In the grand hall entryway, 14-foot ceilings are hand-painted in a sumptuous, moody floral, a nod to the U.K.’s Aesthetic Movement, which was unfolding at the time of the mansion’s construction. Motifs in the space have their origins in transferware that Jeffers showed artist Willem Racké. Once the space was stripped of draperies and drenched in natural light, Jeffers says he thought, “OK, this is not a white-interior hotel. This is colorful and rich,” even though at first he had envisioned it in white. Periwinkle blue and ochre yellow—shades pulled from the property’s gardens—became a dominant palette. “It came from a desire to bring in some color and personality,” Jeffers says.
The restaurant dining room, run by Michelin-starred chef Jesse Mallgren and opening April 21, has its own point of view. “I think we’ve upped the elegance a little bit,” Jeffers says. “There are a lot of places [in the area] where, if you go dressed up, you feel a little out of sorts.” Not here: In this elevated interior, guests will want to show off a new dress or blazer. Still, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. On the walls, beneath a dramatic Lumifer fixture and saturated yellow coffered ceiling, hang photographs from Beth Moon’s Literary Chickens series. “I call them my ladies who lunch,” laughs Jeffers, “because one appears to have a fabulous fur hat, another looks like she has a fur stole around her neck. They’re just so dreamy and wonderful.”
The private dining room tells a story, too, with a custom digital mural by Phillip Jeffries depicting The Madrona’s history, including its winery (taken out by the 1906 earthquake), orange grove, and namesake madrone tree. Along with reverence to the past, Jeffers wove in modernity via creative collaborations, like the chandelier by local artists Tuell & Reynolds. “When Randy [Tuell] heard we were the new owners, he sent me a note saying, ‘We’re local and we would love to be part of this process,’” Jeffers says. “‘I’ve got a few things in my warehouse, do you want to come [and] look?’” It was love at first sight when Jeffers saw the fixture, which is one of five now hanging in The Madrona.
Jeffers begged Detroit watercolor artist Kelly Ventura, whose wallpapers he fell in love with through Instagram, to let him use her design for a custom carpet (a collaboration with Blended LA) in the private dining room. Her wallpaper, meanwhile, features in the living rooms of one-bedroom suites. Jeffers also developed a line of four rugs and a hair-on-hide wallcovering for the hotel with Kyle Bunting, two of them modeled after original tiles from the estate. Jeffers’s good friend Lisa Chadwick, owner of San Francisco’s Dolby Chadwick Gallery, curated the art collection that is available for purchase and is hung salon-style, “like someone who really couldn’t help themselves when they found a beautiful piece of art.”
Initially, Jeffers wanted each guest room to be completely unique, but ultimately matched custom beds and nightstands. “Three rooms in I was like, ‘This is crazy. I will lose my mind if I design 24 rooms completely differently!’ I abandoned that very quickly.” Throughout the project, he relied on his network to help navigate challenging budgets and the hospitality field in general. “One thing I would definitely do in the future is a model room,” Jeffers says. “You measure it 17 times and then you hope it comes in the way it’s supposed to.” Jeffers’s team got lucky—their care led to success. But, Jeffers says, “I would have slept better at night having the ability to tweak things after seeing it all in a room before ordering 24 of them!”
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