Sonoma Residence

SONOMA RESIDENCE   /   Healdsburg, California

This compound in California wine country took over ten years to complete. First came the pool and pool house, followed by a one-of-a-kind tree house where we occasionally slept on hot nights; next we planted a pinot noir vineyard, an olive orchard, and a large rose garden. Only with all of that complete did we begin work on the main house. Having become so familiar with the property, we knew exactly what we wanted to build: an airy one-bedroom house with a studio, a library, and several indoor and outdoor spaces for cooking and entertaining. Working with Tichenor & Thorp Architects, we created a contemporary structure that echoed the symmetry of classical pavilion architecture and had dashes of whimsy throughout.

The interior is a modest 2,500 square feet but feels much larger, thanks to an enfilade connecting the rooms along one side of the house, creating a sight line through the length of the building that exaggerates its scale. High ceilings and large windows add to the effect. Planked floors of white oak reclaimed from a nineteenth-century Pennsylvania barn laid throughout the house provide a warm, well-burnished ground for the otherwise crisp interiors.

The grandly proportioned living room is perfect for both large cocktail parties as well as for two people watching the home theater we discreetly hid behind a large mixed media folding screen. The kitchen is an inviting room for social gatherings and for entertaining on a grand scale, with its abundant storage and counter space and a built-in grill just behind the range. A large studio—in lieu of a family room—provides ample space for working on various projects. The library is a jewel of a compact space, with a spectacular bronze and olive burl desk designed by Andrew and the best view in the house through enormous triple-hung windows. The primary suite is arranged as a series of rooms with generous spaces for sleeping, reading, bathing, and dressing. The circular primary bath with its freestanding steel tub below a six-foot-tall, shell-encrusted chandelier and tub filler is the house’s showstopper. But the true pièce de résistance is the landscape, which we embellish with a cantilevered rear terrace shaded by a massive awning inspired by the great tents of India that overlooks the Russian River and vineyards.

Photos by Grey Crawford

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