Just 45 minutes from San Francisco, this wine country home is the perfect retreat from hectic city life. In its renovation, interior designer Antonio Martins honored and celebrated the long history of this spectacular region while also providing a modern and comfortable space.
“The owners are two young partners with great taste and vision who I have worked with before in San Francisco”, says Antonio. “They wanted to keep the look of the ‘cottage’ but simplify and modernize it. The home was completely remodeled based on a simple briefing—an eclectic look, not too precious, but comfortable and inviting.”
One of the best parts of the collaboration with his clients? The search for unique pieces to create a sense of history and timelessness for the home.
“Lots of the furnishings in the home are from the Alameda Flea Market. You can find many ‘diamonds in the rough’ at these types of venues. A good upholsterer and wood finisher can transform these items from market finds to real interior treasures.”
“The living room, which opens into the garden and pool area, is eclectic. Each piece has weight and personality, including an antique carpenter’s workbench now turned into a bar; a coffee table made from Balinese railroad ties; and a table lamp made of recycled boat propellers.”
“This sketch of a woman by mid-20th century artist Rico le Brun sits above a set of large pillows made with Samarkand Suzani pieces.”
When balancing a mix of old and new, for example traditional art in more contemporary settings, let the pieces speak for themselves and see the beauty of each individual piece. Do not worry to much about “matchy matchy” which is often a mistake. Look for inspiration pictures in books and magazines from other spaces and learn from it.
The existing kitchen was “cleaned and simplified”. Some upper cabinets were removed and replaced with open shelving to create a more spacious feel.
Kitchens should be simple, practical and where all items are in easy reach. We all have too much in our kitchens… Trays that are used once every 10 years. Appliances that come out once every 5 years. What for? Less is more! With less, you can open the space and let the kitchen breath. Antonio
“The kitchen retains the charm of the 1950s with an original Wedgewood stove. Above it are recycled wood shelves supported by antique spools salvaged from a local textile factory.”
Adjacent to the kitchen is a dining room featuring Mies Van Der Rohe chairs and industrial lighting. Furnishings are kept simple to allow the view to take center stage.
In the family room, decadently comfortable armchairs are the perfect spot to relax with a morning coffee.
“The family room fireplace was reinvented when covered with a layer of cold rolled steel. The original fireplace was brick but we did not want to remove or rebuild it. We balanced the modern casing with a mantle of reclaimed wood.”
“Each of the bedrooms has a different personality. Flooded with light, the master bedroom on the first floor is peaceful and clean.”
Topped by a Carrara slab this vanity is a gorgeous blend of rustic and elegant.
“I have gotten more calls about this vanity than I can count. It is my favorite part of the project! The base is an industrial piece we found in a store in San Francisco that unfortunately no longer exists.”
“Upstairs bedrooms were transformed using different black and white striped wallpapers, sisal rugs, linen draperies and primitive African chairs. Wallpapers were sourced from a Hospitality company I worked with and they are great, very resistant and practical.”
This guest bath is another example of Antonio’s masterful blend of old and new. Here, he re-purposed a simple steel cart and topped it with a rustic stone sink.
With reverence for the past and discovered treasures, Antonio has designed a warm, contemporary retreat for his lucky clients.