The Perfect PetalAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Janet Hall updates a historic Napa Valley home with a modern kitchen
“IT REALLY WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. We were not intending to purchase a home in Napa Valley but fell in love with the architecture,” says Janet Hall, an executive at innovative kitchen company Henrybuilt, on the purchase and renovation of the Petal House, which was designed by iconic Bay Area architect Walter Thomas Brooks. Initially intended to be their weekend retreat from San Francisco, it soon became the couple’s full-time residence once her kids left the nest.
The home’s flat roof, which has large petal-shaped overhangs, large and rich wood show the apparent influence of Frank Lloyd Wright. Built in 1962, the 1,700-square-foot, single-level home previously had four owners, all of whom retained the integrity of the home. “We were lucky not to have to unravel any remodel disasters,” says Hall. “The only area screaming for renovation was the kitchen, which was replaced in the 1990s with a shiny, black lacquer counter that stood out like a sore thumb in the otherwise wabi-sabi space.” Luckily, Hall had the perfect solution to update the space while blending in with the historic style by installing an entire system from Henrybuilt.
The renovation from concept to install took about five months all in all, with only six weeks of construction. “We wanted to bring the kitchen back to a language that matched that of the architecture while at the same time maximize our limited space in a way that really worked for our daily cooking and entertaining. Before the remodel, there was one undercounter dorm-size fridge,” Hall notes. The challenge, of course, was to make the updated kitchen feel as if it were original and fit in with the old-growth redwood that fills the room.
“I wanted to raise the kitchen to the level of the interior of the house,” says Hall. “Henrybuilt kitchens are like beautiful furniture on the outside and high performance on the inside. I think of it as refined and relaxed, and it looks beautiful, works like a dream and is meant to be used.”