Located in Calistoga, a small town in Northern California’s Napa Valley, this renovated traditional farmhouse is placed gently into an agrarian landscape of grape vines and matured walnut trees. The clients, local winemakers, desired modern, updated interiors that would complement the home’s traditional form and estate vineyard setting. With the house’s transformation, the relationship to site and ambiguity of the plan are simplified and strengthened through the subtle shifting of openings and partitions, and the addition of key unifying elements.
While the previous residence and its newly renovated form share a similar programmatic layout, the inhabitant experience has been reimagined through the clear definition of public and private spaces. The main entry, which once awkwardly directed visitors toward the second floor master suite, has been shifted to the center axis of the house and now guides people directly into the open living room and dining area. A cedar-clad central spine reinforces this articulated boundary and guides one’s view through the communal space to the vineyards beyond.
The use of vertical cedar siding helps to distinguish the modern interventions and major changes to the traditional farmhouse’s form while directly contrasting the gray-painted cedar shake, punched windows, and white trim of the original home. This vertical cedar siding also marks the inserted central circulation spine, as well as the expanded kitchen volume—the catalyst for the renovation—that takes on new prominence as the hub of the house and gateway to an expanded deck, rectilinear pool, guesthouse, and renovated water tower. The yard includes numerous opportunities for entertaining, including a built-in barbecue, fire pit, and bocce ball court, with views of the vineyards beyond.
Materials used help to define programmatic elements throughout the dwelling. Beautiful soft-gray basalt floors are used in common living areas—a nod to the geology of the region—and contrast the softness of reclaimed, whitewashed, wide-plank Douglas fir flooring in private spaces. Warm, vertical grain hemlock cabinetry and the rich copper sheet metal cladding of the fireplace surround reflect the hues of the exterior landscape and balance the clean lines and crisp expression of the white painted drywall.
The extensive redesign of this dated farmhouse turned modern residence, with its many connections to the surrounding landscape, creates a contemporary home for the clients to enjoy for many years to come.