Designer Jessica Barton Creates a Cozy California Home for Her Family

“I would rarely be described as a minimalist,” says Jessica Barton, who built her have property in a 1939 California bungalow in Orinda, California. She’s conversing about her design aesthetic, but she could just as simply be describing the time she invested working on the project. Not only was she handling a complete restoration—new kitchen area, renovated lavatory, new decor in all the bedrooms and residing spaces—but she was also launching her individual design business, J Kathryn Interiors. And she had a toddler on the way.

She also experienced aid, she notes, from Georgina Rice in San Francisco. Because Barton was a new transplant to the Bay Location, Rice made a quantity of introductions to showrooms and workrooms, some of which provided furnishings for the house, these as the custom-built dwelling space window therapies. In the course of, the task incorporates a good deal of custom upholstery, bright patterns and a combination of vintage and modern day summary art.

“I like color, and I required each individual area to flow whilst also standing on its own,” Barton says. “Considering the fact that the dwelling was so small, it was vital that you felt like you were being in a unique place in every single room. That aided make it really feel tremendous particular and extra roomy than it was.”

    In the end, everything labored out superbly, and she finished up with 1,112 sq. feet of efficiently but stylishly intended space—a mix of her standard southern maximalism, midcentury twists, cottage style, and contemporary flair, in line with the home’s unique architecture.

    “My rule is to make confident nothing looks much too contrived,” states the designer. “If you are somebody who collects publications, present them off! If you have a large volume of ceramics or blue-and-white or Wedgewood, lean in. Obtain what you appreciate and show it proudly. I like to make absolutely sure every thing is spaced properly and there is a mix of sizes and heights, so practically nothing feels way too large or light. But really don’t overthink it. Authenticity more than all the things is most important.”


      Q&A with the Designer

      How would you explain your style aesthetic?

      This undertaking was particularly enjoyable due to the fact it was for my own relatives, so I was able to get some artistic leaps when trying to keep almost everything family helpful. We ended up transplants to the Bay Place, and we wanted it to mirror both of those California dwelling and our southern roots. That meant trying to keep items standard even though injecting loads of pleasurable color and textures to mimic the Northern California landscape we were being surrounded with.

      How does the area depict your individuality?

      When we very first moved in, it was just my partner and me. Soon soon after, we experienced our to start with baby, Duncan. It was significant that each and every inch was useful due to the fact of the modest footprint. On the other hand, due to the fact I am an interior designer, everything had to be amazingly wonderful, far too. I refused to sacrifice one for the other!

      What mood or vibe do the interiors exude?

      The important point was that it experience like my loved ones. And just like with my clientele, I didn’t want everything that felt inauthentic to us. My spouse and I both of those grew up in Kentucky, but our son was born in Northern California, and this was the home we introduced him household from the healthcare facility to. It was critical that we honored that in the design—thus the daring colours, wallcoverings, and layers like I grew up with in the South mixed with the extra laidback California landscape we lived in. Our backyard felt like a character reserve, with anything from coyotes howling to infant deer taking in fallen plums. I wished to deliver that magic inside of by building everything come to feel just a touch mystical. We realized we would ultimately outgrow it, but this home actually was our sanctuary for our very little family unit.

      Did you face any hiccups through the renovation?

      This full job experienced hiccups, from surprises when opening up walls to my pregnancy—and of course, the pandemic. It was a roller coaster the total time, but I feel that’s why it was so particular. Nothing at all was great. The flooring were being crooked in areas, not every thing was amount, and finally I had a two-year-previous jogging all-around, so matters were a fantastic mess most time. All these circumstances out of our control permitted me to actually lean into currently being artistic on both equally structure and operation. When it was concluded, we referred to as it our wabi-sabi jewel box.

      How did you make pre-existing pieces experience fresh and perform with the new design way?

      I really like consignment, vintage, and antiques, and so in the course of the home you can see how the new and previous communicate to one particular a further. I’ve been amassing items for several years, together with most of the artwork and all the accessories. I also repurposed many items I experienced observed everywhere you go from modest antique merchants to Fb Marketplace. If it experienced great bones and fantastic electrical power, it was coming residence with me! The ability of patina and lovely cloth gave older parts new daily life through the place.

      What is your favorite matter about the finished house?

      That it held us safe and happy during incredibly turbulent situations. I’ve constantly explained that inside structure is so considerably a lot more than picking out paint shades or textiles. It’s about developing a area that will make you experience comfy, happy, and safeguarded on fantastic and undesirable days. This household did that. As a result of all the chaos, it introduced us joy—reading bedtime tales in our cozy small room, sitting at the oval eating desk in all those vibrant chairs, or sitting down at the kitchen peninsula although my partner cooked and we listened to tunes.

      Want to see additional of the nostalgic house? Tour the total residence under.


      Living Place

      “Our principal residing room was one long home, and we required it to provide as both equally our dwelling home and eating space,” Barton states. But after relocating in all the home furniture, “it just felt cold.” To make the place sense extra cozy and cohesive, she put in a warm-toned grasscloth from Phillip Jeffries all during and up the hallway, and painted the crafted-ins, fire, and ceiling Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball. “I enjoy the juxtaposition amongst the enjoyable blue paint and the more serious wallcovering,” she reveals.

      Bess Friday

      An avid collector of residence journals, Barton proudly displays her favourite difficulties in the residing home, “in which I can accessibility them whenever I need to have,” she claims. “I acquire a whole lot of factors, from ceramics to coffee table publications, and I never want to cover the items that provide me joy. Virtually each and every piece of my selection is one thing I purchased when touring, scoured eBay for, or acquired antiquing with my mother,” she reveals.


      Dining Area

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      Bess Friday

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


      Kitchen

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      Bess Friday

      “My beloved place is simply the kitchen,” Barton suggests. “It was over and above pleasurable to style. I realized when we moved in that I needed to make the kitchen special.” To deliver the space back to lifetime, she determined on common inset cupboards, painting them White Dove by Benjamin Moore (her preferred).

      “1 of our favourite areas to hang out was the custom made banquette by GP & J Baker, and the Noguchi pendant gave us that fantastic pop. I enjoy the rigidity amongst that contemporary element and the common cottage-design and style cupboards, brass mesh, hardware, and rattan. Every little thing is so distinctive but functions collectively fantastically. However, the piece de resistance is the Cole & Son orange blossom wallpaper, which I love since it felt like our kitchen arrived complete circle.”

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


      Main Bedroom

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      Bess Friday

      “For our bed room, my partner and I preferred it to experience like an escape from the rest of the residence,” Barton suggests. “We wanted our artwork to be the standout, given that every single piece was sentimental for us.” So they stored items “quite very simple, light-weight, and airy” with common striped wallpaper, pale blue-and-white curtains, and floral accents.

      Rug: Hurry Residence. Nightstands: Doorman Patterns. Headboard and bedskirt: Custom by Robert Allen Design and style. Mirror, chair, and extras: vintage. Wallpaper: Mulberry Property. Drapery: Nile and York.


      Son’s Place

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      Bess Friday

      “Our spouse and children went into shelter in location when my son was just seven months aged. It felt extremely crucial that he have a room that was enjoyable and a feast for the senses, due to the fact he could not be in college,” Barton suggests. She chose to paint the walls a lighter blue (Breath of Fresh Air by Benjamin Moore) set from a significant-gloss yellow (India Yellow by Farrow & Ball). To enhance the colour mixture, she protected the ceiling and closet walls with Schumacher wallpaper. “We desired it to sense pleasurable and imaginative for a two-year-old who experienced spent most of his time at house considering that just before he could walk,” she points out.

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


      Lavatory

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      Bess Friday

      “Our rest room was the only bath in the dwelling, so it had to perform for our full family,” she states. “We opted to keep the tub-shower combo and hold points basic with white shiny subway tiles and Carrara flooring. We could sacrifice storage by obtaining a console sink from Signature Components, which produced the room come to feel additional open, due to the fact we had a massive closet across from the lavatory. Past, this was also the lavatory for our evening meal company, so we wanted it to come to feel exclusive and entertaining even though also enjoyable for us day to day. The purely natural vinyl wallpaper did just that, with pops of unlacquered brass.”

      Wallpaper: Schumacher. Sconce: Ship Lights.


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