Maile Pingel Maile Pingel | July 26, 2021 | Home & Real Estate HBCA Home HBCA Home Tours
International influences bring a worldly outlook to a new home in Palo Alto.
Artworks by Jonathan Smith (above the custom sofa) and A.J. Oishi bring an ethereal spirit to the downstairs media room. The rug is from Stark.
It’s not uncommon for a couple to think about moving when their children have fledged the nest, but for one pair, both of them Silicon Valley executives, a house hunt never revealed a neighborhood as charming as their own. Hesitant to give up their quiet, tree-lined street, they decided instead to rebuild. Down came the old house and up went a new one, inspired, in part, by happy memories of traveling through Italy. Working with architect Adam Bittle of Architecture Allure in San Francisco, the couple devised “an Italian villa reimagined for the California lifestyle,” recalls interior designer Sindhu Peruri (peruridesigncompany.com), who was brought on as framing began. “They love to visit Tuscany and wanted that feel in the architecture,” she explains. “My goal was to keep the interiors contemporary and cohesive while bringing their vision to life.”
The downstairs powder room’s vestibule is lined with Porter Teleo wallpaper and displays a console from Coup D’Etat and Super Simple ceramics.
“They’re a family of blended cultures that share a lot of similarities in their vibrancy and way of life,” she continues. “I wanted the interiors to reflect their casual lifestyle and to ensure that the rooms were well laid out and inviting, with noteworthy moments in key areas.” Working closely with her clients, Peruri, who launched her eponymous Los Altos design firm in 2015, crafted polished spaces with a down-to-earth feel. “There’s some drama but nothing ostentatious,” she says. “And shopping trips with the clients helped us connect and understand one another on a deeper level.” An early visit to Coup D’Etat revealed not only the bronze bench now greeting guests in the foyer but the dining room’s John Pomp chandelier. “That was one of the first pieces we selected. It’s seen right as you walk in the front door,” she continues, explaining that they all liked the tension between the fixture’s modernist silhouette and the rusticity of the Mediterranean architecture. “It’s unexpected and it makes a subtle statement,” she says. Rounding out the room are Holly Hunt’s Ring dining table (“I love how the circles in the base work with the arches,” says Peruri) and an artwork commissioned from artist Jay Kelly that incorporates the couple’s wedding invitation and the names of their children. “I love the drama of the dining room. It has beautiful, timeless pieces,” notes Peruri, who is making a name for herself not just with residential projects (at the moment, she is doing several Bay Area homes and one in Hawaii) but with hospitality projects too, including The Post in Los Altos.
The living room’s bench is by Christian Liaigre and the cane chairs are from Orange Furniture.
“Wallpapers create such cool backdrops and can change a space in an instant.” –SINDHU PERURI
Peruri continued to play off the architecture in the adjacent living room, choosing an ethereal Lindsey Adelman chandelier for the space (“The clients loved it at first sight,” she recalls), midcentury-style lightwood side chairs and a Christian Liaigre bronze bench opposite the large stone fireplace. The furnishings, she notes, are “light and airy” to “let your eyes take in the room.” They also let the oil painting by Latvian artist Edite Grinberga take center stage. “Because of its large scale, it fills the room with cheerful light, even on an overcast day,” says the designer. To further keep the ground-floor rooms open and uncluttered, she also eschewed curtains. “We felt they would be too heavy, and we didn’t want to block the views,” she explains.
A Williams Sonoma desk defines the office.
Those views, which include a sunny paved entertaining terrace with ochre-hued stucco walls, also informed Peruri’s choice of neutral tones. “I love to build a palette based on a strong foundation of ‘beautiful basics,’ as I like to call them. I’m drawn to relatively neutral color schemes as I work in texture and contrast, then I dig into what makes a space personal for each client. In this case, we added a dose of vibrance in each room.” And it’s those artful, vibrant moments that truly make this house shine. In the powder room vestibule, Peruri used Porter Teleo’s gold and green Kintsugi wallpaper “because even pass-through spaces are important and deserve the same aforethought,” she notes. For the office, she chose Carlisle & Co.’s delicately patterned wood veneer and metallic foil wallcovering called Dynasty in a steely blue. “My client is on constant video calls and has really enjoyed not having to use a virtual background. It’s gratifying to have created a space that my client loves using every day,” she adds. (It’s worth noting that Peruri’s home office design for the 2019 San Francisco Decorator Showcase and her library renderings for its 2021 online event both won rave reviews from attendees.) “Wallpapers create such cool backdrops and can change a space in an instant, and I love that walking through this house is a visual experience.”
Holly Hunt pendants illuminate the kitchen, which is anchored by a Wolf range.
But Peruri, who was raised in Bangalore, India, and started drawing houses at the age of 5, also went one step further by hiring decorative artist Caroline Lizarraga to paint bespoke finishes. In the lower-level living area, Lizarraga created an ombre wall finish that goes from burgundy up to soft gray in a marblelike effect. (This is anything but your average basement—it’s a plush media lounge with a custom coffee table by the Italian firm Alcarol and artwork by Brooklyn-based photographer Jonathan Smith.) In the living room, Lizarraga gave the built-in niche a blue agate finish. It was a part of the room that had given Peruri and her clients pause. “We thought, ‘Should we do another piece of art? Bring in something vintage? Add shelving like a bar?’ But it was through Caroline’s work in the basement that we came up with the idea of agate, and it really works!” In fact, decorative finishes and murals have been in high demand lately, with Lizarraga creating designs for three more of Peruri’s current projects. “I tend to be ‘minimalistic,’ but Caroline’s work just takes spaces up a few notches,” says the designer of her frequent collaborator and now good friend.
The primary bathroom features an MTI tub with Rubinet fittings, Holly Hunt sconces and Walker Zanger tile.
Those sorts of artful details continue upstairs, where the designer commissioned London firm Maap Studio Artworks to create a wallmounted display of white- and gold-painted porcelain flowers. “The client mentioned that it makes her happy to wake up every morning and pass by this beautiful installation,” Peruri says proudly. In the primary bedroom, she took a “moody, tone-on-tone” approach, focusing on soft contrast and texture. It was all about creating a layered but tidy look that would serve as a soothing retreat for her busy clients. But it isn’t all seriousness. “We found the pillow painting by Carol O’Malia at Simon Breitbard Fine Arts and the clients laughed when they saw it. They like the juxtaposition of the crumpled pillows above their very neatly done bed—it’s a bit cheeky,” she says. Also upstairs are rooms for their children when they return home and a tranquil guest room with bedding that incorporates Kantha work textiles from Jaipur. (Many of Peruri’s family members in India work in the textile industry, so it’s an artform she knows well and appreciates.)
“To me, this home is an example of making discerning choices in art and furnishings. Every detail was thought through so that the clients can cherish their home for years to come,” she says. “The spaces are cohesive, and you get a sense of who the owners are, understated and elegant.” And most importantly, those clients are happy. So much so, her renovation of their Montana lake house is already on the books.
Seema Krish fabrics found at De Sousa Hughes were chosen for the guest room’s headboard and Roman shade. The chair is from BDDW.
INTERIOR DESIGN Sindhu Peruri, Peruri Design Company
Kitchen counter stools
Guest bedroom linens
DE SOUSA HUGHES
Christian Liaigre bench in living room, Seema Krish headboard and Roman shade fabric in guest bedroom
Kitchen island pendant light, primary bathroom sconces
LULU AND GEORGIA
Home office rug
Primary bathroom tub
Powder room vestibule wallpaper
Primary bathroom tub filler and faucets
SIMON BREITBARD FINE ARTS
Media room Jonathan Smith painting above sofa, A.J. Oishi painting by stairs
Home office desk
Photography by: Brad Knipstein