Back in 2005, Mary Maydan, founder and principal of Maydan Architects, designed a home for her family in Palo Alto that broke the mold of traditional architecture with its glass and steel ultra-modern aesthetic. When the house sold in 2018, Maydan was asked by the buyer to assist in creating a new interior look.
At 3,600 square feet, the home boasts five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, as well as a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house on the 12,500 square foot lot. The home, the first of its kind in the area, was designed to introduce ultra-modern minimalistic style to the otherwise traditional neighborhood, and to create a sense of interconnectedness for the multiple generations living within. Large glass walls, which blur the line between indoor and outdoor, as well as clean lines and a careful selection of materials, are a few of the many unique aspects of the home that have paved the way for this style of architecture in the area.
One of the primary design statements within the space is a stunning winding staircase. Maydan says she designed the staircase first, and based the design of the rest of the house around it. Working with a very narrow and long lot, it was a challenge to create a beautiful entry. That’s how the idea of the striking staircase was born. She added a floor-to-ceiling frosted curtain glass wall behind the stairs in order to allow light to come in, while blocking the neighbors from view. Additionally, the home includes a first-floor office space and a family room that can also function as a media room, merely by dropping a 110” screen from the ceiling.
In 2005, almost every detail of the house felt like reinventing the wheel. There were very few suppliers of modern fixtures and accessories. The popular color palette was mainly beige, and all of the houses in the area used Crema Marfil Marble. Keen on having gray flooring, Maydan imported a container of natural gray tile as well as high-end aluminum windows and doors, plumbing, light parts, and even custom cabinetry from Israel.
The new buyer, a Silicon Valley billionaire, loved the house which, even 13 years later, was still ahead of the curve. Being from the Ukraine, the matriarch of the family wanted to give the house a “Russian vibe” and make the interior feel like a personalized space. In her words, she wanted the house to be “Glitzy and bold. The next house that you design for me will be quieter and classy.”
At about the same time the homeowner, who loves real estate, bought Kim Kardashian’s house in L.A. and purchased luxurious furniture for that house. She decided to bring some of this furniture to our project in Palo Alto. Since most of the spaces in L.A. were a lot bigger, it took creativity to make the furniture work.
The furniture pieces were by high end brand names such as Fendi Casa, and Bugatti. For the living room the selection was of brown and taupe Fendi Casa furniture and a Fendi Casa rug, and therefore the statement staircase, which was originally a steel color, was painted a complimentary glossy beige. In the dining room our client went for a table with a gold star at the center. The family room was furnished with a Bugatti sofa, armchairs, and coffee table from Bugatti.
While the Palo Alto house has a 16’ long primary bedroom walk-in closet, it is much less spacious than the Kardashian’s walk-in-closet. To solve this problem, the new homeowner decided to dedicate one of the bedrooms on the second floor to house her haute couture.
Material Used :
1. Interior furniture: Bugatti, Fendi Casa
2. Facade cladding: Stucco
3. Flooring: Gray Limestone tiles and slabs imported from Israel, white washed oak floors imported from Europe
4. Walls: Sheetrock
5. Gates: Metal
6. Fence: Vertical cedar planks
7. Door Handles: Olivari (imported from Italy), Formani
8. Windows: Aluminum
9. Roofing: TPO flat roof and metal curved roof
10. Interior lighting: Recessed square lights, Essedra (Spanish lighting designer), Artemide, Modern Form, Flos
1. Stainless steel entry door by Neoporte in L.A.
2. Paint grade white doors by Carrera Millwork
3. Frosted glass closet doors