When Vicki Petulla was little, her mother would pick her and her sister up from school and take them to her interior design office for a couple of hours before heading home. The girls would pull out their Barbies and play in the room filled with fabric and carpet samples. (No wonder their friends were impressed when they saw their doll house!)
While Vicki’s sister followed her mother’s footsteps into the design world, Vicki became a kindergarten teacher. But her sense of design runs deep. And it’s reflected in her home in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood, where burlap, silk and fringe mingle harmoniously with seagrass, corral and stone.
Her honeymoon set the tone for her decor _ and who wouldn’t be inspired by a trip to Napa then Italy? The exterior of the stucco bungalow _ _along a Sycamore lined street _ is covered with creeping fig and Boston Ivy. The front garden of hydrangeas and impatience are exuberant, and brimming urns welcome you to the front door.
When Vicki and her husband, Jeff, bought the 1,600 square-foot house in 1998, it had three bedrooms and a tiny galley kitchen. Believing that living and entertaining space was more important than an extra bedroom, they opened the kitchen into the spare bedroom, turning it into a casual dining room. But you’ll find no dinette set here. Try a long, narrow harvest table with clean-lined wicker chairs at the ready for a party of 10.
The original dining room at the front of the house became, as Vicki likes to call it, “a room of her own.” Here, she relaxes in her favorite chair with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and a good book. From the coffee table to a petite desk and end tables, Vicki has assembled perfect vignettes that she replaces seasonally. For the fall, she brings in antlers and flea market paintings she found at the Alameda Antiques fair with warm rich colors.
The original formal living room is now her 5-year-old son’s playroom. The entrance into it is gracefully lined by smocked burlap curtains from Wisteria, a home and garden shop in Aptos.
She has decorated her home on her own, but on occasional martini nights with her friends Linda McFalone and Laura Ziffer who own lulu Pom Interior Design in Los Gatos, she occasionally asks for advice to make sure her vignettes don’t look too “staged.”
Each one sets a mood, a tone, whether it’s a stack of books or a silver trophy collection.
“This is my space,” she said, “and I love my house.”
For more great homes check out Hooked on Houses Autumn Tour. There are some great ones and it shouldn’t be missed.
Here’s the complete slideshow: