Victoria Sanchez and Cheryl Jaeger discuss the crown moldings and chair rail in Jaeger’s dining room in her historic house on S. Asaph — what is original, how married is she to keeping them? This is their first consultation. As she looks around the space, Sanchez recommends replacing the sizes of the 6-inch light fixtures with 3 inches. Jaeger says, “I have to use Victoria because she knows how to mix up the traditional with the new, how to choose among the 5,000 shades of white.”
Photo by Shirley Ruhe/Gazette Packet
Victoria Sanchez opens the door at 310 S Asaph. It is her first visit to consult with the owner, Cheryl Jaeger. Sanchez looks around the room and comments that they don't want paint with yellow undertones because of the west light coming in through the front windows. They are at the very beginning of a process of renovating the space but have been working together for a long time. "This is the best block," Jaeger said. “The houses have so much character with a lot of history and every house on this block is plaqued as historical."
Sanchez is moving ahead and asks, "Are the systems up, where are we with the kitchen?" Jaeger says that she needs help with choosing among the 5,000 shades of white for the kitchen cabinets “because Victoria would know.”
Sanchez says the biggest challenge here is working with the small space. Another issue is getting a couch up the 26-28 inch stairway to the TV room upstairs. The bannister has already been removed to accommodate. Sanchez comments that she has guys who make furniture for her and she could see them making three sections that could be assembled together upstairs.
Sanchez asks, "How married are you to the moldings? Do you know what is original? What about the chair rail?" She recommends taking out the chair rail which "is like a fat belt on a short person" and shrinks the wall in a small space. "What are your love pieces?"
She works around what the client absolutely needs to have in their space. Sanchez wants to make the downstairs space not Williamsburg, not stuffy but hip, transitional and livable. Sanchez looks around the room absorbing all the details of the space and focuses on the ceiling. She recommends that Jaeger reduce the size of her light fixtures to 3 inches. She asks if the floors are original.
They move on to the kitchen, currently gutted with wires hanging from the walls, bare brick on the wall, a floor crossed with boards which Sanchez negotiates with ease, one foot in front of the other as she checks out the space. "This will be a really nice kitchen," she says visualizing the space. Around the corner is another vision. "Powder rooms are fun, right?" I'm thinking about doing everything including the ceiling in wallpaper, maybe an updated traditional, like floral." "I hear what you are saying; here's what I am thinking," Sanchez says. "I'll be in Charlottesville this weekend and I will look for silver tones."
They discuss the dining room. Jaeger has never had a dining room and is ”very excited.” She would like a table for entertaining but would like to keep the flow from the front door down the hall and to the backyard. But Sanchez thinks of this as a multi-purpose room, maybe with some drop leaf lunes that could be put up or taken down to make the table but leave the space free for the rest of the time.
Jaeger points out a favorite picture that she wants displayed prominently in the living room. Sanchez says, "This raises little flags. The entire first floor has to follow the pink and purple in the picture." When Jaeger says that purple is her favorite color, Sanchez adjusts and says she has some fabrics in mind. She is snapping pictures to take back and digest the ideas.
Jaeger says the biggest challenge she remembers in her 33- year career was the Turnberry Towers in Rosslyn where she designed two penthouses into one. "It took two years." She said, "I brought in my team of local contractors together with huge contractors in this multi-million dollar project. So I would go every day in my high heels and be a woman making all the complex decisions required in running a multi-million dollar project. "It was a fantastic learning experience, all of the codes and complicated regulations."
Sanchez says she knew this is what she wanted to do from when she was 6, 7 or 10. "I was just born to do it." She says her father bought a lot of houses and took her along and her grandmother took her antiquing." Sanchez opened Sanchez Designs two years ago on S. Union Street. She has owned her own business for 15 years and always worked in the local metropolitan area.
"Now upstairs. Be careful," she says looking toward the narrow, curving stairway. "We had to pry out the bannister. Don't trip."