Home Tour | Northern California Eichler | Davies Del Diablo
Nestled into a Northern California Eichler neighborhood is Davies Del Diablo - the home and creative space of Carla Mannix and Paul Davies.
Bought in 2017 - Carla and Paul have tackled most of the projects on their own to update this mid-century gem into the the stylish space it is today.
Keep reading for a glimpse inside their impeccably styled Eichler.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and what initially drew you to your home.
I (Carla) am a graphic designer and Paul is a photographer by trade and live in our home with our 4 year old daughter and two big dogs. I initially fell in love with Eichlers in high school, when I walked into a family friend’s home in Rancho San Miguel and became instantly obsessed. Fast forward 10 years: after a few failed offers, some tears and feeling like we may never get one, we stumbled upon our house. It was falling apart from deferred maintenance, but it had some fantastic key features that we couldn’t pass up: all of its original globe lights, unpainted brick fireplace / ceilings and on a great street in an amazing neighborhood. We started our Instagram to document our progress and felt so welcome by the Eichler and midcentury community ever since.
How would you describe your design ethos and aesthetic?
This has evolved over time, but one thing that I have tried to do is stay very true to myself and not fall for social media trends, which can be hard since there is so much great inspiration out there. Because we have a young kid and large dogs, form has to follow function and so we are fully embracing the wabi-sabi that is our house. Our aesthetic is textured, warm, natural, practical and global. We love Mexican, Japanese, Scandinavian and Californian cultures and I think hints from each have sort of fused together in our home by way of artwork, souvenirs, and thrifted / antiqued pieces. Sometimes it can be challenging to practice restraint when it comes to decorating, but keeping the home’s period and architecture front of mind has helped keep things cohesive.
Do you have a favorite room in your home? If so, which one and why?
The living room is probably my favorite room because we spend so much time in it as a family. It’s positioned at the back of the house and surrounded by windows, so we have views of the back yard, the atrium, kitchen and office, which is bright and sunny on most days, but really cozy on a rainy day. A close second isn’t a room, but our front yard! We recently DIY’d it and added a cozy seating area with a fire pit. It’s become a great place to sit in the morning with a cup of tea or wind down in the evening with an adult beverage while our kiddo plays in the street.
Your home is filled with a unique edit of one of a kind finds. What is your most treasured piece of furniture or decor in your home?
It feels impossible to choose, but I think the 1960s Drexel Composite buffet cabinet we have in our bedroom is my favorite piece of furniture. It was a lucky FB Marketplace find from @uchimodsf; It’s so unique and I love that the wood tone looks like the original mahogany. I also love the art hanging on the living room fireplace that was an Oakland White Elephant find—it brings depth and color that I never realized I needed in my life!
Have you encountered any challenges while restoring your Eichler?
So many I don’t even know where to begin. Because we bought our house in such a state of disrepair, we’ve basically had to re-do everything; one of the big challenges was budgeting for everything and knowing when to repair, restore or replace. Luckily, Paul is extremely handy and has been able to DIY a vast majority of the work, helping us save money and appreciate the struggle much more.
Can you share a tip or two for anyone who might be restoring a home with period details?
Two things we live by: Respect the architecture and take your time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed my mind on a direction, but I can confidentially say that taking time to live in the space while saving to budget for projects has almost always led me to make decisions that feel more period-appropriate. One thing I’d really like to avoid is designing my home to feel contemporary today only to feel so 2023 in ten years.
We love rituals at Elsie Green - Do you have a ritual for starting your day or centering yourself to make space for the creative process?
In our house we love to “joke” that we have no chill. Between our rambunctious dogs and wild toddler, our house is loud, chaotic and there’s always something going on. We often will start one DIY before the last one is complete and it can sometimes feel never-ending. One thing we’ve learned from operating in and organizing the chaos is that we do our best work when we’re well-rested, well-caffeinated and not hangry, ha! That looks like us sitting down for a big breakfast, talking about our plans for the day and making a list before executing, we try to do one home maintenance or improvement project every weekend, which may seem like a lot, but Eichlers are really that next-level!
Share your favorite local cafe, restaurant, and shop with our readers.
Favorite café is probably States in Martinez, best restaurant in town is hands down La Fritanguera, a Nicaraguan restaurant (as a Nicaraguense, I can confidently tell you it’s the most authentic in the Bay Area) and my favorite store is the Heath Factory store in Sausalito! I just love their second quality dishes and don’t feel like I need to be too precious with them.
What is on the horizon for Davies Del Diablo?
We’re thinking of opening the can of worms that is a kitchen / laundry room update, including re-installing mahogany panels throughout the kitchen. The vision is moody and trendless! Additionally, we are hoping to open up our home to more partnerships and as a shoot location, so we’ll be preparing for that too!
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