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Names to Know
Anastasia Hendrix | Photo: Courtesy of Subjects | June 27, 2016
Artful interiors and inspired landscaping elevate even the most exceptional architecture. Here’s a look at some designers who are generating serious buzz in Silicon Valley.
Kimberly Larzelere Interiors
Kimberly Larzelere’s style has evolved dramatically over the years, becoming more streamlined out of a desire to “take the clutter out of people’s lives,” she says, and create calm and comforting oases.
Signature: An expert in neutral finishes and classic paint colors, the Redwood City designer relies on unique materials and chic hardware for a fresh, contemporary feel.
More details: Initially, specializing in kitchens greatly influenced her approach to larger spaces. “I learned early on that it’s not just about creating something beautiful,” she says, “but understanding how the space is really used and being very detail-oriented.”
RKI Interior Design
With more than 30 years of experience, Risë Krag, founder of Menlo Park’s RKI Interior Design, enjoys a sterling reputation for her firm’s ability to transform spaces of any scale and scope.
Signature: Krag conjures creative solutions for unique spaces—such as a Silicon Valley home built with curved walls and enormous windows inspired by the hawks that often flew overhead. RKI designed custom serpentine furniture and other pieces to complement the dramatic view.
More details: To best understand clients’ aesthetic preferences, RKI designers often arrange to visit a rug gallery or granite yard with them to see which colors and patterns evoke the most positive responses.
Peruri Design Company
Growing up in a family that worked with richly colored textiles honed Sindhu Peruri’s fearless passion for color and keen ability to incorporate contrast, texture and dimensionality into any space.
Signature: Peruri is especially adept at finding key transitional pieces with unexpected details to add depth and balance; for example, using polished metal tables to create warmth in spaces without natural light.
More details: She never intended to open her own design firm, but branched out on her own after her longtime business partner, Bob Miller, died in 2014. “It all just unfolded very organically,” she says of her Los Altos practice.
Whether designing an outdoor space with foliage-covered walls, spiky aloe vera plants or soaring bamboo, Palo Alto-based Eric Greenblott brings an artful flair to minimalist and traditional areas.
Signature: Greenblott creates dynamic contrasts with shapes and intricate but unimposing details. For an Atherton estate, he installed a row of 100-year-old olive trees, each selected for its elaborately gnarled “trunk aesthetic,” alongside a modern, multilevel swimming pool.
More details: One of Greenblott’s current projects involves sculpting mounds of earth with mixed glass and stone pebbles to mimic the movement of water. “I’m always exploring the world through a technical lens,” he says. “I love transforming a space into something not only functional, but full of excitement and allure.”
Skyline Design Studio
New York transplant Diane Hayford spent more than a decade studying architecture, interior design and construction before heading to California to pursue (literally) greener pastures and her passion for horticulture.
Signature: Her expertise in hardscapes and sensitive planting designs informs her holistic approach. For a Los Altos double-edged infinity pool project, Hayford re-terraced the site with gradual elevations and sweeping curves to follow the shape of the hillside, creating more functional living and entertaining spaces that capitalized on the views.
More details: As a serious cyclist, Hayford finds inspiration for her free-form designs on rides around the Bay Area. Another beloved source of creativity? “The fantasy world of professional ballet,” she says.
Hillsborough native Brian Koch loved playing in the dirt as a kid, creating elaborate waterways and landscapes for his matchbook cars in the yard—and he still loves transforming outdoor spaces.
Signature: As an intern at Filoli, Koch learned the importance of “choosing the right plant for the right place,” he says. It is a lesson he has never forgotten. His most successful gardens “always have a sense of mystery or curiosity.”
More details: His firm is renovating the gardens of the historic Woodleigh House, designed in 1911 by William H. Weeks, in Saratoga. The project will include a series of garden rooms with modern amenities envisioned as a complement to the mansion’s Greek Revival architecture.
Originally published in the May issue of Silicon Valley