Palm Springs Life: Dorothy Willetts Infuses Character Into La Quinta Plain Jane Home

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PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

KITCHEN / AFTER:
The kitchen has split-face beige travertine stone on the walls above the cabinets. And there are two colors of granite in honed and acid–washed finishes. All of the appliances are Thermador.

 

Renovation goes for French Moroccan style, but with a “tribal twist”

BY LAWRENCE KAROL

Not every new home comes with built-in character, but a talented interior designer can infuse any home with character to spare. And that’s exactly what Dorothy Willetts of Willetts Design & Associates did with this plain Jane of a home in La Quinta.

Willetts is originally from the East Coast and after college was accepted at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for Interior Architecture. While still in school, she worked for well-known designer Bruce Gregga. She moved to the desert 13 years ago and opened her firm in 2006.

“We are a boutique interior design firm that works with clients in the Coachella Valley, and have completed work in Canada, the Seattle area, and the Chicago area,” says Willetts.

 

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PHOTO BY DOROTHY WILLETTS

KITCHEN / BEFORE

 

For this project, Willett’s biggest challenge was working with the existing architecture of the 3,800-square-foot, two bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home — including a guest house — that was built in 2005.

“I added a lot of details to give the eye something to look at — rubble stone on some interior walls, wall coverings, Venetian plasters, tongue and groove ceilings which I then had faux-painted, wood flooring, and some crown and base moldings,” she says. “The client and I both wanted to design a home loosely based on the French Moroccan style, but with a more Berber, or tribal twist to it.”

 

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BEFORE PHOTO BY DORORTHY WILLETTS/AFTER PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

LIBRARY / BEFORE & AFTER
The library has a custom wall treatment and features a side table from Las Palmas. Willetts designed the walnut bookshelves.

 

“I also had to build-out one of the existing walls in the library so that the bookshelves would actually be deep enough to hold books,” she adds. “And I redesigned the layout of the kitchen along with flipping and reshaping the island to give us more space in the living area.”

In addition, she completely revamped both the backyard pool area and the front courtyard, so that the homeowner — a single man, originally from Chicago, who relocated to the desert from Northern California — had additional dining and entertaining areas with flooring to coordinate with the new stone on the interior.

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BEFORE PHOTO BY DORORTHY WILLETTS/AFTER PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

MASTER BEDROOM/BEFORE & AFTER:
The wallcovering in the master bedroom is a grasscloth by York. The nightstands were custom-made.

 

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BEFORE PHOTO BY DORORTHY WILLETTS/AFTER PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

POWDER ROOM/BEFORE & AFTER:
“We kept the original Kohler sink and I added an antique mirror from William Laman, which is Bruce Gregga’s shop in Montecito,” says Willetts. The wallcovering is from David Goldberg.

 

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BEFORE PHOTO BY DOROTHY WILLETTS/AFTER PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

For the back patio, Willetts installed a crenelated retractable awing and continued the travertine flooring from inside to the edge of the pool.

 

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BEFORE PHOTO BY DORORTHY WILLETTS/AFTER PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

LIVING ROOM/BEFORE & AFTER:
Willetts designed a custom built-in to house the television and home audio equipment, as well as an iron cocktail table topped with leather panels. The A. Rudin sofas are upholstered in Great Plains fabric and the A. Rudin chairs are upholstered in Classic Cloth.

 

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BEFORE PHOTO BY DORORTHY WILLETTS/AFTER PHOTO BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

BAR/BEFORE & AFTER:
The wallcovering is by Lori Weitzner and the countertop is 11-gauge, cold-rolled steel.

 

VIDEO:

Watch this time-lapse video of the courtyard remodel at this La Quinta home.

6 Responses to “Palm Springs Life: Dorothy Willetts Infuses Character Into La Quinta Plain Jane Home”

February 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm, Dermavie review said:

Very good post. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

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February 28, 2016 at 7:27 pm, Marion said:

What an incredible transformation! I’d never guess that it’s the same house!

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February 28, 2016 at 7:28 pm, Marion said:

What an incredible transformation! I’d never guess it’s the same house!

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March 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm, Dorothy said:

Thank you! It was a fun project. Collecting and curating along the way…..

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April 14, 2016 at 9:31 pm, Dan OConnor said:

What a mess!! Looks like the French Foreign Legion moved out and a raiding party of drunken Berbers moved in. No wonder he’s single!

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April 27, 2016 at 1:18 am, Dorothy Willetts said:

I thought that was the look you were going for! I think we did a great job; loved working with you!

Reply

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