Seeking a modern shell for their mid-century pieces, a pair of collectors found a relatively untouched Eichler in San Rafael, California—and a built-in excuse to acquire more furniture. Read Full Article
Mark Neely and Paul Kefalides’s living room is decked out with the couple’s vintage finds, including a Hans Wegner Sawback chair (the fur throw obscures an area needing repair), a George Nelson Ball Clock, a DF-2000 cabinet by Raymond Loewy, a light designed by Greta Von Nessen, and a suite of Brian Willshire wooden sculptures, one of Neely’s many collections.
After painting the sitting room room Kendall Charcoal from Benjamin Moore’s Aura line, Neely wanted a sculptural element that would show up against the dark hue. So he assembled his white Algues set, designed by the Bouroullec brothers for Vitra, on the wall behind the sofa with pillow by Judy Ross. “Though the Bouroullec piece is manufactured in mass quantities, you can create your own take on it,” he says. “It looks great no matter how you place it. I think of it almost like an inkblot—the randomness is part of its beauty.”
In the living room, a travertine-topped coffee table by Paul McCobb pairs well with the Florence Knoll Parallel Bar System sofa. The Josef Albers print over the fireplace is an original, scored on eBay.
The most changed area of the home is the small guest room–office, where Neely, who works from home, removed the closet doors and added a grass-cloth wall treatment to distinguish it from the rest of the house’s decor. “Many of the Eichlers originally had grass cloth as a covering on the sliding closet doors,” he says. “The guest room–office is the only other room that can be seen from the public areas across the atrium, and I wanted this wall to add visual interest.”
The bed in the master bedroom is actually two single 1950s George Nelson Thin Edge beds--made from birch, enameled metal, and cane--that Neely bought at auction at the John Toomey Gallery in Oak Park, Illinois. "I love the contrast of the white wall with the wood and woven material," says Neely, who likes to keep the beding simple--often a paisley from Ralph Lauren--so as not to detract from the bed's strong lines.
The white Vico Magistretti dining table is a focal point when you enter the house--"and a great spot to create assemblages of some of my favorite objects," says Neely, who changes the display every few weeks. Set atop a reversible Finn Juhl tray are ceramics from Heath and a Carl Auböck fruit knife with a cane-wrapped handle. Notes Neely:"I always keep a handful of tillandsia around--air plants soften and warm up the space."
A textile designed in 1998 by Scandinavian designer Carl Johan Hane serves as an artful accent to the guest bedroom. Neely found the patters--Mobile, created for the Swedish textile company Kinnasand--as Skandium, in London. "I wasn't sure how best to display it. Then a painter friend of mine suggested I have it stretched across a wooden frame, just like artists do with raw canvas," he says.