Tuesday, June 15, 2010

San Francisco Designer Jean Larette's First National Feature

California Wine Country Chic
For months, my friend Jean Larette (who was named to House Beautiful’s top designers list a few years ago) had been telling me about the house she was designing in the Napa Valley. I was intrigued.

Jean praised the owners, adored the architect, and admired the landscape designer. “This is a great team,” she would say. What a pleasure.”

Now I finally see the house in print.

Twelve pages in the June issue of House Beautiful. The photos by Reed Davis are glorious, directed by the wonderful Doretta Sperduto.

It’s a triumphant for the brilliant Jean—who is also an arts supporter, an enthusiastic movie connoisseur, and a vivacious addition to the California design scene.

DDS: Jean, I recall when your clients signed you up to design their new Napa Valley house. What a wonderful outcome—they love it, and now you have twelve pages in House Beautiful. 
JL: This project was a joy from start to finish. I am so honored to be published in House Beautiful.

It was a designer’s dream project. The clients had complete trust in our decisions, which instilled a great level of confidence. My clients were sure of their likes and dislikes and were consistently drawn to specific colors, textures and materials.

DDS: I’m impressed that you did not do ‘country style’ or Italian country’ but made it fresh and modern, with a touch of traditional.
JL: My clients had a very clear vision of a contemporary farmhouse. They wanted it to be fresh, modern, casual.

Comfort was high on the list of priorities. We chose seating that’s comfortable and modern. Swivel chairs are lush and you want to curl up in them. This is modern but there are no sharp
edges. It is curvy, sensuous and cozy.

We had magazine clippings of the color palette my clients were drawn to and the style of furnishings they preferred. I was aware of their taste in art.

The open kitchen allows for conversation while the meals are prepared. The children have their own wing that can stand alone when the farmhouse style door is rolled closed to create an area of privacy.

In the home office we created an extra deep window seat bench with storage underneath so while one family member is on the computer, another can be relaxing and reading in the window overlooking the rose garden.

DDS: I love the light and breezy color scheme. 

JL: We took cues from the client’s art collection and began formulating the color palette with the rugs in tone-on-tone silk and wool from my City Collection line. For the main living area walls we chose Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray with White Dove ceiling and trim. Erin Adams mosaic tiles were installed on the kitchen walls. We carried blue, light gray and warm brown tones in all of our fabric choices in the living area. Ironies chandeliers and sconces with a silvered finish and onyx shades are both earthy and modern. 

This house was created for a family that loves to entertain. Recently they purchased the property next door. Stay tuned.

DDS: How long was the process, from the start to the celebration party?
JL: The process took place over an eighteen-month period. The architect, Marshall Schneider, and I came onboard the same week. 

We immediately had a great working relationship. We both proposed landscape designer Robert Trachtenberg and thought his contemporary garden design aesthetic would work well for the indoor/outdoor style of the house. We all wanted the architecture, the interiors and the garden to feel very modern and unfussy.  

One of my very favorite parts of the design process was the week of installation. My team rolled out the carpets, hung the art, installed the curtains, made everything perfect. 

On the Saturday afternoon when my clients arrived I was anxious for their phone call. It was truly a crescendo for me as a designer as they went from room to room, “We love it, we love it, we love it!” I was very gratified.

Jean Larette Design


French-Kissed said...

How refreshing to see this modern take on wine country decor and the perfect doses of color in all the right places.



Congratulations to the vivacious Jean Larette! Thank you Diane for extolling and sharing her talent.

Karena said...

Dianne, so gorgeous, I love the design, the palette, the art, wonderful!!

Art by Karena

Jane said...

There is a lot to like in this home - very fresh and clean and does not use the obvious design cues and is not too overdecorated, which I loathe (for example you can see lots of belongings which clearly actually belong to the owners!).

I love the pitched roof, they have made great use of that, and the outdoor fireplace (which I have always wanted) and that amazing rustic outdoor table are also beautiful. And finally those kitchen bench stools actually look comfortable.

Charlotta Ward said...

I so enjoyed this interview and the stunning pictures.
I love the way the house turned out - the perfect marriage of modern, classic and traditional. I will drool over this again and again!

Thanks for sharing this and congratulations to your friend. She is truly talented!

x Charlotta

*Chic Provence* said...

Perfection in every aspect! Who would not want to spend every minute in this gorgeous contemporary and comfortable home! I love hte "ant" barstools!

a bientot!


A Super Dilettante said...

Beautiful clean modern living designs! I do think it would be very comfortable to live in but personally I prefer something more sumptuous. But this isn't bad either!

Aryan Davachi said...

This truly was a work of art by Jean Larette. I really enjoyed seeing the cool fresh design. Two thumbs up for Jean. Thanks for posting Diane.


I must say Jean did a wonderful job. I love that it is blue and white without being too blue and white. And the garden! Robert and David also did my garden and they are just the best around.

Stephanie von Stein said...

Jean worked tirelessly on my house while we were building it in Sonoma many years ago. She is an amazing talent and her clients were lucky enough to get her! Well done once again!

shiree segerstrom said...

So happy to see Jean's beautiful work in her first national publication! Congrats to you Jean! I really love the work she did here and had vicarious happiness when I heard the clients went from room to room saying "We love it!We love it!" Shiree'

Natasha @ Northern Light Design said...

Hi, just wanted to let you know I just "found you" via Reggie Darling and I have added you to my blog roll, GREAT blog you have here! Looking forward to reading more.

Northern Light

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! Jeans work is exceptional, a pleasure to see!

By Design Interiors, Inc. said...

That was a wonderful interview and does seem as though it would have been a dream project. It must have been so nice to work with such a fantastic and cohesive team of people. It is simply beautiful.

Joanna said...

Very nice house. Love the colors, it's soft, fresh and relaxing. Thanks for posting! Check out our 3D Rendering