A California Home Decked Out in Happy Hues

Feel your mood instantly improve as you tour this Palo Alto, CA, home featured in HGTV Magazine.

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Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

The House

You could say I had fallen out of love with my house,” says Teresa Kelleher of the 3,600-square-foot Palo Alto, CA, home that she and her husband, Brian, bought back in 2002. It wasn’t the structure itself Teresa was weary of — it was the way she had decorated it 15 years ago. “My style back then was heavy, bulky furniture and lots of deep reds, greens and golds,” she recalls. After living with that look for more than a decade, Teresa decided she had gotten tired of the dark, dramatic decor. “The house doesn’t get a lot of natural light, and the color scheme was just depressing,” she says. Moving was out of the question, so in 2012, she gave the home an energy boost with help from designers Tiffany Mansfield and Lisa O’Neil. While the kitchen and her daughters’ bathroom got top-to-bottom renos, most of the house was transformed with just paint and bright fabrics. “I’m absolutely back in love,” Teresa says. “It’s light and cheery, and it really reflects who we are as a family.”

The Family

Teresa and Brian with (from left) Sofia, 11, and Ana Isabel, 8, holding Luna, their black Lab puppy.

Dining Room

Pre-makeover, the dining room had olive-hued walls, a clunky dark-wood table and high-back velvet chairs with brass upholstery nails. Teresa gave everything the boot and restyled with her favorite colors. The Loewenstein chairs are covered in lemony vinyl, the turquoise silk Cowtan & Tout curtains feature multicolor tassel trim and a Cisco Brothers bench is covered in burnt orange Designtex fabric. The pendant is from Arteriors, and the walls are painted Jute by Benjamin Moore.


While on vacation in Spain, Teresa picked up a home magazine that featured pretty, tiny, iridescent pink tiles. She was thrilled when designers Tiffany and Lisa found a close match at the Country Floors showroom in San Francisco. But on the day of installation, Teresa freaked out. “It was so pink, I panicked — I hadn’t shown it to Brian!” Luckily he was on board with the color, since it’s toned down by the white oak cabinets and the creamy white quartz counters. The nickel dome pendants are from Tech Lighting, and the lightweight aluminum stools are from Advanced Interior Designs.

Living Room

Before the makeover, the living room had red walls, and olive and brown sofas. But after seeing the kitchen energized with its new color scheme, Teresa and her designers went full-steam ahead with a bright, uplifting palette. Soft beige walls (Jute by Benjamin Moore) are the base for a seafoam Dellarobbia sofa and DwellStudio chairs covered in lime green velvet with chartreuse velvet cushions. A leopard-print ottoman that once served as a coffee table was replaced with a 42-inch-diameter custom mustard yellow leather piece that’s soft for sitting and feet propping but taut enough to hold a tray. To finish the look, Tiffany and Lisa layered a geometric turquoise-and-cream Jaipur Living rug over a jute one from West Elm. 

Girls' Bathroom

The Kellehers gave Sofia and Ana Isabel’s shared bathroom a full reno, which included ripping out the single sink in favor of a custom oak double vanity. The spa-like wall color (Warm Springs by Benjamin Moore) complements the shades-of-blue penny tiles from Walker Zanger that extend to the ceiling in the shower and 6 inches up the vanity’s backsplash. 

Master Bedroom

Teresa and Brian didn’t want to spend a lot redoing their bedroom, so for a quick fix they painted the walls breezy blue gray (Quiet Moments by Benjamin Moore) and had a custom keystone headboard made with off-white linen. But the biggest change was upgrading from honeycomb shades to Roman shades and plush curtains, both made from Raoul Textiles linen with a celery green medallion print. The blue quilt and shams are from West Elm, and the blanket is from Tuvalu Home.

Ana Isabel’s Bedroom

“The ceilings on the second floor of our house are pretty wild,” says Teresa. “Instead of trying to play down the angles, I thought it’d be fun to highlight them with paint.” Ana Isabel chose her favorite color, bubble gum pink, which Teresa then repeated in the Osborne & Little window shade fabric, trimmed in robin’s egg blue. Ana Isabel’s white Jenny Lind bed from The Land of Nod has a turquoise-and-lime quilt from Garnet Hill, and the glass and papier-mâché bird lamp is from Serena & Lily.

Sofia's Bedroom

Sofia chose tangerine for her vaulted ceiling, which “casts a warm glow all around the room,” says Teresa. The taffy pink geometric shade fabric from Pindler is trimmed in pale blue to match the Jenny Lind bed from The Land of Nod. The bird-themed lumbar pillow is made from Boussac fabric. 

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