In the entrance to the great hall, 14-foot ceilings are hand-painted in a lavish moody floral, a nod to the British aesthetic movement, which was taking place at the time the mansion was built. The patterns in space have their origins in the transfer software that Jeffers showed the artist Willem Racke. Once the space was stripped of draperies and filled with natural light, Jeffers says he thought to himself, “OK, this is not a white-interior hotel. It’s colorful and rich”, even if he had first imagined it in white. Periwinkle blue and ocher yellow — shades drawn from the property’s gardens — have become a dominant palette. “It comes from a desire to bring color and personality,” says Jeffers.
The restaurant’s dining room, helmed by star chef Jesse Mallgren and opening April 21, has its own take. “I think we’ve improved the elegance a bit,” says Jeffers. “There are many places [in the area] where, if you go dressed, you feel a little uncomfortable. Not here: In this elevated interior, guests will want to show off a new dress or blazer. However, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. On the walls, under a dramatic Lumifer fixture and saturated yellow coffered ceiling, hang photographs of Beth Moon’s Literary Chickens series. “I call them my lunch ladies,” laughs Jeffers, “because one seems to have a fabulous fur hat, another looks like she has a fur stole around her neck. They are so dreamy and wonderful.
The Private Dining Room also tells a story, with a custom digital mural by Phillip Jeffries depicting The Madrona’s history, including its cellar (swept away by the 1906 earthquake), orange grove, and namesake madrone tree. Along with respecting the past, Jeffers has woven modernity through creative collaborations, such as the chandelier by local artists Tuell and Reynolds. “When Randy [Tuell] hearing we were the new owners, he sent me a note saying, “We’re locals and would love to be a part of this process,” says Jeffers. “‘I have some things in my warehouse, you want to come [and] look? ‘” It was love at first sight when Jeffers saw the light fixture, which is one of five currently hanging in The Madrona.
Jeffers begged the Detroit watercolourist Kelly Ventura, whose wallpapers he fell in love with via Instagram, to allow him to use his design for a custom rug (a collaboration with Blended LA) in the private dining room. Its wallpaper, meanwhile, features in the living rooms of the One-Bedroom Suites. Jeffers also developed a line of four rugs and a pile-on-skin wallcovering for the hotel with Kyle Bunting, two of which were inspired by the estate’s original tiles. Jeffers’ good friend Lisa Chadwick, owner of the Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, curated the art collection which is available for purchase and is hung living room style, “like someone who really couldn’t help but find a beautiful piece of art”.
Initially, Jeffers wanted each guest bedroom to be completely unique, but eventually matched custom beds and nightstands. “In three plays, I was like, ‘This is crazy. I’ll lose my mind if I design 24 pieces completely differently! I gave up on that very quickly. Throughout the project, he relied on his network to help him manage difficult budgets and the hospitality industry in general. “One thing I would definitely do in the future is a model room,” says Jeffers. “You measure it 17 times and then you hope it turns out the way it’s supposed to.” Jeffers’ team was lucky: their care led to success. But, says Jeffers, “I would have slept better at night given the chance to fine-tune things after seeing everything in one room before ordering 24!”
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