When a home has been lovingly maintained for more than 100 years, it deserves owners who want to preserve its character and charm; custodians to move it gently forward with a sympathetic renovation to embrace modern life without sacrificing its magic.
‘That was exactly the intention of the couple, with a baby daughter, who bought this historic, redwood shingled, craftsman's-style home,’ says interior designer Heidi Caillier, who worked with them on its revamp. ‘The couple – he is in the wine trade; she is in luxury travel – consider themselves caretakers of the home and wanted to preserve as many of the original details as possible,’ she says of the house, built in 1910 and located in Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
Heidi Caillier Design is a full-service interior design firm, with a project portfolio spanning the US and beyond. Heidi's design philosophy is based on the belief that homes should be comfortable and livable while at the same time beautiful and curated.
The owners found Heidi on Instagram, and instinctively felt in tune with her passion for design and fearless, confident attitude that comes from a natural flair and a fount of eclectic influences garnered over the years, rather than from formal training.
‘The couple wanted the house to feel timeless, but youthful and like a reflection of them,’ says Heidi who has a love of tension in design, ‘a play between masculine and feminine, old and new, modern and traditional.’
When Heidi’s clients were discussing influences, they mentioned they were drawn to the quirky style of London-based designers, who are skilled at combining vibrant color with cozy elements and a traditional countryside aesthetic – think Beata Heuman, Maddux Creative, Ben Pentreath – and that gave them the impetus to come up with a new way of spinning classic ideas.
The ground floor enjoys a special quality of light that filters through the tall windows that embrace the structure of the building and enliven its dark timbers. The front door opens onto an entrance nook, also known as the ‘mudroom’, with built-in day beds, which is a good spot for morning coffee
The traditional living room is enlivened with modern-luxe touches like pink tiles in the fire surround, a playful rattan ceiling pendant, and a surprising yet harmonious denim-blue Indian dhurrie. ‘We wove in natural materials and textures throughout the house that feel lived in with a mix of sage green, soft pink, light blue, and small and large scale floral prints,’ says Heidi.
The rest of the space is divided into rooms that flow from one to the next: a ‘listening room’ for playing records, a dining room presided over by a family heirloom blue porcelain chandelier, and the kitchen with copper-wrapped worktops.
For the kitchen, the beautiful existing wooden cabinetry was kept as it is timeless, with the beautiful copper-wrapped worktops perfectly complementing the aged patina of the wooden finishes.
The main bedrooms and bathrooms, a home office and a garden room are all upstairs. ‘Because the ground floor leans towards being dark, the owners wanted the first floor to be airy and light with a feeling of luxury and sumptuousness,’ says Heidi.
The upstairs landing is papered in a John Derian print, a stunning floral that feels both charming and modern. The garden room gets beautiful light and is surrounded by stunning views of the outdoors.
There is a sitting area and a game table in the corner. ‘It’s a lovely place to play backgammon or read a book, and, like the rest of this unique and thoughtful home, it’s very reflective of the people who inhabit it,’ says Heidi.
‘We kept the existing shutters and chose pretty textiles, like a vintage quilt and antique kilim for the main bedroom.’
It’s a charming feature of the house that many rooms have a useful anteroom leading off them, in this case, the bedroom has a small study attached.
In the petite powder room, the marble basin and dainty wallpaper are beautifully whimsical, creating a wonderfully immersive effect.
This house appears among 12 beautiful US homes in Heidi’s book Memories of Home, published by Rizzoli.
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Mary Weaver has had more than 20 years experience in the world of interiors magazines. She is a writer, stylist, art director, video and events producer. She has contributed to Homes & Gardens for many years and was Houses Editor of Livingetc for 14 years. During her career she has worked for all the major magazine titles, and previously enjoyed a career as a fashion editor.
- Zara StaceyContent Editor
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