A Light Filled Adobe Embraces Nostalgia and California Cool

Who: Meghan Phillips
Where: Sacramento, California
Style: California ranch-style adobe

For Meghan Phillips, the neighborhood and house she now lives in with her family was a match made in heaven. She's the founder/CEO of Honey, a design, marketing, and strategy company. Her husband Christopher is chief counsel for the Cannabis Control Appeals Panel for the state of California. They both loved the idea of living just close enough to their jobs in the urban core but still in a nook of Sacramento that has an almost rural, small town feel. "It's full of peacocks and chickens running wild, horse properties, and even a small farm the kids love," Phillips says.

As they pulled up to see the ranch-style adobe three years ago, it was love at first sight. The couple both grew up in the Sonoma area, so the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home immediately brought on waves of nostalgia and a feeling of being right at home. Phillips was in. "The house had soul exuding from it, and we knew we could bring it to life with our family in it," she recalls.

At first they really had no idea how much handcrafted labor and history came with it. "We felt it was well-loved by the family selling it, and you could tell many memories were shared here, but we knew it needed some immediate work to honor all of this," Phillips shares.

They quickly discovered their 90-year-old neighbor's father had built the adobes in the area and when he was 19 years old, he hand carved the home's front door. "It's still one of our most treasured pieces." For a short time, the house was even used as an elementary school for the neighborhood and orchard workers.

"The largest changes we've made so far have been to celebrate the adobe and the home's storied history," Phillips says. Each adobe brick in the home was hand formed on location during the original construction. But when they bought the house, all the interior walls were painted apple red. "It took six coats of paint to get the bricks back to adobe white."

When it came time to design the interior space, Phillips turned to the team at Design Shop. "We embraced an Ojai-style design paired with a neutral, bohemian feel," she says.

For Phillips this meant bringing in local art and textiles throughout the home but remaining practical. "There is something about a nice pillow and couch that will stand the test of two kids and two dogs."

The first room they tackled was the living room. Huge windows open up to the backyard allowing natural light to fill the space, accentuating the bricks, beams, and artwork.

For decor, they love turning to local resources like Kechmara for rugs and textiles, Public Land for art, cactuses, and succulents, and the Verge Art Auction, which they attend every year and find work from local emerging artists.

Design Shop also has a brick and mortar store where a lot of inspiration was found. Phillips loves to find art and other treasures online at Leif and Furbish.

Some of the home's favorite elements are very personal.

Both of the kids' beds are from Meghan and Chris' childhoods. "I love that they sleep where we slept as kids," Phillips says.

The desk in her son's room is from the '40s and belonged to her father-in-law. "It's the perfect size for him!"

They also worked with Oliver John Partners to create a more native California feel in the landscape both out front and in their backyard, where the family spends lots of time together under a back patio area.

As for what's next on the list of home improvement projects, Phillips muses the timeline will be forever. Like the company she started, the house continues to evolve. She says that Honey is a genuine reflection of passion. "It's intimate and real work. Human connection is everything and it makes for better design." She still wakes up every day passionate about what she does and every client she supports, from the most recognizable wine labels in the world, to the smallest prune farmer just outside of Sacramento, "All of it matters."

You can see how this approach is reflected in their home. "Great design is a soul connection," Phillips shares. "Whether it's between an artist and a client or a house and a family. Dig deep and bring out the genuine. Our home is not the flashiest on the block, but it's full of honest character."

Locals Know Best

Architecture: "Sacramento has some of the most incredible murals from artists locally and around the world. Wide Open Walls is a project each year that activates artists. I love walking through our city and seeing such diverse and powerful art."

Vintage Finds: Sacramento Antique Faire

Best Happy Hour: Canon | Kru

Cheap and Cheerful Restaurant: Shoki Ramen House

Best Coffee: Pachamama Coop Coffee — "It's right near Honey and like a second home. It's a global cooperative 100% owned by coffee farmers."

When people come visit, I would take them to: The American River Parkway — "We have 32 miles of uninterrupted trail along the American River!" | Tres Hermanas — "For tacos and margaritas!"


Siobhan Murphy

Siobhan Murphy

As an Emmy Award winning creative director, writer and producer I have worked on content for brands like Disney, BravoTV, TBS, Universal, E! and MTV. But I mostly love rearranging furniture and repotting plants at home.