This California Home Is Eclectic Preppy Style Epitomized

This California Home Is Eclectic Preppy Style Epitomized

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Name: Nicole Balin, Nola (dog), Diggy Smalls (cat)
Location: Marin County — San Anselmo, California
Size: 1100 square feet
Years Lived In: 5 years, owned

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My home is a collection of art and collectables that I have found over my lifetime. Much of it is inherited by my mother, who was way ahead of her time, and was traveling the world and collecting pieces and antiques in the 1970s. I spend hours in my home cooking, relaxing with my dog, NOLA, and my new kitten, Diggy Smalls.

It’s a home filled with the things that bring me happiness and I’m always doing house projects and fun craft projects. Home is where I escape from the world and I am my most content. It’s a place where I can be most creative.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic Preppy

Inspiration: Artists and designers who I work with, and those whose work I come across and am moved by.

Favorite Element: My favorite part of my home are my pet portraits. Each pet gets one and they bring me so much happiness.

Biggest Challenge: The bedrooms in my home are very small and don’t allow for a lot of creativity in terms of design and/or furniture.

Proudest DIY: The Robert Motherwell-esque black and white painting above the sofa in my living room.

Biggest Indulgence: My Karin Lilja blanket, made in Helsinki. It’s from a store called Clic in Corte Madera. The blanket is on the sofa in my living room and worth every penny.

Best Advice: Don’t rush to get a home designed in a few months. Collect meaningful things you love over time. That’s how a home gets a soul.

What’s your best home secret? When you find something you love, figure out ways to get them for less money. I don’t mean cheap World Market or Pottery Barn art, but I’m talking about going to flea markets, antique stores, or making things you love yourself. Also I try to support local independent designers when I can because they have really unique things.



  • Benjamin Moore — Van Deusen Blue (dining room)
  • Benjamin Moore — Decorators White
  • Behr — Mud (Brown paint behind shelves)
  • Tiffany Blue — Custom Behr paint based on a Tiffany box




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