Frequent visits to Calistoga Ranch left a Los Angeles couple hankering for even more time amid Napa Valley’s tranquil vineyards, so they realized it was the right moment to build their post-retirement dream home in California Wine Country. Wade Design Architects and Geremia Design knew exactly how to bring it to life.
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Both husband and wife had an affinity for the rustic yet sophisticated indoor/outdoor architecture of Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyard in Calistoga, which inspired the design of their own new residence in the same small city. At just under 9,000 square feet, the low-slung complex encompasses a two-bedroom home, three-bedroom guest house, pool house, and car barn containing the husband’s beloved reserve of automobiles and motorcycles. Situated on an east-west axis, they all open north to maximize mighty sight lines.
"A desire for seamless transitions between the outdoors and living spaces was top of mind, as well as walls of glass that framed the natural views as art," explains Luke Wade, principal at San Anselmo, California–based Wade Design Architects. "The property abuts a vineyard with mountains beyond, and the buildings were arranged to focus on this while also forming courts and yards between the structures."
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Aside from the loft devoted to yoga and Pilates above the car barn, the home was intentionally built at just one level "to connect to the earth," Wade points out. The centerpiece is the vast kitchen, living, and dining area, which pours onto the terrace overlooking the lawn, pool, and vineyards.
Fresh air flowing from room to room with ease was important to Lauren Geremia, founder and principal at San Francisco–based Geremia Design, who opted for an earthy palette and light but durable materials.
"The pastoral setting informed our design choices, and because this is a forever home, every last detail was considered and deliberate—from outlets that were hand painted to disappear into counters, to the radiant-heated floors that run inside to out. The end result is a home that is serene, forward-thinking, and highly livable," she says.
The home is filled with 19th- and 20th-century European antiques from the couple’s own collection—"they came to the project with case pieces that fit perfectly with the aesthetic," points out Geremia. These pieces play well with modern accents like metal-shaded light fixtures with a faint wood grain from Los Angeles-based Brendan Ravenhill Studio’s "Grain" family.
Says Geremia, "Like so much in the home, it’s small details and sometimes imperceptible gestures that create the exquisite."
Building/General Contractor: Total Concepts
Landscape Design: Bernard Trainor