Blue Violet Mansion becomes White House Inn and Spa
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Cosmetic renovations are moving quickly on Tom and Darcy Tunt’s White House Inn & Spa, transforming the former Blue Violet Mansion Victorian style bed and breakfast into a modern, contemporary guest house.
Say good-bye to Blue and hello to White as downtown’s newest luxury inn, the White House Inn and Spa prepares to debut.
Taking on an ambitious restoration, local businesswoman Darcy Tunt has purchased one of Napa’s older historic homes, an elegant 1886 Queen Anne Victorian on Brown Street, formerly known as the Blue Violet Mansion bed and breakfast.
Tunt plans to reopen the historic home in June as the White House Inn and Spa.
But Tunt’s no newcomer to the lodging and hospitality business. Since 2001 she’s owned and operated the luxury inn, 1801 First.
“We always knew we wanted to expand,” said Tunt. “It was time for us to expand to continue to grow our business.” While Tunt runs the daily business operations, her husband Tom is her partner.
Closing on the three-story home, purchased for $5.25 million, Tunt immediately began rapid-fire renovations at the site. She has a vision for the formerly Victorian styled bed and breakfast. “We’re starting from scratch,” said Tunt.
While “B&B” has traditional connotations, when the renovation is complete, the mansion will be Victorian in architecture only, she said. Inside guests will find contemporary and luxurious surroundings in a clean, minimal style. “It will be a different experience than a traditional B&B,” said Tunt.
When the renovation is complete, the inn’s 17 rooms will feature “urban styled, chic furnishings,” including flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi and other modern amenities, she said. “You’re going to feel like you are in a London flat — a real urban feel,” she said.
Tunt’s plan also includes what she calls “going green.” Environmentally-minded practices at the White House will include earth-friendly cleaning products, recycled paint, fabrics, sustainable flooring, edible gardens, new individual HVAC systems — even the towels will be made of bamboo fiber, she said.
While major renovations continue, it’s the little details that seem to please Tunt. On a tour, she paused to admire gold leaf recently applied to ball-shaped ornamental details around the home.
“I think it’s going to be a nice improvement to the neighborhood. We’re excited about being a part of downtown Napa,” she said.
Tunt explained the new name for the mansion. At one point the home at 443 Brown Street was white, she said. But the new name also speaks of elegance, presence and stateliness. “And that’s what it’s going to be.”
Besides its architecture and historical setting, Tunt said the mansion has another big selling point — it is one of a limited number of downtown inns permitted to host weddings, which will be a significant part of their business.
“We want to create a premier wedding and event venue,” she said.
Not only does Tunt have her hands full with the remodel, she’s also training staff, setting up computer systems and launching a website. “It’s a big project. I’m basically creating a start up business in seven weeks,” said Tunt, who has a background in real estate, sales and marketing.
“There are moments when I have to step back and take a deep breath, but I am so excited and I know this will be a very successful and wonderful property for others to enjoy.”
The White House Inn & Spa
443 Brown Street, Napa CA 94559 – (707) 254-9301
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