We don't tend to play favorites, but there are a few classic interior design styles we will always love above all else. Arched wall openings, exposed beams, marble surfaces, and timber flooring will always sit in our top 10 must-haves of our dream home. Thus, you can imagine our excitement upon seeing this stunning 1920s cottage that has all of the above and more.
Located in Hillsborough, California, just south of San Francisco, the Spanish bungalow (with four bedrooms and four baths) is a dream come true. But it didn't always look like this. Thanks to Ali Davin of Jute Home and a $3 million gut renovation (which includes an outdoor pool, hardscaping, and furnishings), this 5000-square-foot beauty was transformed into a modern traditional masterpiece.
While the original structure is a Mediterranean style with low ceilings, arches, and wood beams, there had been subsequent additions over the years that were not. "Our goal was to create a cohesive feel for the property bringing in the original Mediterranean charm to the entire home," Davin tells me. Read on to hear how she did just that along with her biggest challenge.
The house sits on a darker lot that is shaded by many redwoods. The challenge then was in brightening it up while still keeping it cozy and warm. "We added larger windows in the kitchen and widened openings to add light," she says. "We also added in more arches where there weren’t any and lots of wood."
When painting walls a Mediterranean white, Davin says to add wood, and then more wood. She adds, "Wood warms up the white so it reads neutral rather than stark." Good tip.
Davin's personal directive for the space was to create a timeless environment that didn't need to be renovated again and won't date. "One that feels warm and inviting and is great for entertaining," she explains.
The Jute Home team made a lot of renovations. Aside from being completely gutted inside, they also added a fourth bedroom and a fourth bathroom, moved the laundry room, and renovated each floor. Outside they added a pool, an outdoor kitchen, and a built-in firepit.
Davin's interior design style veers toward earthy and warm with clean lines. You can certainly feel that in this house. "I also love to incorporate as much wood as I can and use antiques in each space," she adds.
The color scheme was very much a collaborative process between Davin and the client who had a real love for textiles and was very involved in selecting them. "We always start with textiles and rugs because that sets our tone," she says. They mixed new and vintage rugs throughout the entire home sourced via local rug dealer, Tony Kitz.
Of course, no gut renovation is ever without its challenges but for Davin and her team, it wasn't the renovation that proved tricky. "The client is fond of very minimal spaces without a lot of clutter, and we are too, but we like things to be filled in a bit more," says Davin. "I would say the challenge was with the styling and trying to fill in enough without adding too much where she was uncomfortable."
Davin created a lot of custom furniture for this home, which was good testing grounds for her new product line coming out in the spring. Her favorite? This dining table, which will also be featured in the upcoming collection.
While there is something Davin loves aesthetically in every room, it's actually the feel of the home that she really adores. "We like to create environments that feel good and flow well," she says. "That's always the goal."
The outdoor entertaining area is perfectly designed for all seasons with a firepit for the winter months, and a pool for the summer.