal objects and colorful furniture.
And yes, it’s all on one floor.
That was one of Peck’s “musts” when she
moved here from her four-level home in Sausalito.
She had bought the Sausalito house on a whim,
after many years in Kentfield — a decision she
regretted during a 3 a.m. windstorm one night,
when she had to walk down four levels (after a hip
replacement) to check something banging against
the fence. “I walked upstairs,” she says, “and
said, ‘ This is not going to work, long-term.’ ”
So Peck and her realtor, Stephanie Ahlberg,
began looking for a one-level house with a pool
(which she depends on for her health) and a