Paula Holm called H.J. Holtz & Son because her contractor said so.

Holm and her husband, George, were working with Mark Franko, of Mark Franko Custom Building, to expand their kitchen and add a club room on the lower level, similar to the one they have in their vacation home. Holm said she had “nothing but time” thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, so she researched and planned the interiors herself.

“I knew I wanted to do the lacquer painting,” she says. “Once we started talking about that, Mark said [Rick Holtz was] who we have to talk with. Honestly, we didn’t even consider anyone else. They’re so knowledgeable.”

Using a color palette inspired by a painting they own – “Be the Hero” by Italian artist Marco Battaglini – Holm initially envisioned the walls as turquoise. She worked with the Holtz team, who prepared numerous sample boards, to “see” the color in the room.

“Holtz was amazing, because we had a dozen different colors we considered: four turquoise, then burnt orange,” Holm says. “But I thought, if we’re going to do it, we’d rather err on the front side than not have it right. They were on board with that.”

The final color choice was a Fine Paints of Europe match to Benjamin Moore Dragon’s Blood – a rich red-orange hue that changes with the light. (The match was necessary to use FPE’s specialty high gloss paint.) Holm wanted a warm tone, given the proximity to the outdoors via the room’s wall of windows, and wanted color to envelop the space. To that end, the trim and the ribs on the coffered ceiling are also lacquered in the paint.

“We had to do something different [above],” she says, noting the gold paint on the ceiling. “We wanted it to have an antique feel, a warm tone, not glitzy and shiny. We wanted it to look hand-painted.”

Holm is pleased by how the bright lacquer plays off the more subtle floor, which is natural stone with walnut inlay. “We have the same walnut up in our kitchen,” she says. “It’s a soft, natural finish; it gives a warmer feel.”

While painting the room took weeks, Holm says she didn’t mind, because she wanted it to be just right. And there were many elements to consider, including the trim and cabinets by KDWHome.

“I don’t want to rush that kind of work,” she says. “It’s so detailed, it would be silly to rush it.” She credits foreman Kenny Ebright for his masterful handling of the project. “I love Kenny; he’s the man,” she adds.

Holm says the project is exactly what she and her husband had hoped for, and that it’s already serving its purpose as a gathering space for the large family. “I had known Rick [through our children], but this was the first time we’d worked with the company,” she says. “When our builder told us to go with them, we knew the company was quality. With Holtz, you definitely get what you pay for.”