Diving In: City Goes Country in a Rustic Remodel

What happens when two style-savvy city boys decamp to the country? For San Francisco interior designer Jay Jeffers and creative director Michael Purdy—who own and operate one of San Francisco’s chicest design outposts—it spurred a free-range remodel fit for an urban cowboy.

Mary Jo Bowling
  • Photo credit: Philip Harvey
    Designed by Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy

    San Francisco interior designer Jay Jeffers and creative director Michael Purdy had been together 10 years, but looking at their agenda for 2012, one might have wondered if they would make it to 11. Last year, the pair decided to tackle two of the most stress-inducing (and relationship-ruining) activities there are: completely remodeling a home (a modest ranch-style house in St. Helena) and starting their own business (Cavalier by Jay Jeffers, a fine home-goods store in San Francisco).

  • Photo credit: Philip Harvey
    Designed by Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy

    The St. Helena house had been purchased three years ago, and the decision was driven by the weather. “I was working on Wine Country houses for clients,” remembers Jeffers, “and I couldn’t help but notice how, as I drove north, it warmed up considerably—sometimes by 30 degrees. I loved the scenery and I started craving a place of my own up there.” 

  • Photo credit: Philip Harvey
    Designed by Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy

    With Purdy on board with the plan, they started searching in Sonoma and Napa counties. “Our goal was simple,” says Jeffers. “We wanted a place where we could completely relax and where we could walk or ride our bikes to bars and restaurants.” They found these things in a 1962 ranch house close to the St. Helena shopping district. It was the kind of place only an interior designer looking for a big project could love. “I didn’t think it had much to it, but Jay had a vision,” says Purdy of the then-dated home.

  • Photo credit: Philip Harvey
    Designed by Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy

    “The original house didn’t have a lot of character,” says Jeffers. “But it was in our price range, and it had a big yard and a vineyard view—of someone else’s vines, which was great because we didn’t want a lot to take care of.” Within weeks the couple sealed the deal, cleaned up the place, performed some minor cosmetic improvements (“putting lipstick on a pig” as Jeffers describes it) and started enjoying their weekend digs. But 24 months later, their lives were about to take a change for the challenging.

Designers
Jay Jeffers , Michael Purdy

Add a Comment