San Diego-based designer Alexis Garrett put her spin on a custom-built Rancho Santa Fe home dubbed Sunflower Ranch. The result is a modern California farmhouse that’s oh so chic. Step inside.
“Everything about this client is casual, generous and ready to have a great time,” says Alexis Garrett (alexisgarrett.com), the San Diego-based interior designer tapped for this stunning custom-built Rancho Santa Fe sanctuary. “I think you feel that from the moment you walk through the door.” Along with Solana Beach-based architect John Jensen (johnjensenarchitect.com) and builder Paul Munsch of Rancho Santa Fe’s Munsch Homes (munschhomes.com), the trio turned the family’s dream of having a home that’s whimsical, cozy and inviting into a reality.
“We wanted to create a livable space that needed very little maintenance,” continues Garrett. “A home where friends and family could come in the door, find a seat or beer, and jump in the pool without even asking.” To achieve this, the home was designed with a unique floor plan where the expansive great room sits in the middle of the home—perfect for entertaining. From there, the master suite, accompanying bedrooms, home gym and bonus room branch off in either direction creating a U shape that surrounds the living room, which, along with the outdoor living spaces designed by Garrett and Steve Belk Landscape, are the “heart of the home,” says Garrett.
For each room, Garrett created a beautiful story with her design elements, starting with the first few steps beyond the front door. “In the entryway, we stacked up beautiful old books about gardens, plants and birds. When the homeowner saw the home for the first time, one of the books immediately caught her eye. It was a bird-watching book that her mother had on her nightstand for years,” she notes. “When she called her sisters to tell them about the special moment, I felt like I had done my job of making this space a home—especially for her.”
Garrett’s chosen furnishings throughout the home are as impressive as the heartfelt entryway decor. For the dining area, the designer called on Carlsbad furniture-maker Kylle Sebree (kyllesebree.com) for a custom-built dining room table. “We wanted to create a modern spin on a farmhouse table,” says Garrett. The result is an inviting piece that feels comfortable for a party of four but can accommodate up to 18. Leading into the kitchen, Garrett designed the Sea Pearl quartzite island to have an inset counter as to not have any appliances or a sink crowding the area. “We really wanted it to feel like a workspace,” she shares. Other standouts include the Jayson Home bar stools, Andrew Neyer lights hanging from the walls and the ceiling, and white oak cabinetry.
Moving into the epicenter of the home, the living room features mirrored plaster chimney elements: one over the range and one over the fireplace. “I have a philosophy that the more places you have to sit, the cozier a home feels,” says Garrett. And this abode is certainly top of the line when it comes to comfort. With built-in benches and window seats, outdoor seating and a fire pit area, and many other seating nooks throughout the dining room and living room, Garrett achieved her vision of “incorporating plenty of places for mingling or curling up with a good book.”
Another special place in the home sits right off the beautiful master bedroom. Featuring custom-made iron screens to “create a space for the clients that reminds them of their home in the Midwest,” the screened-in porch is a magical setting. Just inside, the master suite is equally amazing. Boasting Restoration Hardware nightstands, a custom headboard in Zak+Fox’s Poncho fabric, CB2 side tables, Horne bedside lights, Juxtaposition bedside lamps and chairs, and an ottoman from Croft House, it’s most certainly a dream oasis.
Venture into the master bath and you’re greeted by a spalike respite. With luxe accents like the Jason Wu for Brizo matte black free-standing tub filler and shower fixtures, Sea Pearl quartzite countertops, Arto tiles, a custom white oak cabinetry vanity and decor—including vintage rugs and stools and eye-catching Gem light fixtures by Cuff Studio—the bathroom is the ultimate destination for R&R.
When Garrett met with the clients for the first time, she told the family she was up for the challenge of creating their forever home. Mission accomplished.
Photography by: photographed by Jennie Corti