Homepolish designer Benedetta Amadi transformed her Liberty Hill home, once "Home Depot modern" (as new construction usually is) into a collected, travel-inspired vision—with a Scandinavian accent. The Italy-born designer, who moved to San Francisco from New York in 2013, is drawn to the organic minimalism of Scandinavian design, with its raw woods and cozy textiles.
With neutrals as her canvas, Amadi appointed the decor with the familiarity of worn leather, the warmth of reclaimed wood, and lively hues such as ocean blue and poppy red, which mostly come from Moroccan textiles (soon, she'll include the shibori she picked up on a recent jaunt to Tokyo). Adding an array of photography—from an iconic shot of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd in the dining room to the living room’s tribal portraits by Lyle Owerko, the photographer who captured the searing 9-11 cover image for Time Magazine—Amadi deepens the airy two-story home with cultural remembrances from a lifetime of wanderlust.
Amadi greets most mornings with a cup of coffee in the auspiciously east-facing living room, where she can watch the sun rise over the downtown skyline. In the evenings, Amadi and her husband sidle up to their vintage Knoll Tulip table for a home-cooked plate of more cultural mash-ups: Pasta, for instance, is served with a "black-bean something," nodding to her husband's Cuban heritage.
We recently sat down with Amadi to discover more about what it means to translate a chic, globetrotting lifestyle into a place to call home.
What do you like about Scandinavian design?
I like the simplicity of it. I’m not a fan of elaborate decor. I think that Scandinavians are actually masters at keeping things very simple, yet withing a very specific aesthetic. And I like the sort of “poor” materials that are used—for example, they may no use fancy wood, but it’s still beautiful.
Which passport stamps have you accumulated to collect all of these global objects? all the exotic textiles and items in your home from your travels?
Well, there are items from Vietnam on the coffee table. And I mentioned the shibori textiles from Japan. I’ll probably make those into throw pillows. My dad lives in Brussels, so whenever I visit him, I always hit the vintage markets. I’m European, so I don’t find those pieces very exotic compared to most of the others I’ve picked up.
What is your favorite part of the home?
I really love the fact that the view of the city is part of the design. Coming from New York, it’s really special to be able to see the horizon and the sky and all those buildings down there, because in Manhattan, all I had to look at was the side of another building.
You're an international jet-setter. Does this new-ish place feel like home?
I moved to the Bay area because of my husband’s work, and the house has definitely made me like the city much more and feel more at home in this town that was not really my town. Being able to design your own space is really special. It’s definitely been a labor of love.