Lizzie Cox’s clients knew they wanted to revitalize their comfortable river place … but not too much.
“The key theme throughout was to maintain the integrity of the old charm of the cottage,” says Cox, principal of Lizzie Cox Interiors in Richmond. “We wanted to update and refresh it without losing character.”
Cox recommended H.J. Holtz & Son to the client after having worked with Holtz on prior projects. She knew the team could handle the many tasks involved – and with the right touch.
“Because our goal was to make the house feel like it had not been updated, we did not want people to notice any major changes,” she says. “Holtz was definitely the right team for the job because they always listen to what the clients want.”
The interior project included painting the first floor’s walls, as well as redoing the floors both on the main level and upstairs. The original heart pine floors were refinished before they were painted, but were finished gently, both with stain and paint, to allow their history to show.
In addition to the painting, Holtz carpentry craftspeople patched stair boards, and even designed and fabricated a new stair banister. “We worked together to come up with a charming design, and they executed it perfectly,” Cox says. “It feels like it’s been there forever.”
The cottage was painted with Benjamin Moore Simply White, Cox says, because it has no undertone and looks good in all types of light exposures.
“It was really important that the painting not be so perfect,” she says, explaining that the homeowners really wanted to maintain the cozy, comfortable feel of a house that had been in their family for some time. “Because of [Holtz’s] experience with faux finishes and because they are such professional painters, they were able to get it just right.”
Despite the “normal” hiccups that come with any renovation project, Cox says, the update went very well. And working with the Holtz team makes her job easier, too.
“I know they’re going to get the job done from start to finish, and I don’t have to check in with them all the time,” she says. “They own their projects and put their heart into it and get it done. Essentially, they’re like the contractor for me – they coordinated it all.
“At the end, it turned out better than anticipated, which was really fun,” she adds. “It feels like an old river cottage that’s been there forever.”
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