To call this property a guesthouse is a bit of an understatement. At 4,000 square feet and set on Napa De Oro’s sprawling vineyards in St. Helena, it’s more like a bucket list travel destination. The home, originally built in the 70s, was charming but dated. The owners wanted to usher in a new era while honoring its rich connection to the past. They commissioned Judi Lee-Carr of Jubilee Interiors to deliver a California casual aesthetic with the sense of laid-back luxury that Napa Valley is known for. In the span of just five months, Judi Lee-Carr unveiled an entire home renovation, indoors and out.
It’s easy to be enamored with the interior’s wood-clad ceilings, original millwork, or even the open-concept kitchen designed for a chef. But the real stars of this property are the multiple outdoor living spaces overlooking lush gardens, a private pool, and acres upon acres of Cabernet vineyards. There are endless spots for nightly sunset viewings—with a glass of wine in hand, of course.
Project: The Napa De Oro Guesthouse
Location: St Helena, CA
Architecture Style: 1976 Single Story Home
Square Footage: 4,000 square-feet, 5 Beds + 5 Baths
Scope of Work: Entire Home Renovation, Indoors and Out
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Tell us more about this project, and the scope of work involved.
Built in 1976, this single-story home features ranch-style architecture and is set on approximately 7 acres of Cabernet vineyards in Napa Valley. The home is one of two houses on the property and is dedicated to the client’s business, Napa De Oro, as a vacation rental home for guests of the winery.
The home has a large, open-concept U-shaped layout with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and panels that are accessible to the swimming pool from everywhere. The home was dated when we were first brought on the project but had great potential. The scope of work was extensive and involved:
- Demo of walls dividing the dining room and kitchen to create an open concept space.
- Flipping the kitchen layout to provide a better flow for entertaining.
- Remodeling all five bathrooms and adding a powder room.
- Refreshing the property with new paint. However, we kept a lot of the existing millwork to accentuate the history and character of the home.
- Sourcing all new furniture, light fixtures, and decorative elements.
- Refinishing the existing pool and pool bath.
Talk to us about the initial inspiration and the process of honing your vision?
While the existing home was very charming, it looked tired and needed significant layout improvements. Our design aesthetic became “organic modern living” to play off the wine country setting and juxtapose the old ranch charm.
As a vacation rental, this property will be primarily used for the family and guests of the winery, so the aesthetic had to resonate with everyone. We worked with a very neutral palette – think natural light and dark stained oak, soft ivories, and grays. For balance, we added textured materials like boucle and linen, mixed metals like satin brass and matte black, and added clean lines, warmth, and earthiness throughout.
More to Read: 25 Colors Designers Love
Any pain points? And how did you problem-solve?
This project began amid the pandemic, which meant a lack of labor, materials, and long lead times on everything.
Another pain point was the tight timeline. We were brought on in September 2021 and needed to deliver by February 2022—that gave us only five months. Within the first five weeks, we delivered everything from concepts to design plans to revisions of the entire 4,035-square-foot home. Due to time constraints, we had to work with everything that was in-stock, which at that point in time, was very limited. It was a challenge, but we made it happen!
This home operates as a vacation rental for guests of the winery. Can you tell us how designing a vacation retreat informed some of your design decisions?
While this is not an everyday residence, it still had to be thoughtfully planned. One difference in designing a vacation rental was considering the functionality of each room from a hospitality perspective. We needed to ensure there was form and function for the guests. The designs also had to be consistent because we wanted the home to be relatable to the public’s opinion. We didn’t need too much of an individual’s personality injected into the designs. It’s sort of like creating a blank canvas with a touch of luxury to provide a perfect getaway for anyone.
Any favorite design features you can share?
One special element that you don’t see, but holds a lot of history, is that we kept the actual metal frame of the kitchen island but built new cabinet panels over it. The previous homeowners were great friends with Joe Dimaggio, and his autograph is still on the steel frame.
Another element of the home we love most is the greenery in the backyard. Because of its luscious greenery and beautiful landscape, the new backyard dining area with our decorative light lanterns creates that perfect California casual wine country vibe!
And last but not least, the vegetable garden! We take no credit for the GORGEOUS vegetable garden because it’s all the caretaker’s work! He did a fantastic job of building and maintaining it with existing materials from wine barrels and other equipment.
For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Design: Jubilee Interiors
Photographer: Charlotte Lea
Location: Napa De Oro
Booking Inquiries: email@example.com
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