Santa Fean June July 2013 Digital Edition

Page 112


with the flow an interior renovation brings light and energy into an Eastside adobe

by Samantha Schwirck photographs by Julien McRoberts

A painting by Rex Ray (Turner Carroll Gallery), wooden chairs by Loren Bienvenu, and textiles by Jamie Stoilis accentuate a cozy lounging area.

Artist Sarah Bienvenu and her husband, John, have lived in their late 1960s Eastside adobe for 23 years, and while the home has served them and their family well over the decades, they recently decided it needed some improvements. “The house was very eclectic in too many ways, and many of the details were clumsy and unattractive,” Sarah says. To help her get the renovation under way, Sarah contacted Jamie Stoilis of J Stoilis Design. The two collaborated with local artisans and businesses to improve the design and layout of the home, opening up the entryway, kitchen, and living and dining spaces to facilitate a better flow of light and energy, and to create an environment more conducive 110

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to displaying art. In addition to her own contemporary watercolors, Sarah, who shows at Winterowd Fine Art in Santa Fe, has a diverse collection of curiosities she and John have assembled over the years. “We’ve always loved the arts and crafts of New Mexico—Native American pottery, [pieces we bought at] Spanish Market, folk art, ceramics, and contemporary art,” Sarah says. “We’re not collectors, but we’ve enjoyed finding certain wonderful pieces.” Beverley Spears of Spears Architects created a remodeling plan that called for large, arched doorways throughout the home to assist with improving the flow between each room. A heavy wooden door ushers guests inside, where an intimate nook—containing a banco, a kiva fireplace, and wooden chairs made by Sarah and John’s son, Loren—is opposite the entryway. The nook leads seamlessly into the living area, where a fireplace featuring a handcarved mantel by Luis Tapia and custom tile work on the hearth by Leon Simas makes a stunning centerpiece. Jamie customdesigned shelving to accommodate specific pieces, like Mexican candelabras and folk art

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