Designer Jessica Barton Creates a Cozy California Home for Her Family

“I would not often be described as a minimalist,” suggests Jessica Barton, who created her very own residence in a 1939 California bungalow in Orinda, California. She’s talking about her design and style aesthetic, but she could just as easily be describing the time she put in functioning on the project. Not only was she running a complete restoration—new kitchen, renovated toilet, new decor in all the bedrooms and dwelling spaces—but she was also launching her possess style and design company, J Kathryn Interiors. And she had a infant on the way.

She also experienced help, she notes, from Georgina Rice in San Francisco. Because Barton was a new transplant to the Bay Spot, Rice built a amount of introductions to showrooms and workrooms, some of which supplied furnishings for the property, these types of as the custom made-made dwelling area window treatment options. Throughout, the venture incorporates a good deal of custom made upholstery, bright styles and a mixture of classic and up to date abstract art.

“I appreciate colour, and I wanted every single place to flow whilst also standing on its have,” Barton claims. “Because the home was so compact, it was important that you felt like you were being in a diverse room in each individual space. That served make it come to feel tremendous unique and more roomy than it was.”

    In the finish, every little thing worked out superbly, and she ended up with 1,112 square toes of competently but stylishly created space—a blend of her regular southern maximalism, midcentury twists, cottage fashion, and present-day flair, in line with the home’s original architecture.

    “My rule is to make absolutely sure very little looks far too contrived,” says the designer. “If you are a person who collects textbooks, exhibit them off! If you have a significant amount of money of ceramics or blue-and-white or Wedgewood, lean in. Gather what you really like and show it proudly. I like to make absolutely sure all the things is spaced appropriately and there is a mix of measurements and heights, so practically nothing feels as well significant or mild. But really don’t overthink it. Authenticity more than anything is most essential.”


      Q&A with the Designer

      How would you explain your style and design aesthetic?

      This challenge was specially enjoyment due to the fact it was for my own loved ones, so I was ready to take some imaginative leaps whilst maintaining everything spouse and children welcoming. We had been transplants to the Bay Place, and we needed it to mirror each California dwelling and our southern roots. That intended maintaining issues regular while injecting a lot of pleasurable shade and textures to mimic the Northern California landscape we were being surrounded with.

      How does the room stand for your character?

      When we 1st moved in, it was just my partner and me. Shortly right after, we experienced our first youngster, Duncan. It was critical that just about every inch was useful mainly because of the tiny footprint. Even so, considering that I am an interior designer, everything experienced to be exceptionally gorgeous, way too. I refused to sacrifice a single for the other!

      What temper or vibe do the interiors exude?

      The critical issue was that it come to feel like my family members. And just like with my shoppers, I didn’t want everything that felt inauthentic to us. My spouse and I each grew up in Kentucky, but our son was born in Northern California, and this was the house we brought him house from the healthcare facility to. It was critical that we honored that in the design—thus the bold shades, wallcoverings, and layers like I grew up with in the South blended with the a lot more laidback California landscape we lived in. Our yard felt like a mother nature reserve, with everything from coyotes howling to toddler deer having fallen plums. I wished to deliver that magic within by producing anything sense just a touch mystical. We realized we would inevitably outgrow it, but this house genuinely was our sanctuary for our little household unit.

      Did you come upon any hiccups throughout the renovation?

      This overall challenge experienced hiccups, from surprises when opening up partitions to my pregnancy—and of course, the pandemic. It was a roller coaster the overall time, but I imagine that’s why it was so particular. Nothing was best. The floors were being crooked in areas, not anything was level, and finally I experienced a two-12 months-outdated jogging about, so points ended up a best mess most time. All these situation out of our management allowed me to genuinely lean into being innovative on both design and style and operation. When it was finished, we named it our wabi-sabi jewel box.

      How did you make pre-existing parts feel fresh new and get the job done with the new style and design course?

      I enjoy consignment, classic, and antiques, and so through the residence you can see how the new and outdated discuss to a single one more. I have been gathering pieces for decades, together with most of the art and all the extras. I also repurposed several parts I experienced found everywhere from compact antique retailers to Facebook Market. If it experienced very good bones and superior electricity, it was coming house with me! The power of patina and attractive cloth gave older pieces new existence all through the space.

      What’s your preferred point about the concluded house?

      That it kept us secure and joyful during extremely turbulent times. I have normally mentioned that interior structure is so significantly much more than picking paint colors or textiles. It is about building a house that will make you experience snug, satisfied, and shielded on very good and poor times. This residence did that. As a result of all the chaos, it brought us joy—reading bedtime stories in our cozy very little place, sitting down at the oval eating table in individuals colourful chairs, or sitting at the kitchen area peninsula even though my husband cooked and we listened to music.

      Want to see a lot more of the nostalgic house? Tour the full residence beneath.


      Residing Place

      “Our main residing house was a single very long place, and we wanted it to serve as the two our living room and eating house,” Barton claims. But following going in all the home furnishings, “it just felt cold.” To make the space come to feel a lot more cozy and cohesive, she put in a heat-toned grasscloth from Phillip Jeffries all throughout and up the hallway, and painted the designed-ins, fire, and ceiling Parma Grey by Farrow & Ball. “I really like the juxtaposition among the exciting blue paint and the extra major wallcovering,” she reveals.

      Bess Friday

      An avid collector of house journals, Barton proudly shows her beloved concerns in the residing room, “where by I can obtain them each time I want,” she says. “I accumulate a large amount of issues, from ceramics to espresso table publications, and I in no way want to cover the products that deliver me pleasure. Pretty much every single piece of my collection is something I purchased while touring, scoured eBay for, or purchased antiquing with my mom,” she reveals.


      Dining Area

      interior

      Bess Friday

      Desk: vintage, Baker. Chairs: classic Drexel in Schumacher and Claremont textiles.


      Kitchen area

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      Bess Friday

      “My most loved room is very easily the kitchen area,” Barton claims. “It was beyond entertaining to style. I understood when we moved in that I needed to make the kitchen area special.” To bring the place back again to daily life, she made the decision on vintage inset cabinets, painting them White Dove by Benjamin Moore (her favorite).

      “Just one of our favored destinations to cling out was the tailor made banquette by GP & J Baker, and the Noguchi pendant gave us that great pop. I appreciate the pressure concerning that present-day ingredient and the common cottage-type cabinets, brass mesh, components, and rattan. Everything is so different but functions alongside one another fantastically. Nonetheless, the piece de resistance is the Cole & Son orange blossom wallpaper, which I enjoy due to the fact it felt like our kitchen area arrived whole circle.”

      Peninsula pendants: pendants: Hector & Finch. Desk: personalized, in walnut by Jessy Anderson. Backsplash: Fireclay Tile.


      Major Bed room

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      Bess Friday

      “For our bed room, my husband and I wanted it to experience like an escape from the relaxation of the residence,” Barton says. “We required our artwork to be the standout, considering the fact that each individual piece was sentimental for us.” So they kept items “pretty easy, gentle, and airy” with regular striped wallpaper, pale blue-and-white curtains, and floral accents.

      Rug: Rush Residence. Nightstands: Doorman Patterns. Headboard and bedskirt: Personalized by Robert Allen Design. Mirror, chair, and add-ons: classic. Wallpaper: Mulberry Dwelling. Material: Nile and York.


      Son’s Home

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      Bess Friday

      “Our loved ones went into shelter in put when my son was just seven months aged. It felt very significant that he have a space that was entertaining and a feast for the senses, considering that he could not be in college,” Barton claims. She selected to paint the walls a lighter blue (Breath of Clean Air by Benjamin Moore) established against a significant-gloss yellow (India Yellow by Farrow & Ball). To enhance the coloration blend, she covered the ceiling and closet walls with Schumacher wallpaper. “We wished it to experience fun and imaginative for a two-yr-aged who experienced expended most of his time at property given that before he could stroll,” she describes.

      Headboards and bedskirt: custom, in Schumacher. Nightstand: classic, Duncan Phyfe. Bedding: Cologne & Cotton.


      Rest room

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      Bess Friday

      “Our lavatory was the only bathtub in the household, so it experienced to perform for our whole family,” she states. “We opted to keep the tub-shower combo and keep things easy with white shiny subway tiles and Carrara flooring. We could sacrifice storage by having a console sink from Signature Components, which made the room truly feel a lot more open up, due to the fact we experienced a substantial closet throughout from the rest room. Past, this was also the rest room for our supper attendees, so we desired it to come to feel distinctive and fun whilst also comforting for us day to day. The pure vinyl wallpaper did just that, with pops of unlacquered brass.”

      Wallpaper: Schumacher. Sconce: Ship Lights.


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