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The Midcentury Petal House: Remodelista Co-Founder Janet Hall at Home in Napa

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The Midcentury Petal House: Remodelista Co-Founder Janet Hall at Home in Napa

January 20, 2020

A couple of years ago I got a call from Janet Hall, one of our Remodelista cofounders, to say she and her husband, Mark, had just bought a house in Napa.

“Janet, buying a house in the span of a week?” I thought. As Janet herself says, “I’m not impulsive, I’m the opposite, so this was not a characteristic move for me. It wasn’t in our life plan, we never intended to move to Napa.” So when I heard the news, I knew the house had to be spectacular.

A bit of backstory from Janet: “We had been living in SF for more than a decade, but with both of our children (read: young adults) in college and grad school, we were looking to downsize. We were in the beginning stages of exploring Berkeley, but one day Mark found an intriguing midcentury house in Napa on a real estate website. He convinced me to have a look, just as a lark—we’d go wine tasting afterward! The minute we walked in the door, it was love at first sight. We saw it on a Sunday, went back for a revisit on Wednesday, and put in an offer on Thursday.”

Join us for a tour:

Photography by Daniel Bernauer.

janet hall remodelista petal house 19
Above: Designed in 1962 by California architect Walter Thomas Brooks, an under-the-radar Bay Area modernist who worked with William Wurster, the midcentury Petal House, as it’s known, has a flat roof and overhangs that are shaped like petals (hence the name). The property is surrounded by majestic blue oak trees and low-maintenance landscaping.
janet hall petal house napa hearth
Above: The small landscape photograph of an oak tree is by Lee Friedlander (“We gravitate toward obscure works by well-known photographers that don’t necessarily fit into their ‘genre’; for instance, a factory interior by Ansel Adams,” Janet says.) The wool Jaipur Scandinavia Dula Rug is from Burke Decor.
janet hall petal house henrybuilt kitchen 12
Above: A view of the open-plan living space toward the new kitchen.
janet hall petal house napa henrybuilt kitchen 10
Above: The house is constructed of old growth redwood. Janet and Mark preserved the original polished concrete floors, which have radiant heating.
janet hall petal house kitchen olive
Above: When Janet and Mark moved in, the existing culinary space was a glossy European black lacquer kitchen system from the 1990s. The new Henrybuilt kitchen is made of stained walnut with a matte black finish. “Our goal was to have the kitchen ‘slide in’ and feel quiet, but to still have the material heft the space requires,” Janet says.

“We wanted to bring the kitchen back to a language that matched that of the architecture,” Janet says, “while at the same time maximizing our limited work space (before the remodel, there was one tiny undercounter fridge!). Of course it was going to be Henrybuilt. As a longtime evangelizer for the company, first with my ‘Remodelista hat’ on, and now as the company’s director of business development, I was confident in the superior performance aspect. But it was Henrybuilt’s craft quality I was most excited about. I wanted to raise the kitchen to the level of the interior of the house.”

janet hall remodelista petal house 6 1
Above: The counters are honed black granite, a material that resembles slate but is almost indestructible. The kitchen faucet is a Tara Ultra Pull-Down Spray Faucet from Dornbracht, and the sink is a ProChef stainless model.
janet hall petal house remodelista pot storage
Above: The Henrybuilt system includes deep, eminently practical drawers for pot and lid storage.
janet hall petal house kitchen storage henrybuilt
Above: The cooktop is the Gaggenau Vario 200 Series Gas Cooktop and the tea kettle is by Sori Yanagi. Henrybuilt’s Vertical Bar Block provides easy access to essentials like spices and cooking tools.
janet hall remodelista petal house napa dining room
Above: A Henrybuilt walnut dining table is surrounded by iconic original Hans Wegner CH30 chairs. The living room carpet has traveled with Mark and Janet from Seattle to London to San Francisco and now, to Napa.
hall petal house henrybuilt living room 10
Above: Janet found the vintage Paul McCobb sofa on Chairish and the vintage teak cane-backed Paul McCobb lounge chairs on  1st Dibs. “I had never before bought seating without sitting in it, I took a risk; it was worth it,” Janet says. The white marble Cassina 9 Table is by Piero Lissoni.
janet hall petal house napa bedroom
Above: In the master bedroom, the Grid-Tufted Headboard is from West Elm and the Orkney Linen Bedding is from Rough Linen. The walnut Folk Ladder Shelf is by Norm Architects for DWR.
The Midcentury Petal House Remodelista CoFounder Janet Hall at Home in Napa The house is designed for indoor outdoor living. The Kayu Teak Dining Table and Benches are from DWR.
Above: The house is designed for indoor outdoor living. The Kayu Teak Dining Table and Benches are from DWR.

For more Remodelista editors’ dwellings:

Before/After: A Remodelista’s Refreshed Parlor Floor Flat in Brooklyn Heights, NY

Before & After: Remodelista Contributing Editor Izabella Simmons Shares Her Scandi-Inspired Remodel

Rehab Diary: Sleuthing for Space in Christine Chang Hanway’s London House

Remodelista Contributing Editor Justine Hand’s Cape Cod Cottage

Rehab Diaries: A Wellfleet Guest Cottage Revived on Cape Cod

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