Bringing Nature Indoors
Talented and visionary Maria Tenaglia took a once large, one-level farm-style home and created a warm and masculine sanctuary that highlights the very best of California -- nature, sunlight and the innovative use of raw materials. In designing the space, Tenaglia focused on preserving and highlighting the powerful natural beauty of Carmel, while maintaining a sense of serenity and comfort.
She designed the non-structural cedar ceilings that are present throughout the open layout and to maintain a sense of consistency brought wooden beams into the kitchen as well.
Masonry, by the use of stone and marble, is another consistent and natural feature of the home. Maria highlights fireplace mantles and large walls with stone detailing, and uses natural tile and marble as the kitchen backsplash and countertops. She employs large windows and at times, almost floor to ceiling, to allow the bright California sun to permeate and envelop all parts of the home.
Restructuring the Floor Plan
With an open floor plan and an unobstructed layout, Tenaglia separated the various rooms by creating different floors and elevations. The dining room, for example, sits a few stairs atop a formal living room. To separate a breakfast nook from the kitchen, Tenaglia lowers the ceiling above the alcove and surrounds the space with large windows and lots of natural light.
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One cannot disregard functionality when designing a modern home. Long gone are the days where the kitchen is banished to the furthest part of the residence and no longer do we sit daily for elaborate meals in a formal dining room. Tenaglia considered these general lifestyle upstates and made sure to make every space in the home as practical as possible. The kitchen is accompanied by a living area, making cooking and meal prep enjoyable, as company can be present without overcrowding the kitchen. The island in the center of the kitchen is large enough for even the most professional chef, with room for three diners to sit, watch and nibble.
Masculine but Warm
The home was designed with a masculine sensibility, but Tenaglia did not compromise on fostering a warm and serene refuge. The deep caramel hickory floors exemplify this masculine and intimate sensibility, as they not only mirror the ceiling but also signify a sense of informality. Subtle accents and variations of color are present throughout the space, whether in pillows, tables or art. The natural wood and masonry are paired with lacquered red accents, Turkish blue textiles and luxurious leather. Tenaglia also adds a textural dimension to the home, incorporating different textures like metal and brass in accent tables, reclaimed wood in the kitchen chandelier and horn and shells in decorative accessories.
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Personality and Pizzazz
One of my favorite decorative elements in the home is the entrance hall. Upon entering the residence you're greeted by a bright red bicycle that just makes you smile. Not only is this a wonderful personal touch, but it's a magnificent way to be received into the home.