AIN’T IT GRAND!
by Catherine Warmerdam
Photography by Kat Alves
Architect: Popp Littrell Architecture + Interiors
General Contractor: Mills Builders
Traditional meets modern in Randy Reynoso and Martin Camsey’s art-filled kitchen. The painting on the left is by Ronald Popp, whose son Curtis Popp designed the home’s extensive remodel. “It was our first splurge on a nice piece of artwork,” says Camsey. The still life on the right is by Lindsay Frei.
Good bones. That’s what Randy Reynoso and Martin Camsey saw when they first stepped foot inside the stately but neglected Monterey Colonial that they purchased in 2010. “We saw it independently for the first time and we both loved it when we came in,” says Camsey. Adds Reynoso, “There was just something about it. I fell in love with these spacious rooms.”
The centerpiece of the living room is a 1926 Chickering player grand piano. Behind it hangs a portrait of Reynoso by artist Lindsay Frei.
Unfortunately, the home, which was built in 1928 on a tony street in the Sierra Oaks neighborhood, was suffering from an architectural identity crisis. An attempt to modernize it in the 1960s robbed the formerly grand residence of its functionality and historic character. Period details had been stripped away and transitions between rooms were awkward, to say the least.
“It was a tired, shabby old house that had had a lot of the function taken out of it,” says Reynoso. “But we knew it could be made grand again. Curtis made us believe that we could make the house right.”
Curtis is Curtis Popp of Popp Littrell Architecture and Interiors. He also happens to be a close friend of the couple via a decades-long friendship they shared with Popp’s late mother, Sue. “When his mother got sick, Martin and I told her that we were going to hire Curtis to do the house, and she was delighted,” says Reynoso.
The foyer’s chandelier, a gift from friends Rick and Teri Niello, is motorized so that it can be lowered when a dusting is needed. The Moroccan chair is covered in original Fortuny fabric. “Some people would have reupholstered it, but I love the patina of it,” says Reynoso.
The 10-person dining table by Michael Vanderbyl for Baker is surrounded by walls covered in sepia-toned hand-painted paper from Griffin & Wong. The chandelier, made of Czechoslovakian crystal, was installed in 1961. The sconces, from the 1920s, originally held candles but were wired for light bulbs.