For designer Antonio Martins, this partial home renovation was more than just a project, it was a dream come true. During the graduation ceremony for his Masters Degree in Interior Architecture and Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Antonio received his diploma from the President of the University. While congratulating him, she politely whispered, “Good luck and see you very soon”.
The President was true to her word and invited Antonio to renovate the top floor of her well-known home in Nob Hill referred to as the “Jewel Box”. The historically significant building was originally completed in 1913 for real estate mogul Herbert Law. Law commissioned George A. Shastey to design a “petit palais” with traceried grillwork, Italian marble floors and fireplaces, gilded vaults, an onyx fountain and a leaded glass ceiling. Now, the client wanted to bring the top floor of her house to the same level of detail and elegance as the rest of the property.
Says Antonio, “We started by designing all the stone work that would include fireplace mantels, a Carrera marble powder room and the entire master bathroom. It was important to start with the stone as it was going to be fabricated in Italy and shipped to San Francisco. Next, all the woodwork and cabinetry detail was commissioned locally to highly skilled craftspeople who carefully copied all architectural details from the lower floors of the house.”
Finally, after all of this careful, detailed prep work the interior design could take center stage. . .
The family room was created to be multi-use and includes a TV area, bar, office and day-bed which can be used as an extra bedroom when needed. A wall-to-wall shelving unit hosts a large collection of 18th century artwork and books.
Custom master bedroom wallpaper by De Gournay.
Master bathroom custom stone design by Antonio Martins Interior Design; Built-in cabinetry by Luis Norori Antique Restoration; Vanity faucets by Waterworks; Sconces by Niermann Weeks; Hardware by California Crystal; Built in mirrors by Paige Glass.
“The piece-de-resistance has to be the exquisite dressing room, with floor to ceiling venetian mirror cabinetry. We meticulously measured the previous closet space to ensure the new closet would have enough room to accommodate shoes, clothes, luggage and an uncountable number of scarves owned by the client. The make-up table has its own sink fitted with an original Victorian faucet.”
Dressing room built-in cabinetry by Luis Norori Antique Restoration; Hardware by P.E. Guerin; Area rug by Stark Carpets; Make-up table faucet from Tom Roe’s Private Collection; Sconces by Niermann Weeks; Built in mirror by Paige Glass; Custom Portuguese-style corona vanity stool by BELMAR Custom Upholstery.
The powder room, which became the favorite room for both Antonio and his client, “was in itself a precious jewel. The wainscoting in Carrera marble was highlighted by hand-painted wallpaper of Koi Fish, giving the illusion of a magical pond. The silver background of the wallpaper reflects in the custom mirror”. Additional design elements include a pair of Boyd light fixtures, further enhancing the “floating” effect.
When the job was complete, Antonio wanted to give the client a present. “After a lot of debate and anguish, I remembered that I had four original Buccellati pencil drawings acquired during my ‘past life’ as an event designer in Hong Kong. What better present to give the owner of “the jewel box”, than original Buccellati pencil drawings? They are now framed and hanging in the dressing room.”
What are some of the artistic details you have included in your Modern Sanctuaries?