Surf’s Always UpAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Amanda Barnes Interiors helps a Bay Area family turn a vacation escape into their forever home
“As a native of a south Orange County beach community (who grew up down the street from this project), I embrace the outdoors and creating spaces that work in harmony with the endless trails of sand that follow you inside your home,” says San Francisco-based designer Amanda Barnes on how she infuses each project with idyllic California vibes. “Like my clients now, I spent every weekend at the beach, skateboarding through my neighborhood, and using my backyard as if it were another room in our home,” says Barnes.
This 4,000-sqaure-foot beach bungalow was under construction when Barnes’ Northern California-based clients purchased it as a vacation escape. “This property was initially purchased as a vacation home but the whole family quickly fell in love with the relaxed lifestyle and a slower pace than they were accustomed to living in the Bay Area,” says Barnes. “After a few months of surfing every day after work and enjoying endless sunshine, my clients never looked back and now work and play permanently in Southern California.”
Originally a spec, Barnes overhauled the floorpan, creating more high-traffic spaces where the family could gather and entertain. “My clients were very clear about the goals for their home,” she says. “They wanted a space that reflected relaxed living, allowing for easy entertaining in a home that could survive the beach lifestyle and two active kids. All of this was preceded by only one wish that the home felt special and unique to their family.”
The team started by altering the window plan in order to create endless views of the Pacific and full visibility of the Trestles street (T-Street). “A few notable challenges within the home were the placement of some of the windows. In the orginal plans the scale of the entry was only slated for a few windows and drywall. The home was definitely lacking a first impression,” Barnes notes.
They then imbued each space with finishes and materials that created a more warm, customized feeling. “We added vertical shiplap to the two large walls flanking the entry to draw your eyes up and compliment the details on the wood and iron stair railing,” says Barnes of the entry. “I feel like the tile in this home connects each space but every room tells a different story.”
The tile selections throughout the kitchen and bathrooms give the house the perfect amount of personality. “I love everything about the kitchen. It feels practical, beautiful and is the workhorse of this home,” she says. “Aside from the functional design, the stone and tile combo in this kitchen have my heart. The Clé zellige tile that runs the length of the backsplash and is wrapped around the hood has a textured and shiny look that is reminiscent of shells.”
“I tried to keep the spaces cohesive but give them their own personality. The custom scalloped cement tiles in the pool bathroom feel reminiscent of mermaid scales, the powder bath channels an upscale Hawaiian beach vibe, and master bathroom’s oversized tiles suit the airy and spacious retreat,” says Barnes.
After flying back and forth from the Bay Area for over a year, Barnes and the team were ready to install when the shelter-in-place order began. “I ended up installing this project remotely over FaceTime with my client leading the charge,” she says. “It was a first on many levels but a day we won’t soon forget! They spend their time running from the pool to the beach and have enjoyed their home both as a landing spot away from the great outdoors and as a peaceful retreat in the midst of a global pandemic.”