Having already lived in their home for four years before they decided to begin renovations, this career-driven couple wanted to transform their Spanish Colonial-style home in Monterey Heights, San Francisco into the warm and comfortable space they had envisioned for themselves, their two dogs and two cats. Already well on their way through the renovation process, they contacted SVK Interior Design with questions about tile for their kitchen. The conversation continued and eventually led them to work with the homeowners on the entire interior design of the house.

The home, originally designed by Harold Gordon Stoner, a well-known architect of the 1930s who had been the designer of many homes in the St. Francis Wood and Monterey Heights neighborhoods of San Francisco, had been stripped of its original character over the years. With a grand entrance, winding staircase and four bedrooms, it was filled with potential. “We loved the California-Mediterranean architecture and material character of the house – the stucco exterior, terra-cotta roof, arched windows, Saltillo tile entryway – and were excited to work with clients who wanted to move further towards that style,” said Senalee Kapelevich, Principal and Founder of SVK Interior Design. “If anything we wanted to strip away earlier renovation materials and infuse the home with more of that charm, choosing materials reminiscent of those regions.”

The inspiration for the aesthetics of the space was a mix between Californian, Spanish and Moroccan design. The latter is felt in the Zellige tiles of the guest bathroom, the custom pendant lights, both sourced from Morocco with the help of Tazi Designs. Senalee continued that theme by selecting the Star and Cross patterned tile by Fireclay for the guest bathroom floor and the rich blue tile for the walls of the powder room. “It is the only restroom on the main level, so it had to be right,” Senalee shared. “We’d seen other installations of this tile and how impactful it is, and we hoped it wouldn’t overwhelm that space. What really pulled it together was that antique stone sink and the custom cantilevered wood counter. The faucet is wall-mounted to save space, and we opted for no mirror. The tile has a wow-factor, making it one of our clients’ favorite spaces.”

Once the renovations were done, the team at SVK Interior Design worked on styling the home with their homeowners’ possessions. “The wife has a fantastic personal style and pays attention to design,” Senalee said. “When it came to the finishing touches, she already had many beautiful objects from her travels, artwork, books, crystals. We chose a few pieces to display more prominently and showed her how to pare back in certain areas to create vignettes.” They commissioned Maeve of Macro Macramé to make the beautiful macrame art hanging in the stairwell. The designer said, “there’s often a great moment near the end of a project for both us and the clients when we step back and ask, ‘can you believe you live here?'”