Travel brings out the best in us, gives us the freedom to explore and the space to find ourselves. A treasured find, brought back to capture the memories of a secluded beach, a romantic getaway, or a panoramic view can provide the basis for highly personal interior design, back at home.
Take, for example, this contemporary Guatemalan–inspired living room, created for a retired couple who spend half their time in a contemporary 2-bedroom condo with views of downtown San Francisco, and the rest of the time in Antigua, Guatemala. Travel is an integral part of the homeowners’ lives, and they wanted to bring back the rich woven textiles and vibrant colors of their Central American journeys to their stateside home. To reflect this cultural reference in the living room, a table base used in a Guatemalan wedding precession supports a custom-cut glass top to create the couple’s coffee table.
The adjacent dining room highlights an art piece created from textured paint on plaster, inspired by the weathering, layering and patina of a building’s exterior in the Central American climate. Colors and fabrics used throughout the space were thoughtfully selected to remind the couple of their Guatemalan experiences and spark conversation with their guests. For example, an Eero Saarinen oval pedestal dining table in marble is paired with bright red B&B Italia dining chairs, visible in the open plan living area.
Artisan textiles are the focal point of the bedroom, based on the Guatemalan tapestry brought back from the owner’s travels. We hung it right over the headboard as a statement piece, and then upholstered the bench in a similar hand-sewn fabric. The throw blanket was also an Antigua find in the Guatemalan markets, and we had colorful tassels added as a playful fringe. The bedding is finished off with a decorative pillow to visually tie together all the handmade textiles.
Upholstering the bed in an inky-blue velvet provides a balance of sensuality and calm to the multiple patterns. Wood-tiled drawer fronts on the nightstands paired with glass jug bases for lamps complete the handcrafted style, but balance nicely with a modern aesthetic. An excellent additional choice might be woven baskets, used by locals to carry items to and from market.
It was exciting to work with the homeowners and bring what they love about their life and travels into their homes. Not only was I able to make their interior spaces function better for their individual lifestyles, I was also able to give them a beautiful home they love and remind them of their happiest moments and experiences in their lives.
Kimball Starr transforms your treasured travel find to create a space that’s uniquely YOU. Contact her today for a consultation anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California, plus Lake Tahoe and Nevada.