Classic Fix: Elegant, Time-Honored Design
April 15, 2014
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREY CRAWFORD
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"When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is the adage about adapting to new surroundings. Homeowners Jeanna French and Debra Wood ascribed to this maxim when they moved to Paradise Valley from Minneapolis and purchased a house with a Southwest motif—even though they couldn’t say it was really their style. “We’re usually more comfortable with a classical design, but the architecture of the house suited the local environment and it had so many other assets,” says French, citing the home’s vibrant neighborhood, stunning central courtyard and spectacular views of Mummy Mountain. Plus, the couple own a picturesque Victorian cottage in Chautauqua, New York, where they spend summers at the renowned education center. “We figured we could get our fix for a traditional setting there,” adds Wood.
But two years later, the house—with its monochromatic hues, hefty furnishings and tile floors—just didn’t feel like home and the owners turned to interior designer Jamie Herzlinger for help. The designer took one look at the house and knew it needed a change. “It was dark and gloomy, even though so many of the rooms opened onto these remarkable outdoor spaces,” she recalls. “Also, it lacked any kind of architectural detailing.” So Herzlinger, who is also a licensed contractor, went straight to work.