California Country Living, Victorian Style

Spotswood Farmyard

Winter morning at Spotswood House

On February 16, 2018, I was in Potter Valley, California, working on the historic Spotswood House, when I saw this view behind the house of antique farm equipment, with an enormous willow just beginning to leaf out. This photo perfectly captures the feeling one gets while being on a working farm that has been in operation since the 1880s.

In 2001 I helped to restore Spotswood House, whose grounds still include a working ranch (the homeowners raise prize-winning Arabian horses, as well as running a business in Ukiah).  When we began the restoration, the house looked like this:

Spotswood House BEFORE

After collaborating with architect Michael Garavalgia in 2001, the house was restored to it’s original Victorian Italianate magnificence, and now looks like this:

As with any home, the interiors are a continual work-in-progress.  On this latest trip I was working on several of the interior spaces, including the installation of new draperies in the dining room.  The embroidered sheer silk draperies that I installed in 2001 were exquisite, but had been ravaged by time and sun.

Sheer embroidered silk draperies, installed in 2001

The homeowner loves the texture of embroidery, so I presented her with a cotton fabric embroiled with a tree-of-life floral on an ivory ground. Here’s a detail the finished new drapery, edged with crystal-beaded tassel fringe.

DETAIL: Spotswood House new dining room drapery


The new drapery complements the dining room’s red walls, and brings in all the colors of the owner’s garden:

New dining room draperies for Spotswood House

We will be bringing you more photos of this memorable home during the next few months, as plans are in place for a kitchen remodel as well as redecoration of the master bedroom and home office.  Stay tuned!  Go to our Facebook page to see more photos of the grounds of Spotswood House.


There are 4 Comments to "California Country Living, Victorian Style"

  • Dinah Adkins says:

    Great house. Wonderful restoration, and beautiful fabric and details, Kathia. I love seeing this home restored to former grandeur. Can’t wait for the Kitchen do-over!

  • Donna Pizzi says:

    It’s always gratifying to see an historic home being “rescued.” Brava to you, Kathia, for adding your sense of style, beauty and talent to this worthy restoration. Yes, indeed, we look forward to the kitchen makeover. Congratulations, again, for your hard work to date.

  • What a spectacular house! It must be an exciting project for sure. The drapery reminds me of Waverly fabrics. The colors and print seem like a step into the garden of the house. I really like the crystal beaded tassel fringe–fancy/formal. High marks again, Kathia!

  • Karen Cleghorn says:

    Kathia, you are a magician with your vision and ability to fashion it into reality down to the tiniest details. It’s astounding to me that such a house could become so decrepit. I was enheartened to see the American flag in the window in spite of the appearance of the old house being inhabited by squatters. Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing.

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