Healdsburg Couple Transforms 100-Year-Old Cottage Into a Modern Home

Healdsburg Couple Transforms 100-Year-Old Cottage Into a Modern Home

From the sunny aspect of their Healdsburg street, Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan’s vintage two-bedroom Healdsburg cottage seems to be freshly up to date, with tall windows and a new roof and siding.

But obtaining to this conclude final result took much more than 10 years, as the spouse and children concluded a sequence of projects more than time. The cottage has grown into an expression of the family’s values. It is sustainable, handcrafted and modest and no bigger or fancier than it needs to be.

Schjerbeck, a jewellery designer and co-proprietor of Gallery Lulo in Healdsburg, and Brennan, a laptop or computer engineer who a short while ago started off a line of warm sauce, are living in the property with their two sons, Lukas, 13, and Kristian, 9, furthermore an eager-to-make sure you younger pup, Charlie.

The few achieved decades in the past in Rome by a circle of expat good friends. Schjerbeck, whose father was a member of the Danish diplomatic corps, grew up generally in Africa. Brennan grew up in rural Louisiana. From Europe, the couple moved to New Orleans, wherever they renovated an more mature household collectively.

In 2007, soon after residing in New Orleans by way of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, they were being open to producing a shift. On a whim, Schjerbeck visited Healdsburg although in the Bay Area for a jewellery demonstrate.

“She arrived back to New Orleans and explained she imagined we ought to transfer there. And I swear, there was a bottle of wine on the table, and it said Healdsburg on it. And I was just, like, very well, that’s good,” Brennan mentioned, laughing.

Property owner Katrina Schjerbeck sets the dining desk with dog Charlie. The chandelier higher than the table is a handblown glass design from SkLO Studio. (Eileen Roche)
Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan filled their property with objects that categorical their values, from books and ceramics to artwork. (Eileen Roche)

The perfect cottage

They rented in city for three yrs right before locating their cottage, which is inside of going for walks length of the plaza and Schjerbeck’s gallery.

“It just seemed like it was real — these tall, wonderful windows and classic wood all over the place,” Brennan said. “It reminded me of a 115-year-old residence in New Orleans.”

Schjerbeck and Brennan claimed the circa-1915 cottage was a classic situation of very good bones and chance, but circumstances inside have been rough. The floors were being slanted. There was no heat. The basis was very a lot nonexistent (“it was just sitting down on mud,” Brennan reported), and at the again of the residence, a tacked-on utility area gave the total format an off-kilter feel.

They brought out the hammers and saws on Working day One, decided to help save dollars and do much of the do the job themselves, as they had in New Orleans. They hired contractors to do the significant lifting with the basis, but they tackled trim, tile and other complete function.

They taken out layers of old paint to reveal beautiful initial Douglas fir subfloors. “After the war, I assume there was just a surplus of military environmentally friendly paint,” Brennan mused. “You’re contemplating, which is gotta be another person throwing it down in the ’50s just simply because it was totally free.”

Individuals to start with 5 a long time had been a little bit of a whirlwind, with two younger children, Brennan’s comprehensive-time work, Schjerbeck’s gallery and significant renovation initiatives taking up their absolutely free time.

“I bear in mind we had been constantly scraping down popcorn ceilings, and we didn’t have a dishwasher for yrs,” Schjerbeck said. “The dwelling was up on stilts though we did the foundation. You appear again and are like, wow, how did you do that?”

“It was a lot less nerve-racking when you experienced a glass of wine at night time,” Brennan joked.

Top quality of window mild

They’re at last at a stopping level, Schjerbeck and Brennan explained, just after not too long ago finishing a lengthy-awaited new kitchen area and including a new loved ones home and wall of home windows seeking out to the again back garden.

For Schjerbeck, the good quality of light-weight from the windows, each classic authentic kinds and the present-day window wall in again, make the dwelling. She and Brennan explained the glance as pared-down and cozy, real to Schjerbeck’s Danish roots.

“We usually have songs on and minimal candles in the wintertime. The kids appreciate individuals things. And I really like freshness. I really like cleanness,” Schjerbeck reported. She and Brennan have loaded the residence with ceramics, artwork and guides, specially handmade objects with specific craftsmanship. They’re not overly valuable items, but issues the spouse and children uses every single working day.

Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan did substantially of the work on their own on their 1915 Healdsburg cottage. (Eileen Roche)
Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan want their sons to recall and respect all that went into the renovation of their family members household in Healdsburg. (Eileen Roche)

The most preferred spot in the home is the kitchen island, used for cooking alongside one another, artwork jobs and research. Schjerbeck enjoys to bake with the kids, and each individual Friday is selfmade pizza night.

“We’re major into farmers markets, and I’d say 75{30865861d187b3c2e200beb8a3ec9b8456840e314f1db0709bac7c430cb25d05} of our daily life on the weekends revolves all over foods — browsing, prepping, consuming,” Brennan claimed.

Brennan and Schjerbeck mentioned they hope they’ve cemented a appreciate of older residences in their two sons.

“I consider it is going to come to feel typical to them,” Brennan reported. “Like, this is what a constructing that was developed in the 1600s or the 1900s feels like — solidity of the wood, the good quality of the gentle.”

Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan crammed their two-bed room Healdsburg cottage with artwork and handmade objects with specific craftsmanship. (Eileen Roche)
Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan take pleasure in a simple aesthetic in their Healdsburg property that features lots of vegetation. (Eileen Roche)

Lukas and Kirstian remember the stages of the renovation, and the household frequently talks about the get the job done they’ve lived via and the projects they even now want to entire. The pair want the boys to realize their life are enriched by the time and effort they’ve invested in the residence, and the transformation advanced about time, little by little and sustainably.

“It’s like almost everything in our lives. We’ve had to do it minor by very little,” Schjerbeck reported. “You improve that way — and you know the foundation’s definitely powerful.”

Gallery Lulo, which Katrina Schjerbeck co-owns with Karen Gilbert of glass artwork organization SkLO Studio, focuses on modern craft and design. The associates have the perform of 40 jewellery makers and high-quality artists, together with lots of from the Healdsburg space. 303 Centre St., Healdsburg. 707-433-7533, gallerylulo.com

Previous calendar year, Danny Brennan introduced Healdsburg Ferments, giving fermented cayenne pepper scorching sauce. healdsburgferments.com

All around Town

Home owners Katrina Schjerbeck and Danny Brennan say their weekends tumble into a calm cadence of food buying and farmers marketplaces. A couple of of their Healdsburg favorites:


Schjerbeck’s go-to’s are the fried inexperienced tomatoes and eggs Benedict. And the full relatives enjoys that you can sit exterior and deliver your pet. 60 Mill St., Healdsburg. 707-431-8474, theparishcafe.com


They say they can simply invest an hour or two browsing the textbooks and artwork and listening to jazz on the stereo at this family members-owned location on the plaza, not significantly from Schjerbeck’s gallery. 306 Heart St., Healdsburg. 707-433-1118, levinbooks.com


Treats for Charlie at this downtown pet shop with funny toys and wonderful leashes and bandanas. 43 North St., Healdsburg. 707-433-9935, fideaux.internet


Immediately after a early morning in town, it is a small, scenic travel out to Preston, the place the relatives likes to bring picnics and sit out less than the olive trees, and the moms and dads can take pleasure in a glass of wine. “We adore the informality of the location,” states Schjerbeck. 9282 W. Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg. 707-433-3372, prestonfarmandwinery.com

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