Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Patti L. Cowger, Demystifying Design: Waiting for perfect
Demystifying Design

Patti L. Cowger, Demystifying Design: Waiting for perfect

  • Updated
{{featured_button_text}}
Pendants

Semi-custom blue glass light pendants were made to emphasize the blue accent color in the room.

Today’s column is my very first prequel. My upcoming Home and Garden centerpiece will feature a renovation of a home on Napa’s Historic Landmark Registry. It’s a Dutch Colonial Revival built in 1907.

This two-year project weathered many challenges including out-of-state homeowners, a re-engineered foundation, leveling of floors, and, oh, a global pandemic. But the homeowners and I enthusiastically agree that these challenges were well-worth meeting and well-worth the long wait.

Our selection of materials created a charming and appealing home that connects the past with the present. Each room has its own personality yet blends with its adjacent spaces.

Laundry

The decorative tile chosen for the laundry room floor inspired its mustard-gold walls.

For example, each has a distinctive, patterned wallpaper; decorative floor tile; and/or bold wall color. (Well, one room has a bold wall: the mustard-gold laundry room.) There’s an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary furnishings throughout which makes the home fresh and updated while still respecting its age and architecture.

Why am I telling you about a future column instead of publishing it now? The truth is, architect, Paul Kelley, Devine Construction Company, Heritage Painting, and yours truly were able to navigate through 15 long months of COVID restrictions without any out-of-the-ordinary blips. Every bit of the 2,300-square-foot house, inside and out, was upgraded, updated, and in the case of four rooms, renovated. Overall, this project flowed fairly smoothly regardless of the pandemic. But in design and construction, there is always a glitch.

Fabric

The much-delayed, much-anticipated but perfect fabric for the window shade. The vintage pattern of hydrangeas suited the historic, 1907 Dutch Colonial home. 

In the scheme of things, ours was a tiny one by way of a fabric backorder. Just two yards for one, small guest bath window shade. More times than not, fabric is in stock no matter the vendor. If not, we’re given a lead time that we either accept or reselect in favor of an available fabric.

We chose to wait. But because mills had been closed for months, their orders had become backed up and bogged down. We were notified of, and accepted, an extended due date. We were notified once again and then a third time. Why did we wait it out? After all, it was just for a bathroom upstairs that would rarely be seen. We waited because it was perfect.

Drawing

Scaled drawing of the guest bath. The tub was moved to the opposite side of the room which allowed for a built-in linen cabinet. Because the room is so small, the cabinet was left open, without a door, which made the shelves decorative as well as functional."

The color palette of the house is navy blue, medium gray, and white with matte brass hardware and fixtures. It was crucial that this palette be consistent throughout because of the wide variety of colors and patterns in the wallpapers, fabrics and tile.

Drawing  2

"The green vanity and wallpaper add a new color to the otherwise blue, white and gray color palette throughout the rest of the house. Semi-custom blue glass light pendants were made to flank the mirror

Even so, I was craving one more color (more than mustard-gold) and the upstairs bath was the ideal place to add it. It only took two nudges for my clients to agree. That color would be fresh-cut lawn green.

Shelves

The tall and narrow built-in shelves where painted green to match the vanity and bring color to the room

We used it to paint the custom-built vanity and the back panel of the open-shelved cabinet. By the way, we did not add a door to this cabinet for three reasons: it would have made this already-small space feel smaller, it would bump into the entry door unless that door was closed, and it would have prevented us from using more green to the room.

Shade

The colors in the window shade fabric match the tile and vanity. The hydrangea pattern fits into the cottage garden motif.

We also covered the walls above the white, tiled wainscot in green and white wallpaper with a lattice-like pattern. We were going for a garden ambiance – one of cabbage roses, camellias and hydrangeas that you might see in downtown Napa neighborhoods. Our much-anticipated fabric was a cotton print of large blue and white hydrangeas with leaves that matched our green, all on a navy-blue background.

Laundry

The decorative tile chosen for the laundry room floor inspired its mustard-gold walls.

Alas, it arrived, was made into a window shade, and installed just last week. Photos can be seen at www.plcinteriors.com/dutch-colonial-renovated-bath and on Instagram @plcinteriors. Stay tuned for more photos and the rest of the story of this historic house.

The new owners of a historic Napa home, the William Andrews House, would like to turn the former home into a luxury bed and breakfast, possibly called The Hotel California. Here's a look at what the home looks like, pre-renovation.

Patti L Cowger is an award-winning Napa-based interior designer and owner of PLC Interiors. For information about her interior design services, visit her website at plcinteriors.com or email plcinteriors@sbcglobal.net.

Make your house a home

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News