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Traditional Adobe

Designer Susan Trowbridge updated a classic 150-year-old Santa Fe adobe with a new and exciting look by lightening up the rooms through the use of Navajo white paint, skylights and neutral fabrics and furnishings.

The white walls were painted with a creamy milk glaze mixture that creates a warm glow when the sunlight washes over it. A kiva fireplace with four ledges provides a natural space for displaying collectibles. Tactile fabrics like leather, chenille and ultrasuede create a lush, formal look in the living room but were primarily chosen so the artwork and accessories could stand out.

The dark ceiling in the living room seemed oppressive so skylights were installed in between some of the beams. The beams had also yellowed with age so she had the depth of color manipulated with a stain, glaze and matte varnish that makes them look hand waxed.

The dining room is a classic adobe space with plaster walls, a kiva fireplace and built-in hand-trawled niches. Old furniture brings a rich patina into the room. The undulating beamed ceiling is an architectural element in its own right.

From the dining room, one can see directly into the kitchen. By using freestanding furniture, Trowbridge was able to make it a gathering spot for the entire family. A breakfast table with two chairs is placed in front of a marble-topped island that was once an old pastry table. Clerestory windows create a shaft of natural light across the space. Since the original cabinets were well-made they kept them intact — the rich patina of the finish only adds to the authenticity of the adobe look.

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