Dorothy Willetts, founder of Willetts Design & Associates, has established herself as one of the southwest desert region’s most innovative and successful interior designers. With an artist’s eye for detail, Willetts is able to create spaces that elevate her client’s ideas and needs to perfection, being both classy and comfortable. With private home and commercial projects across the country, including many high-profile clients in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, her vision extends beyond interior design to fashion and lifestyle, knowing that each decision affects her client’s everyday life. The LuxPad explores one of Dorothy’s projects, a home away from home set within the grounds of The Vintage Club in Indian Wells.
Project name: Vintage Retreat
Floor Area: 4915sqft
Project time taken: 1 ½ years
Completion of Project: 2016
A front courtyard, defined by elements of fire and water, welcomes you to this extensive remodel in The Vintage Club. Comfort and elegance create an inviting retreat for the part-time residents. Every room, including the kitchen, living room, master bedroom and bathroom, has been reimagined throughout these transitional interiors. A custom wine room, theatre and piano room were created while an outdoor spa and relaxing seating area adjacent to the master suite were redone. Featured architectural elements employ organic shapes and reflective surfaces. Ceilings and soffits in custom-painted silver, gold and champagne tones add luminous shine, complemented by the large-scale Cambria floor tiles, all of which work together to reflect the beautiful desert light. We had the multicolored custom area rug of silk and wool made to anchor the sofas and chairs by A. Rudin, and our firm designed the walnut coffee table specifically for the space.
What was the creation / planning process?
Initially, I was hired to pick out paint colors and we ended up doing a huge remodel. We did the shape of ceilings, furniture, wall coverings, light fixtures and all of the artwork.
The previous space was isolated from the rest of the house and extremely closed off. The linoleum floors, black countertops, poor lighting and dated cabinetry did little to bolster its aesthetics. Because the kitchen was original to the home, it was not built or designed to take advantage of the indoor/outdoor California lifestyle. There were small windows looking out onto this beautiful golf course and mountain view, but there were no sliding or pocket doors to open up the space to the outdoor area. Since the cooktop faced into the kitchen instead of out, whoever was cooking could not appreciate the view.
The owner craved a space that opened to the back yard due to his affinity for grilling and golfing, and his partner wanted to take in the outdoor views and interact with her sons while working in the kitchen.
This is how we accomplished the clients’ goals with the new kitchen:
– Blew out the back wall and added automated pocket doors leading to the back yard for a spectacular view and ample daylighting.
– Expanded the entryway from the dining area into the kitchen and reconfigured the layout for an improved work flow.
-Moved the island and the kitchen back six feet toward what had been the dining area to create more room for entertaining.
How did the project go?
The owners are both energetic people, with a definite taste of their own and that made it a lot of fun. They were very enthusiastic about the remodel.
What was your favorite part of the project and why?
I love the master bedroom because it’s intimate yet modern and fresh looking. There is a cozy little seating area. I love the materials we used – the leather panels on the headboard, floating walnut nightstands with Cambria countertops, Ironies wall sconces which had just come out. The chandeliers are an Italian handmade custom design.
Were there any issues or problems you encountered during the project?
The issues had to do with dealing with the existing ceiling heights.
One challenge with the kitchen remodel was the original ceilings, which we could not raise since the roof line started immediately above the ceilings. I needed to find light fixtures that would give off enough task lighting for anyone using the island but not distract from the view. The contemporary glass pendants did the job.
The new design accommodates entertaining and hosting events. Opening up the kitchen to the living and dining areas improved the overall flow of the home, and adding the sliding doors allowed us to increase the entertaining area by allowing people to move from the outside in.
Image credits: Gibeon & Associates and Taylor & Assoc.