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Home: Beach Romance

At home with BottleCloth founder Brenda Sacks and her consultant husband, Jeff


Published:

Neighborhood
Windansea

Stats
2,500 square feet, with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms

Their Story

As most businesses start, Brenda Sacks saw a niche that needed to be filled. The South African native­—who worked in the garment industry and with her brother and son created Earthwise Bag Company, one of the first lines of reusable grocery bags­—couldn’t find a stylish placemat that could withstand multiple uses. “I wanted to use something that already existed,” she says. When she saw how cloth made from recycled plastic bottles could be a canvas for design, Brenda began work on BottleCloth, her line of contemporary, eco-friendly table coverings. The tablecloths and runners—look for pillow covers this summer—feature patterns of bold brushstrokes. A woman of many trades, Brenda uses a similar aesthetic for her line of tees, Libre Collecte (pictured above). She designs the pieces in the Windansea home that she shares with her husband, Jeff, a business consultant and BottleCloth’s CFO, as well as her stepson, Nick. Jeff bought the house in 1997, and in 2005, the couple renovated the home, adding a second floor and sprucing up the kitchen. Given its dreamy location facing Windansea Beach, the couple keeps the interior minimal to let their view do the talking. As Jeff puts it, “We feel privileged and lucky every day.”

Their Treehouse

To fill out the spacious, sun-drenched living room, Brenda purchased the twin chairs from a now-shuttered Del Mar boutique and a leather reading chair from Restoration Hardware, and custom-designed the coffee table with Colibri Furniture. The dining table was made with a fallen redwood piece that the couple spotted during a trip to Northern California. “This piece was in the river for 60 years!” Brenda says.  Wooden dining chairs from Restoration Hardware round out the space and a BottleCloth tablecloth lends a modern touch.

Cut From the Same Cloth

“I love cooking,” Brenda says. “We entertain a lot. Hence the tablecloths!” Though Brenda has collaborated with Danish illustrator Ulla Puggaard on two designs in her collection, most of the patterns come from Brenda’s original sketches. “The brushstroke thing just happened,” she says. “I love instant gratification. The art is so me. I want it to be finished in one stroke. I don’t have the patience to wait!” And each covering has its own feel. “You can mix and match,” she says. “There’s a quirkiness to it.”

When the front patio heats up in the summer, Brenda and Jeff retreat to their cool and cozy back patio—usually with wine and a book in hand. “It’s a haven,” she says.

Secret Garden

Just as impressive as the Sacks’ ocean view is their back garden, brought to life with rosemary, basil, and other plants, nurtured by Jeff and frequented by their cats Mellow (above) and Squeaky (not pictured). An adjacent window displays Brenda’s favorite hue through various bottles—from Arizona, Amsterdam, Paris, and more—that she has received as gifts. “You see touches of cobalt blue throughout the house.”

“Originally there was a piano in here,” Brenda says of her office. “I learned one song, and Jeff was screaming at me!” Now she designs her BottleCloth patterns in this space on a raised work bench purchased at Sears. Inspirational images and lettering, as well as family photos, give the space a personal touch.

Work of Art

Before building out her office last year, Brenda put brush to paper at her bedroom desk from Pottery Barn (above). As part of a DIY project, she stripped the color off the desk legs and chipped away pieces. “It’s still half-finished,” she admits. “It’s so weird. It just blended in, and I didn’t need to finish it.” Now with a proper work space, she doesn’t get quite as much time with the Windansea view. “In the beginning I spent a lot of time planning and looking out onto the ocean, spending time with nature,” she says.

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