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Prints Charming

Designer Patrick Printy tests his pattern-mixing powers to rejuvenate a Hillsborough home for a modern family.

SLIDESHOW

Printy’s secret to a layered look? Mixing block-printed, plaid and animal prints with soothing solids for a varied but harmonious feel.

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A custom dining table reflects the original wood ceiling and chandelier.

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Family heirlooms and two spindle chairs from an aunt are incorporated.

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Fresh seascapes are a nod to the family’s surfer lifestyle.

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The master bed is the star of the room with handprinted fabric from Katie Leede & Company.

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A garden view brings in the light with a drapery-free window.

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Pops of bright-blue velvet enliven the home’s darker hues. 

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The kitchen’s traditional touches include vintage art and lamps.

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A 1920s Spanish Colonial home, extended in the1950s with two era-confused additions, was in dire need of a refresh when designer Patrick Printy was called to the task. Printy has become a purveyor of an old-meets-new aesthetic since turning his career in art directing for Bay Area brands (Levi’s, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware) into a full-fledged design business in 2005. The project for a Hillsborough family of four was right up his alley, as he had spent nearly a year building his own home in a modern Colonial style rich with antiques.

“For me, the house really needed to reflect the family and how they live,” says Printy. “Of course, it’s got to be stylish and interesting and layered. But that was home for a modern family. the guiding principle. I really tried to do that via fabrics, art and accessories.”

Custom upholstery throughout paired a dark peacock linen sofa in the living room with more forgiving block-printed fabrics for the active family. “They have tons of friends who live within walking distance, so it’s a very social house,” says Printy. “It needed to be stylish, but bulletproof.”

That meant nothing too precious or formal. Window coverings were eschewed in favor of the arch window’s garden view, while a cream-colored sofa was a thoughtful approach to possible fading issues from the sunlight beaming through on most days. The antique Persian Malayer rug from Tony Kitz Gallery unified the room with a pop of reddish color against light, fresh, white stucco walls. “It’s an invigorated style and pattern and color, but in a classic and respectful way,” adds Printy.

While many Silicon Valley homes in line for a remodel go big, the footprint of the Hillsborough home actually diminished in size about 250 square feet. One of the 1950s additions, a glassed-in bar area, was turned into an era-appropriate covered porch, while the other was transformed into a family room and kitchen. “We basically just opened up a bunch of small little utilitarian rooms in a maid’s quarter to kind of blow out the kitchen,” says Printy. The traffic-heavy room, which opens out to the backyard and side yard, needed to be “a workhorse,” says Printy, who chose hardy hickory countertops and resilient French oak flooring. Two antique table lamps from Nathan Turner on the countertop add warmth and a hint of character to the all-white kitchen.

The big-on-entertaining family was game for almost anything, but unwavering on having a dining table that could seat 10 people comfortably. Aiming to please, Printy custom-designed an oak table that was literally rough around the edges. “It looks like it’s been used for 200, 300 years,” says Printy about the intentionally designed wear along the edges and stretcher bars below that nod to the home’s historic period. “It’s a good convincing refectory table.” Jacobian-style chairs from Wisteria were recovered in an algae-hued Katie Leede & Company’s Luxor print and fit the proportion of the table perfectly. The home’s original chandelier and wood ceiling painted with original Spanish flourishes bring in the old to Printy’s thoughtfully designed new.

Printy’s flair for keeping it personal shows through in a collection of vintage beach paintings. The gallery wall started with one coastal painting owned by the family, reminiscent of trips to Nantucket and other Northeastern coastal towns. Printy rummaged for a collection of complementary ocean paintings to reflect a large-scale photograph of a seascape on the other side of the room (the couple are big on surfing and the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon). A custom lacquer console echoes the Spanish arches throughout the house: “I wanted it to reference the house, but also balance the traditional table and chairs with a more modern element,” he says.

Structurally, the bedroom remained intact, save for a new walk-in closet and master bath (two smaller closets that flank the bed are original). The custom-designed bed sits cozy in a dedicated arch that Printy accented with chocolate-brown paint. Antique chairs were recovered in a blue leather fabric to complement the bed’s modern floral fabric, also from Katie Leede.

Printy’s knack for mixing prints and decorative styles to harmonious perfection comes from a likely source: a grandmother with phenomenal taste. “She just had an innate sense of style,” says Printy of watching her flip homes in Arizona as a child. “She’d mix chinoiserie with French antiques with midcentury pieces with Native American art and textiles, and it was just a wonderful, layered, deserty environment.” His secret for keeping it fresh for Bay Area homes? “Bringing in modern block-printed fabrics, which are obviously modern interpretations of these antique textile techniques,” he suggests, “and figuring out ways to mix these patterns and colors in a fun way gives it a bit of modernity and a more youthful attitude.”

 

Originally published in the April/May issue of Silicon Valley

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