The Healing Process of Creativity with Jacque Grubbs
By Sandie Tillery
The Resting PlaceAugust 2015
By Sandie Tillery
Photos: James Mazzotta
Two years ago, when her husband Jim died, Jacque Grubbs grieved through a cathartic creative process honoring the man she'd loved and shared a life with for 40 years. With support from her family, Grubbs decided to invest the life insurance money to transform a 700-squarefoot living space into what she has christened “The Resting Place” in Redding, inspired by a dream her husband had about rest. Now a vacation rental, the one-bedroom cottage represents Grubbs’ passion for creating a comfortable, welcoming place for guests to linger and relax.
Elements in the interior design reflect some of Jim’s passions. He loved the works of C.S. Lewis. A large abstract painting of a lion, reminiscent of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia, makes its feature statement on one wall of the living room.
The home initially needed a total remodel to open up small, crowded spaces. She raised the ceiling and tore down interior walls, added a wall-to-wall beam in the living room and rearranged the bath and bedroom. Now, guests walk into a serene space that invites cozy interludes in a five-star accommodation.
Grubbs envisioned a fresh, urban style. She achieved this by blending reclaimed wood with industrial lighting, hand-scraped and distressed dark wood floors and a range of warm shades of gray throughout, punctuated here and there with yellow accents.
The project took almost a year to complete. By adding splashes of bright “happy” yellow, beginning with the front door, Grubbs worked through those early days of loss remembering the joy Jim had brought. “Life is Good” greets guests as they walk through the front door. Beveled marble subway tiles for the backsplash paired with granite countertops create a timeless feel in the kitchen. Grubbs uses a dining table made of reclaimed wood, and distressed the new wood beam herself to make it look like it had been there since the house was built. Every accent delights the eye and invites inspection.
Laid out in an L-shape from the kitchen into the living room, two easy chairs and a leather sofa bed face an entertainment center set beside the red brick floor-toceiling column that was a surprise discovery and at one time probably protected the wall from the heat of a potbelly stove. Windows are framed by chevron-patterned drapes in varying grey tones. Decorative pillows and woven throws, including pops of that trademark “happy” yellow, invite cuddling up in quiet conversation or an evening of television.
A high window on the left of a wide hallway adds natural light above a reclaimed wood and mirrored cabinet holding extra linens. Fluffy bathrobes hang from hooks across the hall on padded hangers. On the right, a high frosted glass window pulls light from the hall. A single French door opens into the spa-like bathroom, which features glass tile on the back wall and fully tiled white side walls surrounding the tub and shower.
The hallway ends in a spacious bedroom with ample storage and an inviting sitting area. More gray tones warm the space that whispers romance from its organic cotton mattress to luxuriant bed linens. Though Grubbs rarely has time for creating on canvas, she painted an original abstract landscape to hang above the high upholstered headboard.
Three bonus outdoor spaces offer extra places to relax. Outside the sunny front door are a covered porch and restful sitting area from which to greet passersby or soak up the afternoon sun. Off the bedroom, a shaded patio beckons morning coffee lovers. Later it becomes a lovely place to gather for a meal. From the kitchen door, a grassy garden area offers a seating area under the pavilion and a tree-shaded hammock for the ultimate in afternoon relaxing.
Grubbs’ efforts in designing “the Resting Place” represent her talents as an artist and designer, celebrated by her husband as they lived life together. He ended his career as a well-loved professor at Simpson University. Owning a business, designing spaces for others and raising their family of three children flowed well, says Grubbs (now the grandmother of 14), from the heart of her supportive husband. “The Resting Place” pays tribute to their legacy of love.
Find “The Resting Place” on www.airbnb.com