Why let size cramp your style? Twelve can sleep comfortably in this dreamy 1,650-square-foot weekend house in coastal Marin County, California. For more decorating and decor ideas, read an interview with Erin Martin and Kim Dempster.
Thirty-inch buoy lights, from Erin Martin Design, hang from ropes. "The ceiling is high and narrow, and the lights bring it down and create a kind of canopy," Martin says. "It's like putting a hat on the space." A pair of antique French chairs are upholstered in natural linen.
Dutch doors and hand-carved detailing make this feel like "my Hansel and Gretel house," owner Kim Dempster says. The Victorian settee has been the site of many afternoon naps. When the picture window had to be replaced, Martin saved the original to create a kind of shadowbox for a collection of sea-themed paintings found at flea markets and garage sales. The coffee table was made from an old nautical chain. Dempster and her husband, Mark, purchased the Berber rug on a trip to Morocco.
The living room fireplace was inspired by the work of sculptor Louise Nevelson. It's composed of scraps of wood from the project and various woodworkers' shops and was made by Alethea Patton. Metal surround by Brian Kennedy. Sconce from Erin Martin Design.
A tufted cushion on the Victorian sofa makes a very comfortable guest bed.
Dempster was drawn to the cathedral ceiling in the living room.
Mark became obsessed with finding just the right vintage stove; he spotted this Chambers range on antiqueappliances.com. The blackboard on the breakfast bar is an opportunity for an intriguing quote. Subway tiles by Heath Ceramics remind Dempster of the inside of a shell. Gemini ceiling lights from Alfa. Paint throughout the house is Benjamin Moore's Snow on the Mountain.
Dempster had the refrigerator made by Antique Vintage Appliances, in Tucson, to look like an old icebox.
In the dining area, Shaw ceiling lights from the Urban Electric Co. hang over an antique trestle table, paired with vintage captain's chairs. A banquette, with more storage underneath, doubles as a guest bed. Vintage French linen — it reminds Dempster of sailcloth — hangs casually from Restoration Hardware rings at the window.
A Pottery Barn mirror reflects the dining area.
A vintage pull-down map bought on eBay hides the TV.
As an homage to the original redwood, Dempster left one section unpainted.
The lower level was transformed into a family room. Over Brian Kennedy's metal fireplace, you can see a portion of the new foundation. "People always say, 'You'll never see that money,' so we thought it would be fun to expose it," Dempster says. Industrial baskets from Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage, turned upside-down, became coffee tables. Blue slag glass from Artefact Design and Salvage has the look of sea glass. Verellen sectional. Floor lamp and rope curtain by Erin Martin Design.
Closet mirrors in the master bedroom expand the sense of space. The CB2 platform bed is covered in vintage French linen.
In the master bedroom, a lacquered root table from Erin Martin Design proves that big furniture works in a small space. A corner sink by Duravit reminds Dempster of Europe.
Dempster took the guest room ceiling up to the rafters and opened it up with a Juliet balcony. Linen curtains lined with blackout material let guests sleep late.
The bunk room feels like a ship's cabin and is lined with six bunks, four on one side and two on the other. Grommets on the curtains are meant to evoke bubbles. The brass porthole mirror was in Dempster's house when she was a child.
Safe Harbor is the name of this house — Martin sketched up this logo and had it stitched onto a curtain.
The bunk room bath is fitted with lockers for guests and family members. Dempster had the faucets on Kohler's Brockway sinks stripped down to the brass. The wall paneling is painted in alternating bands of flat and semigloss paint, echoing the stripe on the Pottery Barn towels.
Open the porthole window, and you feel as if you're outdoors. Showerhead by Waterworks.
The house is perched on a hill, amid wildflowers.
A deck and galvanized metal Juliet balconies on the upstairs bedrooms add to the square footage.
The honed Calacatta marble counter in the kitchen extends outside to make passing food easier. Tolix Marais stools from Design Within Reach are pulled up to the counter.
"The setting is the star," says Dempster, who kept the outdoor dining area simple. An assortment of galvanized metal furniture — including Crate & Barrel's Lyle chairs and 1934 Dining Chairs from the Sundance Catalog — are gathered around a table covered in Sundance's Americana tablecloth, made of homespun cotton and linen.
What a view!