Open Door Policy

Author:

Erin Martin and Scott Shrader curate an unforgettable property for building everlasting connections

Encaustic tiles from clé skip through the main entry, sounding a playful and welcoming note for a carved wooden statue, a
relic of the World’s Fair by James Charles House and found at JF Chen.

“THEY CAME FROM HARDWORKING, CLOSE-KNIT FAMILIES,”says interior designer Erin Martin of the clients who are originally from Argentina. Now, having achieved the American dream, they were capping it off with a move to Beverly Hills. “They wanted to create a space where they could feel happy, where they could entertain family and friends and that would remind them of their history.”

The large 18th-century wood ring, which frames a mirror, and the similarly large round leather ottoman, from Hollywood at Home, conjure up the circle of life.

They found a place they liked, then called on Martin to transform it from a house into a home. The structure, which was built in the 1980s, was dark and dim. “Bringing in light and connecting the house to the garden was very important,” Martin remembers.

Positioned just beyond the front door and grounded by an oversize custom trestle-style dining table from Dos Gallos that can seat 14, this room puts the family’s priorities front and center.

While Martin and architect Trevor Abramson worked to brighten and energize the interiors, landscape designer Scott Shrader brought vibrancy outside. “My work always starts inside as my job is to make the connection from interiors to exteriors seamless,” Shrader says. “Erin had an amazing, strong concept for the interiors; it made my job so much easier.”

Martin created a fun bar, arched and lined with brick, that has backlit shelves, a brass bar top and Blackman Cruz’s iconic Yacht stools.
Positioned just beyond the front door and grounded by an oversize custom trestle-style dining table from Dos Gallos that can seat 14, this room puts the family’s priorities front and center.

Martin’s plan would translate the clients’ ideas from abstract concepts into concrete reality. “We kind of look at ourselves as artists,” she says. “We’re painting portraits of our clients through spaces, colors and tones and how you move through a house.”

The kitchen, which connects with the outdoor kitchen, is designed for
entertaining. Dual islands make prepping food for large parties
a breeze. Artist Brian Kennedy designed the hand-forged hood.

Here, that meant indoor and outdoor rooms that would serve to welcome friends and family over shared meals and drinks. The invitation starts at the front door, where Shrader’s bowed trellises coax visitors through a tunnel of greenery, past the sparkling music of a marble fountain and into the home through an enlarged doorway, as wide as a welcoming hug. An encaustic tile, inflated multiple times its original size, reinforces the home’s air of expansiveness while also shrinking the oversize hallway to human proportions. “I love scale,” says Martin, “I believe that you can work within any style but as long as you get the scale right, you can make anything look good.”


With its steel-framed glass door fully opening one wall of the space to the exterior, the family room blurs the line between indoors and out. The woolen pillows, from Chile, are from Treko.

With large archways that frame windows that face the central courtyard, the open dining room is inviting. Globe pendants, from the Urban Electric Co., that march down the center of the space, and a vellum piece by Napa-based artist Robbie Lee Fredericks, backlit by neon, ensure the room bewitches late into the night.

In the wine room, the tall black Oaxaca clay
table, designed by Sami Hayek, is the ideal spot for tasting the husband’s collection of fine vintages.

The husband’s office is positioned so he can watch over the home. “He can see who’s coming and going, from the front door to the backyard,” says Martin.

In the living room, Martin’s design is once again in service of creating a room that supports togetherness, with two back to back sofas that form intimate seating areas. That premise is underscored by a dark wood ceiling that feels expansive rather than oppressive. “Like the night sky, it actually has a calming effect,” says Martin.

The master bedroom is dominated by a custom- carved four-poster bed with
a carved headboard from A. Tyner Antiques in Atlanta and custom embroidered bedding
by Valerie Johnson for Erin Martin.

Throughout the house, a preponderance of light—coaxed inside by new openings inset with steel-framed windows—is balanced by a mixture of contemporary and antique pieces carved in dark wood that evoke the family’s South American roots. These include the custom four-poster bed in the master bedroom, the Sami Hayek table in the wine room, the chairs that sit at the head and foot of the dining table and the hand-tooled leather coffee table designed by Casey Gunschel for Erin Martin to mimic the rings on a tree trunk. Each outward ring represents a special moment in the family history and their growth together. “It’s old world, but cleaned up,” says Martin of the heavy furniture. “And you have those Spanish, early California and South American influences, but done in a modern way.”

Wooden statues underscore the celebration of life that is at the heart of this home.“They’re very much about what it means to truly be hospitable,” says Martin. “They may have left everything behind when they moved here, but what they brought with them is that very South American and European sense of embracing family and friends and opening the house to welcome everyone.” She adds, “This house lets them do that.” If home is where the heart is, this house is all love.

Scott Shrader curated a stunning design with the landscape that merges with the interiors.