When the Dreskin family moved from New York to San Francisco, they were looking for a quintessentially California living experience. The Berkeley hills, with its near perfect weather and incredible views of the San Francisco Bay, was an obvious choice. As longtime Soho loft dwellers, the family knew it would be a stark change from their East Coast lifestyle. And then they found the house.
Built at the top of a hill, the sprawling mid-century home that was built in the 1960’s and designed expressly to take a vantage of its views. The three-story floor plan was designed with an abundance of windows—all strategically placed to maximize your odds of catching sight of the the Golden Gate Bridge when walking by.
After purchasing the home, the Dreskins hired architect David Yama from YAMAMAR to modernize the interior and bring it solidly into this century. This was not a heavy lift, as the home’s original elements such as concrete floors and beamed ceilings had retained their original beauty. Instead, the family focused their upgrade efforts on the kitchen, bathrooms, and outdoor landscaping. They also hired San Francisco interior designer Alison Damonte to conceive of decor that was not only integrated into the architecture but which would act as the perfect backdrop for their growing—and appropriately erudite—art collection.
Featuring an original fireplace made in the mid-60’s by Martin Metal, the living room already had texture and plenty of mid-century vibes. By selecting a furniture plan that would promote view-gazing—and a color palette inspired by the outdoors—Damonte was able to give it just enough of an update without spoiling the laid-back feel. Made of cast concrete, the fireplace is the focus of the living space—but since the color is muted, it doesn't overpower the room. Damonte brought in plauful, geometric accents to keep it from feeling imposing.
Sofa: Dell Robbia in Knoll Fabric. Chairs: Lawson Fenning. Credenza: Egg Collective. Coffee table: vintage, Sommerlath Gallery. Ottomans: The Inside.
Over time, these original concrete floors had developed an olive undertone that Damonte loved. So she kept the rest of the room simple, anchoring it with a dining table the clients had purchased at Tucker Robbins under a Sputnik chandelier from Vintage Oasis in Palm Springs.
Dining chairs: Jacques Guillon. Credenzas: Rejuvenation.
The house was conceived to flow from room to room without any doors! The overall effect is very much like a gallery by design and the Dreskins use wall space to spotlight their growing art collection.)
A mix of modern design classics—Eames chairs, Saarinen table, and bold colors—anchor this breakfast area. The built-in banquette has a custom bench cushion covered in Perennial’s outdoor fabric, one of Damonte’s favorite tricks for eating areas frequented by spill-prone kids. The room is finished by original art by Lucy Raven, the homeowner’s sister.
Cushions: Ferm Living. Pendant lamp: Marset.
The home office is airy and clean, but with the unexpected addition of a custom wallpaper by Black Crow Studios on the ceiling. Damonte was inspired by the tie dye nature of the design and how it cheekily referenced the 60’s heritage of the house. The light fixture, which is perfectly situated mid-splat in the pattern, was purchased at Artemide.
Standing lamp: Serge Mouille. Sofa: vintage, Afra and Tobia Scarpa Bastiano. Side tables: Luca Nichetto for De La Espada. Ottoman: Basleri Italia. Rug: Peace Industries.
The master bedroom had an existing floating wall, which Damonte made that the focal point of the room by covering it with Emma Hayes wallpaper and David Weeks sconces. (Like many Californians, the Dreskins did not want any art behind the bed in case of earthquakes.)
Side tables: custom. Bed: Room and Board.
The master bedroom also has an original fireplace that Architect David Yama graphically clad in steel during the renovation.
Ottoman: Warren Platner, covered with Romo fabric. Basket: Paola Lenti.
Designed to grow with her from tween to teen, the girl’s room is designed around timeless details. The wallpaper is from DropIt Modern and has a hand-drawn but ageless quality.
Bed: Room and Board. Lucite table: CB2. Rug: Hable construction.
An unusual door placement—this one right by the bed leads to a neighboring playroom—inspired shallow custom built-ins. They accommodate both a kid's need for storage and some clearance for the door handle.
Bed: Room and Board. Side tables and lamp: CB2. Art: Aunt Lucy Raven.
A detail from the playroom highlights the thoughtful built-ins. The rest of the space is full of very fun vintage arcade games and has a graphic rug from FLOR.
In the powder room, Damonte highlighted the beautiful natural light with a playful wallpaper by Harlequin.
Vanity: custom. Pendant: Jonathan Adler. Mirror: Blue Dot.
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