Lucky strike … or, making old furniture work in a new home | TheUnion.com
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Lucky strike … or, making old furniture work in a new home

A visit to the home of Ed and Kristy Paul on a bright, spring day was a memorable experience.

I’d come to the right place to find a rustic, Rough and Ready home that harks to the town’s history of gold and independent spirit.

The Pauls’ cabin-like home is cozy and charming – and the view of the Sutter Buttes is stunning. A sense of peace, fun and nostalgia greets you – along with salutations from Kristy, Ed, Comet the terrier, Cody the paint horse, and two cats.



Tidy, attractive and stylish, its energy is informal and inviting. Instantly, I could imagine myself curled up on the large leather sofa by the wood-burning stove, re-reading “Lonesome Dove” with a large cup of freshly brewed coffee.

This 2,100-square-foot home radiates simple pleasures.




With two bedrooms, two baths, an office and a loft, its two-story floor plan is perfect for entertaining while retaining privacy.

The porch is filled with potted plants and an old washer. The locally-milled cedar exterior from Kubich Lumber features a metal roof. Cody’s barn is a converted car port and complementary in style.

Outside, an orchard features apple, peach and Asian pear trees. A greenhouse lets Kristy work her green thumb.

Built in 1996, this house replaces the original one, destroyed in the 49er Fire in 1993.

Ed and Kristy moved here four-and-a-half years ago from Arizona. Their good friends Pete and Barb Franchino, owners of the Elam Biggs Bed and Breakfast in Grass Valley introduced them to the area.

“I’ve definitely settled here,” Ed said. “I’ve also caught gold fever.”

When he’s not panning for gold in the nearby rivers, Ed is a frequent golfer at the Beale golf course, often with his 90-year-old mother and friends.

Kristy is a volunteer at Saddle Pals, our local therapeutic riding program.

“It’s fun to be a part of such a big-hearted community,” she emphasizes. “What’s also made our move worthwhile is the fact that our two adult children have moved to Chico and Truckee, so our family remains close.”

The foothills view, the rock built around the wood-burning stove, and the cedar ceilings and accent walls enhance the home’s Southwest decor.

Native American baskets and rugs create artistic authenticity. A rifle, mounted above the entrance from the living to dining area, belonged to Ed’s grandfather.

An old western saddle adds to the great room’s character, as do the many prints, paintings and wrought-iron artifacts displayed throughout the house.

“The tongue-and-groove cedar ceilings run throughout,” Ed explains. “However, each room features only one wood wall.”

The result is there’s plenty of scope for color contrasts. Pale daffodil is used frequently with muted, brick-red accents, including window treatments.

“I really like our pictures and artifacts to pop,” Kristy says, “and soft, earth tones provide a complementary background.”

The kitchen and dining room floors are oak, and the entry area features slate.

Local carpenter Joe Beckham created the cabinets. Much of the furniture is pine, yet it’s never overdone – just enough to add a warmth and dignity to the western theme.

When I asked Kristy if she had purchased new furniture for this home, her answer came as a surprise.

“Most everything you see moved here with us. Ed and I really feel at home with southwestern-style furniture and accessories, so we’ve simply kept what we love and made it work here.”

Both Kristy and Ed have followed a simple rule.

“Changing paint colors or a carpet or floor covering is fairly easy,” Ed explains. “The changes we have made are simples ones. Frankly, in this economy, we’ve both agreed to slow down.”

“We were lucky,” says Kristy. “The home was clean and comfortable when we moved in, so although we have some ideas for updating, we’re going to wait a while and enjoy the home as it is.”

The bathrooms and countertops are on their list. Kristy prefers tile countertops to the current granite trend, and that’s what they’ll have.

But they’ve worked with what’s there – and the results are great.

I enjoyed their sense of fun and practicality – as well as their independent thinking.

Combined with the home’s warm, casual styling and appreciation for history, the Paul home is truly a Rough and Ready classic.

Courtney Ferguson, of Penn Valley, writes about properties, their owners, their lifestyles and how they incorporate lifestyle into design choices.


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