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Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

A modern mission revival, Trestle Apartments in San Carlos claims inspiration from the iconic railways of the past. Nestled along El Camino Real, every detail of this luxury apartment community has been thoughtfully hand-selected.

We invite you to explore the hidden story of Trestle, as told by the designer behind the project – Jenn Ray of Prometheus.

Where did you begin with the concept? How did it evolve?

Jenn Ray (JR): The concept for Trestle began by taking a deep dive into the location. Located on El Camino Real and along a major transportation line for the bay area, it wasn’t hard to nail down a solid concept from the beginning. The Spanish architecture of the neighborhood was also an influencer. We knew we had to embrace the history of the location, and run with the style of the buildings. Modernized Mission Revival became the concept. The interiors represent this through the rich colors, texture, dark wood, tilework and use of artisan wares throughout.

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

Tell us a little more about the use of artisan wares.

JR: The tile selection and placement throughout Trestle really ties back to the overall concept. We selected handcrafted tiles from Cle Tile in Sausalito for the I AM HOME wall and clubhouse. They feel like a simplified Spanish tile that really speaks to the present day Mission revival feel we have throughout the neighborhood.

We partnered with Marie Fisher Interior Design (MFID) to help curate the artwork. They sourced Otomi quilts, black and white Mission photos, handmade planters, terracotta sculptures, Mexican folk art and pinch pots. These all reference the locations along the “Royal Road” that stretched from Baja to Northern California in the 18th century.

The furniture and millwork details reference the luxurious luggage details that can be found on vintage pieces. We took those details and modernized them a bit in all of the selections. There is a heavy use of metal, leather, rich colors and some caning.

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

One of my favorite details is the sconces above each apartment home.

JR: The Mission Bell Marker system has existed on the historic route of the El Camino Real since 1906. The original marker system intended installation of bells one mile apart along the entire length of the El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma. The sconces throughout the corridor of Trestle are a fun little nod to the past.

There are three gorgeous stitched pieces of art on the first floor that grab your attention. What is the story behind those?

These are Otomi textiles, or tenagos! It’s a traditional embroidery technique from central Mexico in the state of Hildago. In the 1960s the craft was revived for an additional source of income after a devastating drought for the Otomi tribe. The depicted flora and fauna are inspired by nearby cave drawings.

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

I’m a big fan of metalwork and love the sign that notes the Neighborhood. What inspired the detail?

Tim Nash worked on the Neighborhood sign with Meyer Reed. It was inspired by handmade Spanish tiles, heavily influenced by the Mission style.

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

Last but not least, what is your favorite part of this Neighborhood?

My favorite space is the Neighbor Lounge. It really feels like a cozy living room to me. We were gifted low ceilings here, which I think made everyone nervous in the beginning, but I love how intimate it ultimately feels. The beams add a little detail and the rich colors on the millwork and dark wood flooring make it a little moody.

I also am pretty in love with the sofa in the lounge. It is from one of my favorite furniture crafters – Casamidy – and handcrafted in Mexico. The metalwork and leather ties on the waxed canvas are lovely and bring the extra element of detail that we were looking for circling back to the luggage details seen throughout the space.

The Neighbor Lounge feels totally comfortable with different zones for Neighbors to relax and kick their feet up and enjoy. I really hope the Neighbors feel like they can enjoy the space as an extension of their home.

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

Behind the Design: Trestle Apartments in San Carlos

A big thank you and congratulations to the team on this incredible project:

-        Raluca, for her insightful design work.
-        Melissa, for her schedule and budget assistance. She was like Trestle’s fairy godmother.
-        Karyn, for her work on procurement and installation. 
-        Jessica and Ricky, for their construction team management.
-        Jenn, for her vision and dedication bringing Trestle to life.