Living so close to two major cities, yet being so close to nature, the Bay Area’s hidden gems never cease to amaze. Our client, a Boston native, found his paradise in Menlo Park – a 1,500 square foot home nestled among Live Oaks and abundant wildlife, on the banks of a running creek.
His East Coast sensibilities tended towards the traditional, but he was captivated by the modern home’s natural, creek-side setting. Our goal was to bridge the gap between the two styles and create a warm, welcoming home with an understated masculine vibe.
An expansive deck spans the length of the home’s rear façade, providing an additional 1,000 square feet of living space to the home’s relatively small footprint. Overlooking the pristine creek, the deck is accessed by a Nana Wall, which seamlessly unifies the indoors with the outdoors. A comfortably appointed outdoor lounge, fire pit seating, and a large teak dining table provides numerous options for relaxing and entertaining friends. The forest of oak trees surrounding the patio, keep the deck – and interiors – cool and inviting year round.
The living room is defined by an L-shaped configuration of twin, crushed chenille sofas surrounding an industrial modern coffee table. Anchoring the room, a traditionally patterned, Oriental area rug in a modern palette brought both sensibilities to bear. A classic Eames leather chair once again wed the masculine with the traditional within the cozy space.
To downplay the media center above the gas burning fireplace, we softened the stacked stone surround with custom-built black walnut bookshelves housing our client’s impressive book and objet d’art collection.
Leading to the upstairs quarters, the space beneath a hyper-modern, stainless steel staircase was put to good use. An avid car aficionado and wine collector, our client wanted a unique place to store and showcase his impressive assortment of vintages.
Perfectly capturing the owner’s passions, master craftsman Henry Leggett, of San Francisco’s Design Trifecta, designed a wine storage space reminiscent of a vintage car’s dashboard. Utilizing burl wood maple to complement the light, hard wood floors, and trimmed with black walnut, the wine storage visually unified the interior’s woodscapes. Leggett added a cleverly designed “glove compartment” that opens to reveal a sliding, velvet-covered shelf used to house vintage Laguiole corkscrews, and provide a platform for corking.
Upstairs, our client desired a serene color palette in his personal quarters. The master bedroom faces the rear of the house, taking full advantage of the private setting, filtered light, and soothing soundscape of the running creek. We brought the natural feel indoors with grass cloth wall treatments in calm shades of blue-green, adding subtle texture to the wall behind a queen-sized bed.
Custom wool and cashmere herringbone pillows, made from exquisitely soft Holland & Sherry fabric, adds a sexy, understated, yet masculine touch to fine Egyptian cotton bedding. Flanking the bed, custom black walnut tables mirror the textures in a sculpted, hand knotted wool rug. A serendipitous find. Cut marble lamps with rounded brass shades break up the angular elements of the furnishings.
Now accessed via a hidden pocket door, the construction of a wall in between the sleeping quarters and the original en suite bathroom, provides much needed privacy, and harmonizes the space in accordance with Feng Shui principles.
Photography: Ramona d’Viola