This two bedroom, one bath 1929 bungalow received its first facelift in the 1950s when the previous owner added an expansive master bedroom (with no bathroom), wood paneling throughout, and a lava rock wall that overpowered the once modest fireplace. The result was a haphazard look I politely referred to as Medieval Madmen.
The new owner of this house, a young woman who, on our first phone call, described herself to me as a single lady-writer, wanted to bring her home back to its original twenties charm. She also wanted a sanctuary for writing, reading, and entertaining—cozy and pretty and bookish. She talked a lot about the Charleston Farmhouse, the English country home where Virginia Woolf and the rest of the Bloomsbury Group spent their days in creative collaboration. Because the client related to the world of storytelling better than the world of interior design, I created a narrative to accompany the style and feel we wanted to evoke. An elusive and eclectic Great Aunt who lived in a beaux art apartment in Paris and was constantly sending along the furniture she’d grown tired of. When we were out shopping we frequently asked ourselves the question, “Would Aunt Madeleine send this?” If the answer was yes, we would buy it.
We gutted and reorganized the home, adding an en suite bathroom to the master and altering the proportions of the rooms with built-ins and bookcases. We focused on the layout and architectural elements of the house, removing oversized sliding doors and "picture windows" and adding appropriately scaled windows where needed. We also created one of a kind custom lighting from vintage parts and sourced furniture that we could leave as found-- pieces from thrift stores and flea markets, knowing that when our lady-writer sold her first book, we could reupholster, redo and upgrade these pieces as desired.