In designer Antonio Martins’ home, the past walks closely beside the present, and the new owner carefully honors both. Martins purchased the Victorian in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood two years ago. Back then, the house was suffering from years of neglect and the accumulation of a lifetime’s worth of stuff. What the other would-be buyers missed was the mint-condition details: moldings (unsullied by layers of paint) as crisp as the day they were installed 100 years ago; ornate, original hardware and a gorgeous O’Keefe & Merritt stove, circa 1948.
Martins combined pieces he loved from around the world to give the space a personal feel. The chaise in the living room is inspired by 17th-century Biedermeier designs from Germany. The industrial side table is accessorized with Thai jewelry, while a Chinese hatbox serves as a colorful round occasional table.
Martins has an affinity for keeping options open and construction visible. This idea comes into play in the media room, where he stripped the upholstery fabric from a pair of Hans Wegner Papa Bear armchairs and left them covered in basic muslin. “I’m looking for the right fabric,” Martins says. “But until I find it, they look cool this way.” The chairs’ simple form is juxtaposed against an elaborate painting done by Martins’ friend Howie Keck and featuring—you guessed it—Drew Barrymore.
Martins uses the oposite wall in the media room wall and simple West Elm cubes to display a collection of terracotta sculptures he brought back from Asia. Sculptures: antique, Chinese Han Dynasty; Display cubes: West Elm.