It might sound like a tall order to incorporate energy-efficient technology, flawless period details and a modern aesthetic into a much-remodeled 1894 farmhouse. But Paul and Nina Winans, who ran a construction company in Berkeley, Calif., for 29 years, were undaunted.
The visionary couple bought the 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath house in 2003, started construction five years later and moved into what is now their dream home about a year ago.
Paul and Nina Winans have never been afraid of color. The couple's former house in Berkeley, Calif., featured dark, bright hues they hoped to replicate in their 1894 Ashland farmhouse.
"But because of the difference in light between northern California and here, we needed to find a new alignment," explains professional colorist Annie McIntyre, owner of McIntyre Interiors in Ashland. "Light shines differently on different places on the planet, so it's about finding a way to work with color so you still get the intensity you want but within the natural light source."
Tempered shades of bright colors were chosen for the interconnected main-floor rooms: a soft green in the entry, dusty blue for the living room and buttery yellow in the dining room.
"From every angle we wanted the house to be harmonious, so each room has its own identity but also works well with the room adjacent," says McIntyre. "The palette is alive, warm and supportive yet not abrasive in any way."
To capture the desired contrast without losing flow, McIntyre employed a color test that resulted in a lighter blue for the living room walls than what was originally chosen.
"I put samples on 3-by-3 cardboard or directly on the wall so we could really see the color in the room," McIntyre explains. "Once that happened, you could really see the light source is different here and the darker blue didn't work. Now the yellow, blue and green definitely contrast, but they transition well from one space to another."
The Winans are thrilled with the outcome, both in the main house and in the newly-built guest quarters, where McIntyre suggested a bold palette of brick red floors, yellow walls and a sky blue bath.
"Tempering the tones to more closely match the natural light in Southern Oregon was very good advice and something we hadn't anticipated," says Paul.
Now all is in alignment — they've retained their home's heritage while adding contemporary colors enhanced by the local geography.
"It's a very simple design that falls between Victorian and Arts & Crafts," says Paul, who is a facilitator/consultant for Remodelers Advantage, Inc. and is past president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. "It was all white; there was no insulation; there were single-glazed windows, electric baseboard heating and a wood stove in the living room. Yet we felt so comfortable here and recognized the history, details, character and potential."
To add immediate curb appeal and extra space, a former front porch was transformed into an inviting entry, outfitted with custom white cabinets by Rogue Valley cabinetmaker John Roelke. A front door is adorned with bright art-glass panels. The picture molding at 7 feet high is echoed on many of the home's walls, as is the white space above, reaching 8-foot-10-inch ceilings.
Period-appropriate white oak flooring replaced maple, and wide window and door casings, complete with corner blocks, replicate original late 19th-century trim.
The entry opens onto a dusty-blue living room warmed by a muted gray, taupe and burgundy palette. A new fireplace and mantel on the west wall features Charles Rupert Designs tiles decorated with botanical patterns inspired by Bradbury and Bradbury. The hearth was laid out by interior designer and author Paul Duchscherer. Built-in cabinets by Roelke display Nina's Roseville vase and vintage collectibles. Family antiques and pictures of Paul's ancestors add more heritage to the living room.
San Francisco Bay Area architect Steve Rynerson (a colleague of Paul) designed two columns that flank a wide opening between the living room and dining room. A heavy wooden hutch anchors the room and a five-pendant, burnished-bronze chandelier over the table adds strikingly simple ornamentation.
Another large doorway, this one with double pocket doors, leads to the kitchen at the back of the house. Honed marble tops an L-shaped island, and lighter-hued, honed granite slabs top cherry cabinets. Stainless steel hardware and a subway tile backsplash are period accents. Wainscoting wraps around the eating nook, brightened by a round table with red chairs.
To create a new, more flowing interior orientation, an enclosed stairway was moved from between the dining room and kitchen to between the dining room and television room.
"We wanted to be able to see all the way through the house, whether we were in the kitchen or living room," explains Nina.
To allow for the stairway alteration — and to expand the dining room and make way for an upstairs master bath — part of the home's west wall was popped out 5 feet. A side entry was also built onto the west side.
Off the television room is a full bath. Subway tile in the shower is trimmed with elaborate white edging, providing shiny contrast to lavender walls. Dark detail tiles in a herringbone pattern and a stone countertop lend today's design sensibilities to old-fashioned hexagonal floor tiles.
"When you put granite and marble into an old house, you're bridging eras," says interior designer Annie McIntyre of McIntyre Interiors in Ashland. "Carrera marble can look old, so it was a good fit for the vanity. We found the right slab that works with the purple paint."
Ballisters with narrow spacing and expertly chamfered newel posts and columns make the staircase period-perfect. A window at the top of the stairs lets in natural light, drawing attention to the photograph-lined stairwell, painted the same buttery yellow as the dining room.
The Winanses share an upstairs office, enjoying its commanding view of the southern Cascades from a window seat.
Rose-colored walls embrace the master bedroom in romance, while a pitch ceiling and two small awning windows are farmhouse reminders. Aqua walls, blue tile accents, twin sinks and granite countertops create a serene spa feel in the master bath.
"Paul and Nina married the aesthetics of a traditional 1890s farmhouse with their life," McIntyre says. "They both wanted to bring back the uncomplicated elegance of the original structure, and they put a lot of care and thought into how to represent that with today's values."
Matchmaking eras isn't always easy. Integrating solar panels and a solar water heater into the home design presented a challenge. Two trees had to be removed to create adequate sun exposure for the panels, which are placed on the home's upper and lower roofs.
"Nobody ever likes to cut down trees," admits contractor Michael Hodgin, owner of Coleman Creek Construction LLC in Ashland. "But with the help of an arborist, it was decided that because of the location, age and species of the trees, the benefits of the solar panels and water heater outweighed."
Together, the Winanses and their team of professionals restored a 115-year-old farmhouse into an energy-efficient version of the original. In this warm, family home, modern convenience meets history, style and comfort.
The original version of this story incorrectly listed Paul Winans as owner of Remodelers Advantage, Inc.