Hill House Two


One of The Archer’s earliest projects is this refurbishment of a rare surviving example of California Spanish Deco architecture, designed and built by Lyle Nelson Barcume in 1932. The elaborate tile work and shaped plaster details provided an unlikely envelope for a collection of mostly late twentieth century furniture and art belonging to the clients, a cinematographer and his producer wife. The house had undergone a significant renovation just prior to their purchase, and some dubious choices had been made, such as uneven flagstone kitchen floors.

To snap the house back into focus, we began by ebonizing the oak floors and whitewashing most of the unadorned plaster surfaces with soft white paint, keeping the existing frescos intact. The new chicken-wire fronted bookshelves with blackish-green interiors were inspired by the library of the Villa di Granaiolo near Florence, and the addition of these, as well as a chandelier and mirror-polished chrome sofa designed by Luigi Caccia Dominioni give the oversized living room human scale. Tomato red brushed cotton draperies over cream-colored fishnet sheers, cognac-colored mohair velvet upholstery, and an Archers-designed wool rug in vibrant complementary colors of chartreuse and aubergine add drama and warmth. Our ‘Gemini’ coffee table, here in Noir Saint Laurent marble, was originally designed for this room. The wall-hung cerused oak console was inspired by a nineteen-thirties French example, and the piano lamp is by Sergio Mazza.

Late nineteenth century Italian Chiavari chairs surround a minimalist Jean Nouvel table under a Noguchi paper lantern in the dining room, while new draperies, rugs and unique pieces commingle with the client's original furnishings throughout the house.


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