Wel­come Home

Décor - - Contents - Writ­ers Mara Boo and Ann Wil­son pho­tog­ra­pher John Merkl pro­ducer Jenny Bradley Pf­ef­fer

A de­signer rein­vents a young fam­ily’s his­toric Cal­i­for­nia home with clas­sic style and whimsy.

Happy hues and durable tex­tiles pave the way for fam­ily life in a cen­tury-old Cal­i­for­nia home.

This photo: Glim­mer­ing fab­rics and light­ing set a ro­man­tic mood in Jes­sica and Chad Her­rin’s din­ing room, used for both spe­cial oc­ca­sions and ev­ery­day fam­ily meals. A hide rug grounds an es­presso-glossed cus­tom din­ing ta­ble by de­signer Ken­dall Wilkin­son and cus­tom chairs cov­ered in plat­inum vinyl. Op­po­site: Art by Joshua Meyer, cus­tom­painted silk wall­pa­per, and a vel­vet-clad bench of­fer a spir­ited greet­ing to guests.

A cock­tail party in a closet? Cup­cake wars for a child’s birth­day party in a for­mal din­ing room where dig­ni­taries have dined? Why not? That’s life for Jes­sica and Chad Her­rin, and ver­sa­til­ity is the en­dur­ing legacy of the cou­ple’s 1902 Cal­i­for­nia home.

That po­ten­tial, how­ever, was less-than-re­al­ized when the cou­ple first laid eyes upon the place. “We pulled up and de­bated whether we should even go in­side,” Jes­sica says.

“It was a wreck.” But Jes­sica—an en­tre­pre­neur­ial vi­sion­ary who co­founded a wed­ding gift reg­istry web­site at age 24 and later started the so­cial jew­elry-sell­ing busi­ness Stella & Dot—is hardly averse to a chal­lenge. “I fell in love with the prop­erty,” she says. “Once I con­vinced Chad it wasn’t to­tal mad­ness, we ded­i­cated our­selves to mak­ing it a com­fort­able fam­ily home.”

With two young daugh­ters, Char­lie and Ta­tum, the cou­ple wanted their new home to co­coon their im­me­di­ate fam­ily as eas­ily as it would wel­come large groups. “It was our goal to honor its her­itage and keep its old-world charm, yet up­date it to feel youth­ful,” de­signer Ken­dall Wilkin­son says.

And so the house was al­most com­pletely gut­ted, “brick by brick and wall by wall,” Jes­sica says. The painstak­ing process— reg­u­lated by his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion pro­tec­tions—took three years, re­sult­ing in open spa­ces more con­ducive to en­ter­tain­ing. Still, its ar­chi­tec­ture was re­spected, even revered. Mold­ings and trims were repli­cated, door­ways em­bel­lished, and orig­i­nal mill­work sal­vaged. Jes­sica’s fem­i­nine aes­thetic was then wo­ven through­out. “This house sparkles,” Wilkin­son says. “We have mir­rors, we have Lucite, we have gold, we have plat­inum—it’s a lot like Jes­sica’s jew­elry. A lot of the fur­nish­ings feel like jew­elry, and much of the pal­ette came from her jew­elry.”

That neu­tral pal­ette is sub­tly punc­tu­ated by shades of plum. Rang­ing from aubergine to laven­der, or­chid, and rasp­berry, they wash over rooms that, upon close in­spec­tion, re­veal tonal sur­prise. “I was at­tracted to things that felt youth­ful, as a coun­ter­point to an oth­er­wise ma­ture home,” Jes­sica says. Largely tex­tu­ral, fea­tur­ing an oc­ca­sional state­ment-mak­ing print or pat­tern, up­hol­stered fur­nish­ings ac­com­mo­date Chee­tos-eat­ing chil­dren and the fam­ily’s Gold­en­doo­dle with nary a shrug. “To me, a home is meant to be lived in,” Jes­sica says. “I care more about peo­ple con­nect­ing in my home than I care about the car­pet.”

The liv­ing room’s rug and sofa fab­rics were kept neu­tral to al­low art and ac­cent fab­rics to add high volt­age. White-shag-cov­ered ot­tomans with Lucite legs keep the mood youth­ful, pro­vid­ing a whim­si­cal coun­ter­point to the room’s for­mal mill­work.

“This house has a soul. It spoke to me im­me­di­ately.”


The li­brary’s orig­i­nal case­work is painted high-gloss black to con­fer un­abashedly dra­matic style. “I love the mix of black and yel­low,” Wilkin­son says. “It el­e­vates the space from feel­ing old-world to Mad Men- ish. It’s a lit­tle more fun.”

This photo: The closet de­sign max­i­mizes space for dis­play­ing Jes­sica’s col­lec­tion of jew­elry. Op­po­site left: Sil­ver leaf glams up a con­tem­po­rary bed in the mas­ter suite. Vel­vet-cov­ered arm­chairs and rose­wood-ve­neer night­stands punc­tu­ate the to­neon-tone room. Op­po­site right: Mar­ble floors and an abun­dance of mir­rored sur­faces wash the bath in clas­sic style.

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