Confession. I’ve been working on the design of my house for two years now. TWO. How do I know that? Because my kid is turning two this weekend! Granted, I pushed said child out while I was knee-deep in having to design an entire house, so I think my inertia was justified. And then there’s been the leaks and floods and ruined furnaces which win out over couches. But I know it’s getting ridiculous. I also know most of you probably assume I’m making our house up at this point (though these sneak peeks do prove otherwise, I swear). However, there’s nothing like a seriously stunning home tour to kick your motivation into high gear. Case in point, the Bay Area Victorian belonging to Irene Edwards, Editor in Chief of Sunset Magazine.
Our renovation tales are eerily similar. Irene also purchased a century-old Victorian in the Bay Area and tackled many of the same challenges we’ve faced, from knob & tube wiring to original plumbing and the delicacy that is lath and plaster walls. The finished product is proof positive that having a designer on your side can help keep you on track – this home was finished in just over one year (FML). Irene worked with interior designer Lynn K. Leonidas to bring her vision to life. And it’s a stunning one.
Irene’s home exemplifies how design details make all the difference. I love the use of black trim throughout (and not just because we did the same thing!) and glossy black accents punctuate most spaces. Modern light fixtures and eye-catching photography scattered through this house make a stately 19th century home feel totally current.
Old world and new world style collide everywhere you look. In Irene’s dining room, a classic farm table is flanked by both vintage chairs (salvaged from the old Sunset Magazine offices!) and modern white options. The floor-to-ceiling drapery adds a traditional touch that juxtaposes beautifully with the modern photography and the Troy Lighting Silhouette pendant.
Though it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite space in this house, the piéce de résistance just might be this kitchen. Dramatic 11-foot ceilings offer dizzying height and eye-catching storage (cookbook collection envy!). There’s a beautiful mix of finishes and textures in the kitchen including glossy Fireclay Tile that wraps all the way around to the eating nook, industrial look shelving that Irene DIY’d with pipe and pine boards, a shiplap ceiling, marble countertops and brass fixtures. The kitchen takes on a bit of craftsman feel, but it keeps a sultry side connecting the space with the vibe of the rest of the house. Very Sunset.
The love of print, pattern and texture extends through house’s upstairs rooms as well. Irene made a bold move in the master bedroom, hanging toile wallpaper throughout. I’m not sure I could live with that much pattern in my life, but Irene balanced it with a classic bed as well as a mid-century chair, lucite side table, and swing arm lamp.
I think this house does a beautiful job paying homage to a classic Victorian’s historic details while making it feel completely functional for today’s family life. It’s also just visually stunning. I find myself going back and discovering some new details in every single room. Brava Irene and Lynn! Now it’s really time to get my act together.
You can check out all the details, get behind the scenes stories about Irene’s renovation and her entire source list in the current issue of Sunset Magazine, on newsstands now. You can also see the online story here.
hans anderson home chandelier / vintage bust / roots atlantis coffee table / consort design pillows / paper maché bowl / sheepskin / gerhard ceramic bud vases / brass hardware / thibaut pheasant toile wallpaper / fireclay tile in shell / juniper floor lamp / jean ottoman
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interior styling by bianca sotelo, photography by thomas j. story courtesy of sunset magazine