Q&A: João Correia of the 75 A-Frame
João Correia—a former professional cyclist turned entrepreneur—is the founder of luxury cycling travel brand inGamba Tours as well as Corso Sports Marketing, which represents some of the biggest talents in cycling. He's also owner of the 75 A-Frame in Sausalito, California, the home he shares with us at BoutiqueHomes.
What is "home" to you?
I travel a lot, so my favorite thing about home is the feeling I get when I come back to it. It’s hard to explain, but I start to smile the second I climb the front stairs.
What do you love most about the 75 A-Frame?
I love that my place feels like you’re surrounded by the forest. I know guests have connected with it in a similar way, and I get notes all the time from people saying how the house has a special calming quality to it.
The light coming through the windows, especially early in the morning, is incredible. And there’s just always this sense of calm. From the bed, you can see the hillside garden on one side and take a sneak peek at Alcatraz from the other, which is special, I think. That mix of a lux, tranquil garden, and The Rock in the middle of a cold sea.
What do guests love most about it?
There is a sense of tranquility that people really connect with here. Guests often say they feel like they’re in a remote place when they’re in the house but that if they want to go into the city, the Golden Gate Bridge is five minutes away.
How did you first discover it?
I was living in Los Angeles and my son was about to start high school in Mill Valley, so I wanted to move up here to be with him for the next four years.
I told a good friend of mine who is a real estate agent I was looking for something but didn’t want anything big. As soon as she sent me the listing, I knew this was it. I didn’t even view it before putting a bid on it, and it was the only house that I’d even considered.
What was the biggest challenge in creating it?
The space is just a little over one thousand square feet and the bedrooms are small, so we had to really think about how to work with that in a practical way. Luckily, neither of us have a ton of stuff so it worked well!
What’s your most treasured possession in the home?
The 1968 Muhammad Ali Esquire cover by George Lois. I worked at the magazine for a few years in the early 2000s and always loved the iconic covers of the Sixties. Lois was the Art Director for Esquire back then and a legendary ad man, but the photograph was actually by Carl Fischer.
Lois was trying to showcase how Ali, who was a close friend, was being persecuted by the government for his refusal to serve in the army as well as his conversion to Islam. He drew inspiration from Saint Sebastian, a third-century Christian martyr who was slain with arrows.
What was your biggest indulgence?
The Timothy Oulton tufted sofa. It was actually a fairly big argument between myself and my designers Cleaveland & Kennedy, since I had given them a really tight budget and then all of a sudden, I was trying to blow a good portion of it on the couch! To their credit, they did a great job in figuring out a way to work it into the space while staying on budget. Getting it into the house was a whole other challenge.
What is your favorite pastime when you are there?
Cooking and reading. The house has books everywhere, and I am constantly buying more. I also host a lot of dinner parties, so cooking is one of the things I do most in the house. We’ve had some legendary dinners come out of that small kitchen.
Where in the home are you happiest?
In bed. I love to sleep, and some would say I have a strange relationship with bedding, but there is nothing I love more than to get into a crisp bed and go to sleep.
What is your favorite place to curl up with a good book?
On the couch. It has such an amazing view of the open space and sea from it that every time I put my head up from reading, I smile.
What book would that be?
I read a lot of different types of books. I’ve just finished Andrew Roberts' biography of Churchill, but the one I read and re-read every few months is Silence: In The Age of Noise by Erling Kagge.
What is the soundtrack of the house?
Depends on my mood, but I mostly listen to music when I’m cooking. Everything from outlaw country to Lorenzo Jovanotti, jazz, Ludovico Einaudi, and Portuguese fado. If it’s my son choosing the soundtracks, it's usually classic rock from the Sixties and Seventies.
When you leave the house, where do you go?
You can hike into the Marin Headlands straight from the house, which is incredible. The first 10 minutes you go through small neighborhoods that are connected by a collection of hidden stairs all over Sausalito, and then you are at the trailhead. Within 20 to 30 minutes, you’re standing far above the Golden Gate Bridge overlooking the city, and it’s amazing how small everything looks from there. You could hike for days, straight out of the house.
Experience the magic of the 75 A-Frame for yourself here. Visit inGamba here and Corso here.