- Photo by Julia Moore

California bungalow meets Jacksonville chic

When this turn-of-the-last-century, front-gabled California bungalow was moved — on the back of a truck — from Central Point to Jacksonville a few years ago, its owner had big plans.

Bruno Goosens recognized the dilapidated building's potential and spared no details in recreating an unflappably perfect Arts and Crafts home.

Now occupied by Sam and Dorothy Marx and their daughter, 3-year-old Elliot, the home is decorated to match its design.

"This is 'Jacksonville chic' out here — you want to be a little bit rustic and a little off-beat," says Dorothy, owner of Nest Design consulting.

Marx capitalized on Goosens' appreciation for the home's traditional architectural details; her spare furnishings draw the eye to stretches of original fir flooring and richly stained, 7-inch baseboards, windowsills, lintel-accented door casings and wraparound plate rail. "He did a wonderful job keeping a lot of the original mouldings, which are chunky and really substantial," says Marx. "The dark wood contrasts so well with the butter-yellow, lightly textured, Italian plaster on all the walls."

"A modern approach to Craftsman" is how Marx explains her approach to decor. Inside the front door is the home's formal dining room, with an Arts and Crafts chandelier over a table surrounded by mismatched chairs upholstered in flight-of-fancy textiles. Vintage photographs of Sam's grandparents hang above an antique sideboard, scored by Dorothy at Fremont Market in Seattle, where she picked up many of her treasures while studying design and architecture at University of Washington.

An intimate reading corner is created with a tufted velvet, sage-green chair, side table and lamp.

A wainscoted hallway off the dining room leads to a sun-soaked, multipurpose room where kids and grandparents gather to relax, play and watch television.

White, subway wall tiles, hexagonal floor tiles and an original, deep tub keep the bath era-appropriate — as does the quirky "washroom" sign that Marx has leaned against the mirror.

Elliot's room at the end of the hall is "what a little girl's bedroom should be," says Marx, who blends a brass daybed with mid-20th-century shelving and a vintage dresser to create a transitional room for her daughter, who's rapidly growing from babyhood into girlhood.

Separating the dining room from the living room are two pony walls with built-in bookshelves and half-pillars reaching to the 8-foot ceilings.

"This is our family room, where all the pieces of our quilt live," says Marx, indicating the plate rail that holds souvenirs from vacations in Mexico, old family photos and "the bulk of my bird obsession."

Warmth is created with a large area rug surrounded by a leather sofa, tweed chairs flanking a shabby chic, 110-year-old, blue, barn table and an entertainment center.

"Texture is my thing — I love the sleek leather, but it needs the tweed, the furry pillows, the floral paisley of the carpet," says Marx. Visual texture comes from a leaded-glass window inset in the living room's corner; once a part of the home's original front door, it is now an eye-catching accent.

The kitchen is "easily the best room in the house," says Marx of the original, floor-to-ceiling, white butler's pantry with a butcher-block counter, paned-glass cabinet doors and wrought-iron hardware. While remodeling the home, Goosens was careful to replicate the look, with an expanse of base and wall cabinets on the opposite wall and a subway-tile backsplash. Between the two runs of cabinets is the fully functional, original Wedgewood range. Marx's Fiestaware collection and a retro stool add pops of color while a framed cow print, bowls of fruit and a hanging wreath contribute touches of country whimsy.

An eating nook at the kitchen's far end is spruced up with spring-green paint, a fabric-covered pendant light, a small round table and corseted chair covers found by Marx at Terra Firma in Jacksonville. Corner, paned windows and two French doors lead to a wraparound back deck from which the Marx family enjoys the burble of Daisy Creek and music from the Britt Festivals.

The master bedroom is tucked into the home's southwest corner, opening onto the deck and a set of outdoor stairs leading to an upstairs loft. Dorothy's dressing table (inherited from her grandmother) sits in a small nook, and the bed gets a cozy setting under a pitched ceiling. A walk-in closet, small master bath and imposing, French classical armoire with inlaid ivory round out the room.

"We loved this house the moment we stepped into it," says Marx. "It's a perfect combination of the character of an old house and really clean lines."

By adding their own style to this historic home with its unusual story, the Marx family has helped define "Jacksonville chic."

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