Photos by Chas Metivier
Undertaking a broad range of projects, all of which are grounded in smart design and mindful of healthy living, Sarah Barnard’s diverse body of work includes upscale private residences, chic restaurants, luxurious spas and impressive corporate headquarters. Her projects have been featured in local and national publications including Cottages and Bungalows, ELUXE, and California Home + Design, and have placed prominently in several noted design competitions.
Perched high above Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica, this contemporary townhouse was given a modern-meets-French-rustic design overhaul. When the homeowner purchased the property as a secondary residence, she hired interior designer and WELL AP / LEED AP, Sarah Barnard to plan a comprehensive remodel that would salvage much of the existing architecture and materials while reworking the space with natural, handmade and local materials. Salvaged barn wood, vintage light fixtures, area rugs, antiques, and locally made reproductions exist among contemporary artwork in this pied-à-terre.
The master bedroom combines contemporary elements such as the geometric inlaid headboard with antique furnishings and fixtures to create a fresh and healthy space. The vintage Austrian wall sconces (c.1960) add a subtle warmth to the crisp white space. A portrait painted by artist Brian Johnson sits atop a custom desk made in petite proportions. A Himalayan rock salt lamp adds warming illumination to the compact workspace. Elemental accents and organic materials are the basis for this environmentally conscious master bedroom renovation.
The master bathroom was renewed with natural, handmade and local materials. Recycled vanities make fast friends with wall mounted mirrors made from salvaged barn wood. The vintage Danish pendant light (c.1950-1959) is made of brass and glass. A recessed wall niche provides a perfect space for integrating live plants. Next to it hangs a fiber sculpture by artist Renae Barnard. Stainless steel faucets, integral towel bars and coordinating bathroom accessories meld effortlessly with the deep tones of the ebonized vanity. Fresh cut branches add visual interest to the porcelain sinks and bring the outdoors in.
In the kitchen, deep wood cabinets compliment the natural stone countertops and glossy backsplash tile. The extra-deep single bowl sink in an under mount, stainless steel design is both high-functioning and lovely. A dramatic chandelier made of recycled rock crystal adds sparkle to the sustainable kitchen design. The sleek design and minimalist elements of the kitchen work perfectly with home's integrated layout.
Both comfortable and contemporary, the living room is perfect for entertaining and features pieces from the homeowner's art collection. A solid bronze sculpture is perched on a coffee table specially selected to support its massive weight. With plenty of seating for guests, the vintage-inspired sofa was made locally of natural and sustainable materials. An abstract painting by artist Emily Van Horn is flanked by a pair of vintage French lamps (c.1970).
The home’s open floor plan allows for a pleasant flow between the kitchen, dining and living areas. A dining set was custom designed to fit perfectly. Custom walnut chairs are made by hand and outfitted with white leather for a fresh and timeless aesthetic, paired with a solid walnut dining table custom made from a single fallen tree.
The guest bedroom was inspired by the French countryside. Locally made antique reproductions pair perfectly with organic linen textiles and merge historical and contemporary aesthetics. A painting by artist Renae Barnard sits atop the bespoke blue nightstand. The woven headboard provides a rustic backdrop to custom silk pillows. The antique reproduction dresser features artwork by Karrie Ross and is flanked by delicate beaded sconces and natural linen roman shades.
Formerly an unused space within the home, the tiny attic was converted into a cozy and comfortable guest suite. Sarah chose to utilize the existing architecture and to salvage and restore much of the home's original materials, such as the natural wood flooring. A built-in walnut platform bed and bespoke floor sofa are low profile and maximize the space. Artwork by Karrie Ross and an adjustable swing arm wall sconce frame the sleeping nook.
This pied-à-terre features two petite but bold guest bathrooms, where mid-century modern meets rustic farmhouse chic. Wall-mounted mirrors were custom made from salvaged barn wood to perfectly fit the compact spaces. The black and white modernist furniture provides a bold, contemporary contrast to the vintage light fixtures and rustic details. In one, a grey river rock vessel sink pairs with honed stone counters and crackled ceramic backsplash tiles. Incorporating organic elements such as natural stones, woods and ceramics emphasize the environmental focus of this French contemporary renovation.
Merging historic and contemporary aesthetics, the renovated spaces honor the homeowner’s environmental concerns while balancing French Country stylings with both rustic and minimalist tendencies–a design approach that represents the complexities of her’s tastes and interests. After the completion of the project, the homeowner said, “I have always believed that your home must be your zen temple and my home gives me a feeling of peace. I love coming home to this creation and am very grateful.”