Design Project: A historic residence is updated with chic and modern new look

A historic residence has been restored back to its former glory, but with modern lighting, art, and bold pops of colour...

modern interiors
(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

The property

A young family relocating to San Francisco enlisted Eche Martinez to lead the redesign of this historic five-bedroom residence – a once-in-a-career opportunity to return grandeur to a 1926 Presidio Heights residence which, over time, had been stripped down to a series of “white box” rooms, devoid of character or architectural interest. 

The main goal of the project was to re-inject its lost sense of classical elegance, and to create a showcase for the owner’s extensive contemporary art collection. 

The 6,500 square foot home incorporates some traditional details, like chequerboard floors, a sweeping staircase and wood panelling in the library, but the rest of the home is all modern, from the contemporary white kitchen and white living room to the freshly designed bedrooms and bathrooms.

Hallway

The entrance hall features a sweeping staircase and classical-inspired chequerboard floor. A discombobulated sculpture gives a modern twist on the traditional, while a vintage Curtis Jere brass pendant adds a glam edge.

staircase

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Flooring is New Nero Marquina and Carrara marble. Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Simply White / OC-117.

Staircase

The grand, wrought-iron curved staircase was restored to its former glory.

spiral staircase

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Hand-sawn oak flooring runs throughout the rest of the home. A crisp, monochrome-based palette gives the main areas a modern feel.

staircase landing

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Library

The entrance hall features glass doors that open up into a smart library and home office.

tiled floor

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

A wood panelled wall, traditional painting light, dark wooden floor and vintage rugs create a traditional-inspired backdrop, but unexpected art keeps the mood light.

chic house

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Inside, a black painted ceiling and navy walls add to the cocooning, den-like atmosphere.

home office

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint is Benjamin Moore / Night Horizon / 2134-10. Swivel armchair is from Poltrona Frau - DZine, desk is from Michael Dawkins, Persian rug is from 1stDibs.

Kitchen

The contemporary white kitchen features a striking modern kitchen island with breakfast bar, and kitchen island pendants that are disguised within a frame from which to hang pans.

Seamless cabinetry and kitchen storage creates a sleek and streamlined look.

white kitchen

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Simply White / OC-117. These are the Black Beetle Counter Chairs from The Future Perfect. Marble surfaces are Calacatta Gold, Integrated Resource Group

white kitchen

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Dining room

The white kitchen flows into a dining room with striking statement light.

The vintage Italian mid-century brass and opaline glass lighting and vintage table and chairs create a Mid-Century inspired look.

dining room

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Simply White / OC-117. Collection of 9 Opaline glass and brass ceiling fixtures from Denmark designed by Bent Karlby and manufactured by Lyfa from the 1950s, via 1st Dibs. Mahogany antique dining table, also from 1st Dibs. Rug from Joseph Carini Carpets.

Living room

Incorporating vintage pieces was a key interest of the homeowner. The vintage Cassina sofas in the living room were air-freighted from Amsterdam and locally restored. 

The designer installed a gold-plated three-tier chandelier by Delightfull for a glamorous statement.

modern living room

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Bit it's the bold, bright red artwork in this white living room that makes the biggest impact in this space.

modern living room

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

modern house

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

modern living room

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: The pair of chairs are Jacques Adnet, circa 1940’s.

Cloakroom

A 3D patterned wallpaper in the cloakroom tricks the eye and makes a fun feature.

cloakroom

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Childrens' bedroom

A plain wallcovering from Ralph Lauren lets the rest of this kids' room do the talking. The rug and colourful wall sconces create a subtle Mondrian-inspired look. 

twin bedroom

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Wallcovering is Kravet / Ralph Lauren / Drummond Platinum / LWP6272. Scandinavian rug is from 1stDibs. Antique twin beds from Chairish. Pair of multicoloured brass, white, and yellow 1950s Italian articulated sconces from 1stDibs.

Guest bedrooms

There are not one but three guest bedrooms, each with its own style and look.

A striking sleigh bed reupholstered in red velvet punctuates through the pastel pink backdrop of the first guest bedroom.

velvet bed

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Wallcovering is Phillip Jeffries / Watermark / 4726 Dust. Bed reupholstered in Reupholstered with COM Kirkby Design / Ice Tomato / K5159/45. Rug from 1stDibs.

master bedroom

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

A green colour palette sets the scene in the second guest bedroom, which features lots of antique furniture pieces – some of which were already collected by the homeowners.

green bedroom

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

green room

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Tarrytown Green / HC-135. Vintage pieces pre-owned by the homeowner. Rug, dresser and mirror from 1stDibs.

An old armchair was re-upholstered in a fresh green velvet to give it a fresh new look.

green room

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Desk and desk chair both from 1stDibs.

Finally, the third guest bedroom features a modern, monochrome palette and a modern four poster bed.

four poster bed

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Four poster bed from CB2, bedside lamps from West Elm, the rest is vintage or antique.

Master bedroom

In the master bedroom, original Stilnovo pendant lights are paired with antique Biedermeier nightstands. The room also features Modigliani etchings and a Milo Baughman chest of drawers. 

dark bedroom

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

black walls

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Interior Design: ECHE

Builder: Larkspur Builders (Owner Josh Grout)