Shock Rock

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Featured Company: Erin Martin Design - Location: Portola Valley, California - Project Type: Residence - Project Name: We Love This Woman

Photos by Conroy + Tanzer Photography,

By Brandon Goei

In the picturesque Portola Valley in Northern California, a house sits in the brush of a wooded knoll overlooking the cityscape of San Francisco, which lies off in the distance. Its structure is an eccentric bundle of rolling geometry, following the gentle curve of the land. Its interior follows suit with its off-kilter sentiment—an effect of its interior designer, Erin Martin, and her team, whose work transforms every element into a work of contemporary art.

Perhaps the most telltale sign of Martin’s intuitiveness comes from her statement regarding what makes for truly stunning design: “The architecture is always key...and if all elements are represented, a project will sing.” Her elements of choice? Concrete, wood, steel, and glass.

Indeed, the interior design of a project dubbed “We Love This Woman” has a special sort of interplay with the structure of the home. The crowning feature, according to Martin, is the gnarled pile of firewood wedged underneath the crisp steel and glass staircase, its organic mass supporting a functional, industrial workhorse.

The rest of the design is punctuated with prime examples of rock-‘n’-roll comfort, indulgent but somehow never to excess. Contrasting elements work in incremental fashion throughout the house, from tufted sofas and 1960s-type fiberglass chairs to an industrial leather-belt centerpiece and a heart-shaped steel light fixture. The walls themselves carry a sense of organized chaos from room to room, ranging from thick slabs of precast concrete to angular wooden ceilings to tooled leather.

Despite the copious amount of design work throughout the house, Martin seems most proud of the kitchen, which plots clean and classic lines against a tribal-like monochromatic china cabinet filled with dishware. “We call it DFP,” she says. “Designer fucking perfect.”

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