Chet Architecture and Ghislaine Viñas

Chet Architecture and Ghislaine Viñas Transform a Quirky Fixer-Upper into a Stately Abode

2021 Best of Year winner for City House

Rehabbing and updating the storied estate architect Chet Callahan shares with his husband, investor Jacinto Hernandez, and their two sons was a complex task. Callahan and his team collaborated with interior designer Ghislaine Viñas to transform this stately yet quirky fixer-upper into a bright and joyous family abode. The 1895 structure, a stylistic mélange of quasi-Craftsman, Spanish, and other influences, had been neglected over the decades, so historic photos were used to reconstruct original details. Awkward layouts were opened up and a glass-box addition grafted onto one side to draw in natural light and make the house less gloomy.

Callahan and Viñas also layered in contemporary interventions, such as the spiral staircase (winner of its own Best of Year Award). “Our goal was for the space to feel as though a tasteful gentleman had occupied it continuously over the course of its 125-year history, collecting artifacts and making expert additions over time,” Callahan says. Viñas mixed furnishings and decorative elements from wildly different eras and genres. “The house is filled with personal choices that tell meaningful stories,” she notes. For instance: the rugs she designed, one of which emulates an Alexander Calder sculpture outside the bank where Hernandez works. Featuring prominently is the homeowners’ contemporary art collection. (Viñas also advised on new acquisitions.) The kitchen’s cheeky mixed-media installation by Brett Murray expresses a credo the couple embraces in their reconceived residence.

A minimalist bar in a home designed by Chet Architecture and Ghislaine Viñas.
A sea blue rug and bench enliven this light-filled nook below the stairwell in a home designed by Chet Architecture and Ghislaine Viñas.
Wood detailing adds character throughout the home.
The homeowner's art collection is on display in the kitchen.
The living room features an expansive white sofa with eye-catching geometric chairs and a gold coffee table.
Chet Architecture: Chet Callahan
Ghislaine Viñas: Ghislaine Viñas