A few years ago, Shayne Sweeney was a top employee at Instagram, and in possession of a pilot’s license, when he and his wife, Sarah, bought a house in the foothills city of Lincoln. They figured he could fly his plane to his job in the Bay Area, thereby shaving six minutes off a gnarly commute.
Only one problem: The house was a new build with no character. So the young couple turned to local designer Todd Peddicord to help them infuse their new home with style and personality—theirs.
“They are really sophisticated, which is surprising for a couple that young,” says Peddicord. They didn’t bring much with them in the way of furniture—just a bed, a leather couch and an Eames chair. But that chair helped the designer and his clients form an instant connection. “That Eames chair is my favorite piece,” Peddicord notes.
He employed some of his favorite designer tricks to add texture and interest to the home. Exhibit A: He used stone, metal, mirror and textured wallpaper to create large-scale, arresting wall and treatments throughout the house. Another trick: In a large home like the Sweeneys’, he tends to steer clear of accessories, which make for a cluttered look. “Less is more,” he explains. “I want three things in a room, and they all have to be grand and oversized.”
He also used personal art and artifacts to create unique moments throughout the house. For Shayne’s home office, Peddicord commissioned an artist to create a work of typographic art, incorporating a quote from Shayne’s favorite movie, “Dumb and Dumber.” For a gallerylike hallway, he showcased vintage cameras inside Plexiglas shadowboxes, a nod to Shayne’s work as the original engineer at Instagram. (He’s the guy who built a camera into the app so users could take photos within Instagram.)
When Peddicord finished with the home’s interior, the Sweeneys were so pleased with his work that they hired him to design their landscape. Instead of a party backyard, they wanted a sophisticated spot for relaxing by themselves or with just a few friends. So Peddicord created “engagement zones” with areas that include a fire pit, swimming pool, cooking area, yoga deck and Zen garden.
“Our space is uniquely us,” says Sarah. “Todd deserves all the credit for listening to our needs and pushing us out of our comfort zone when necessary.”
In-pool lounge chairs: Vondom
Dining room wall tile: BI Design Studio
Fireplace stone: Eldorado Stone
Modular coffee table: Todd Peddicord Designs
iPhone art: Grid Studio