Home a showcase for interior designers
ucked away in Santa Fe’s quiet Eastside is a treasure trove of a house. The large, multi-level structure is notable for a number of high points, including a 90-year history, many inspired additions and renovations over the years, and a former resident list that reads like aWho’sWho of well-known New Mexicans— including Raymond Jonson, who cofounded the Transcendental Painting Group with Emil Bisttram.
Even more importantly, the residence at 820 Camino Atalaya is the gem exhibit of ShowHouse Santa Fe 2016, the project of a brilliant group of Santa Fe design specialists. The recently expanded and freshly decorated home is on display in October as a fund-raiser for the nonprofit organization Dollars4Schools, which provides valuable support for students in 18 Santa Fe-area schools. Last year’s Show House project raised more than $30,000 for Dollars4Schools, and benefited some 8,000 students in the areas of both basic needs and varied classroom programs.
There are more than 30 design and contracting specialists involved in ShowHouse 2016, as well as artists-in-residence Carol Anthony, Karen Earle Browne, Cindy Peck, and Abigail Ryan. The co-founders of ShowHouse Santa Fe are designers Jennifer Ashton of Jennifer Ashton Interiors and David Naylor of David Naylor Interiors.
“This (house) came to us in the dead of winter from our last year’s Realtor sponsor,” Naylor said of the decision to take on the Atalaya property as this year’s project. “They loved what we did on last year’s house and they said, we think we have a house for you. We saw the charm in this and it was easy.
“We’re working like we work for a client,” Naylor said. “This year we have Carol Anthony as an artist in residence. So she’ll be doing a wall mural and staging a studio (area) with her work.”
Ashton added, “It’s the first year the designers got a little more say on finishes. Typically, we decorate the house and the designers finish up the spaces.
“It’s a huge labor of love,” she said. “We all take our space and articulate our own expressions as designers, but we know it’s on our dime. Our theme is, ‘Everything Old Mexico Is New Mexico Again.’ The designers honor that in their own way. The owners have been fabulous to work with.”
In fact, current owners Barbara and John Clum purchased the house, which dates from 1923-26, in 1976. At the time it was a three-bedroom residence with a small guest house. Originally it was part of the estate of sisters Martha RootWhite and Amelia ElizabethWhite. Scions of a wealthy East Coast family, the sisters worked as Army nurses duringWorldWar I in Europe, then came to Santa Fe. Here they built the sprawling estate known as “El Delirio” (” The Madness”) where they entertained an immense circle of distinguished friends, and gained renown among dog fanciers raising generations of wolfhounds and Afghan hounds. Much of that large property now forms the campus of the School for Advanced Research, as well as the city’s Amelia E. White Park.