from the archives: the ivy house


Designer Myra Hoefer’s gorgeous ivy covered cottage in Healdsburg, California was featured three times in House Beautiful Magazine. The final article was published in 2012, and I—because I wanted to be there, dining alfresco in the courtyard, then lounging in the tiny rooms—fell in love with it. My torn-out magazine pages stashed in a folder have been an inspirational touchstone for me on how to blend the simple with the refined, how to decorate small spaces, and how to create a look of graceful elegance throughout a home (not to mention the fact that I’ve been nagging my husband about growing ivy on the exterior of my office all these years and we are on our second attempt now I believe).

Though not exactly in the country, Myra’s look reflects the understated and timeless quality that we love here at Elegant Country Style. It’s a smart combination of Parisian (there is the sense of je ne sais quai about it—stylish without trying too hard) and West Coast chic. She has covered the walls in a soft lichen gray (custom mixed but reminding me of Farrow and Ball’s French Gray), kept the lines soft with curvy French antiques, accented with shades of white and gold, and texturized with velvet and silk. There is an undertone of green to all of it echoing the ivy.


The photo above is a master class on how to style a hutch: notice how the pitchers are lined up on the top, how similar pieces are grouped and stacked, and how there is the one unexpected element (the small gilt mirror tucked in the corner). Add the flowers and fruit just before company arrives!


I love the simple white cachepot with hydrangea and the plain linen table covering (let it stay wrinkled!).



This vignette illustrates how balance and symmetry can create a harmonious feeling in a space.


In this lovely courtyard area there is a sense of seclusion and serenity created by keeping the colors muted (grays and greens and whites). An antique garden orb on the table—oversized and fun—adds to the charm.


Myra Hoefer (who was said to be as enchanting as her rooms) has since passed away, but her daughters have carried on her legacy at Myra Hoefer Design.

May your Monday be brightened a bit by this weekly design inspiration…and thank you for stopping by ECS.



2 responses to “from the archives: the ivy house”

    1. Yes I agree! Thanks for stopping by the blog, and I’ve just discovered yours so will be doing the same!


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