Alamo Interior Designer at “La Casa del Alamo”, is a blog on merge of two styles Contemporary and Traditional, also known as Transitional Style.
The town of Alamo, California is a Suburb in Contra Costa County a part of the San Francisco Bay Metropolitan Area. It has Golf Courses and large Homes and the nearest Town Center or Village is Danville, a nice suburb with trendy restaurants.
Noteworthy this Blog has nothing to do with “The Alamo” an Historical building in San Antonio, Texas, where Mexico and the US fought and I believe Mexico lost half of its territory. In San Antonio Tx, too, I meet my wife, so I think I too lost half of my territory so to speak (or won hers).
A few years ago, I got a call from a now client and close friend, who with her husband was buying a new house in Alamo, California. For that reason she wanted to know if two styles could combine well. Because her husband was a collector of Antiques from a particular period and style, XIX Century Americana Rococo and particularly antique clocks (traditional), while she was or rather hoped for something contemporary, fresh and young.
In my early days (when I was pure), I would have rejected it outright. However having embraced and loving some antiques of my own, and actually placing others in my Interiors, hence I was confident I could help, furthermore I immediately thought contemporary museum, as in displaying his collection, though I like Eclecticism it would be a challenge, however one I would welcome.
The lady caller sounded very nice, so I thought it would be a pleasant job, more important that many other attributes. Above all she mentioned she and her husband had completely different tastes (not unusual). She was clean contemporary, he was Baroque antiques, hence the need for s design arbitrer.
This combination of style tends to be known as Transitional, yet I don’t know. Even more I like to see what comes out and how the owners enjoy and perhaps that spells the style.
As a result we met and I saw the antiques and though extremely figured, while I liked most of them. I do like the Mexican-Spanish Baroque style particularly in large places like churches which I have toured often in Mexico and in the Palaces and Villas in Italy, which I love too.
Therefore when I asked to see the legs of the dining table to be, which was draped for protection, to my surprise it was “Griffins” (mythical figures, mixtures of Lion king of the jungle and Eagle, king of the Air). I love them I said! You are hired, he said!
The house was empty and I requested that we delay “move-in”, so I could do some Faux painting. However they actually liked the paint colors in the rooms and did not want to change the colors. However the wood paneling, crowns and wainscoting were true white and looked very stark.
First of all I wanted to soften them and give them some depth and Elegance. They agreed, and we did miles of work, and I gradually introduced them to Marbleizing and “Trompe l’oeil” a painting or design intended to create the illusion of a three-dimensional object, as well as Faux. Here are some of the details.
Alamo Residential Interior Design. This Oculus was designed to create the illusion of a window above the main entrance, as the wall needed a lift and could use a round window above the arched doors. Very Palladian.
Alamo Residential Interior Design. Above the bar exterior to the dinning room, with the painted back of glass technic “Verre Eglomize”. We also Calacatta Gold Marbleizing we did, shown on crown molding. Then again Trompe l-oeil (fool the Eye), with this wrought iron trellis in the Dining room, Fleur d’Liz. Art by Villarranca Studio, San Francisco.
The floors were mainly wood. Therefore we went on to select rugs, not only for style and comfort but to protect the wood floors. However they wanted more traditional style rugs in the grand room, but welcomed Contemporary elsewhere, so that was the deal.
She and I went shopping and within days had 3 options for each space on site, to select with the light and colors of the space. Hence I have no problem with oriental or Persian rugs, in classic styles. I was born in a house full of them, my grandparents all came from the middle east and my grandmother on my father’s side use to sell them as a business. I have a beautiful pair in my office vestibule as well. One interesting thing was the pallet. We chose light green for the living room and aqua for the dining.
Contemporary rugs and runners were then ordered for the rest of the areas. Some in 100% silk, some in wool.
A nice thing about Alamo is the houses have large gardens, and mountain views in some of them. The owners spent a lot of time in Tahoe (actually their first home), and participate in many outdoor activities, so the color “Green” came up to me and we used in in several rooms in many tones and fabrics. Plus their pet dog’s name was Sage!This bench with a mirror in the Foyer, reflects the Living area, it shows His Baroque style, and Her love for fine materials and Greens.
Alamo Residential Interior Design. Family room detail on left, Living room on right. Green was used in the fabrics for window coverings, sofas and rug. Living room on the right. The Mirror and the benches, are antiques which we brought in, not part of his collection before, the clock of course was part of his collection. They were partly chosen for color. On the left, family room window and loveseat, all green or Sage.
The kitchen was done, so we concentrated in the family room. Matching the existing kitchen cabinets we designed a TV and Sound cabinet.
Headboard at Master Bedroom is very romantic and almost Baroque, yet the silver edge and black sheen make it contemporary. The mirrors are salvaged and purchased through 1st Dibs, while the wallpaper is hand painted.
Master bedroom sitting area or banquette. The bay window consists of 3 window opening and a door (not shown). Motorized bottom up sheers improve privacy and add sun protection, while they provide a view of Mount Diablo, garden and pool. Heating duct diverted and feed through the new baseboard below the seat.
We used wall paper in the bedrooms and in a hallway niche. Master bedroom wallpaper shown above.
The project is still in progress. We moved the owners in and provided them with the necessary FF&E (Furniture, fixtures, finishes and equipments). At one point we paused and they extended the house, which was part of the original Architectural Project (by others), and we came back again to complete other areas.
Then they asked us to help with their second home and after came back for other details in this one, so maybe we’ll be there forever (we hope), as it looks better every time. As a result though we started in 2009, we are yet to finish, I guess. We most recently did an Verre Églomizé mural in the dining room see detail at @ Murals and Faux Finishes.
All photography is Non professional as we have not been able to Shoot properly at this time. When we do we will update this Blog posting.
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