House at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple who often host extended family
Location: Napa Valley, California
Size: 3,550 square feet (330 square meters); four bedrooms, three bathrooms
Interior designer: Jane Ellison
Architect: David Rulon
Landscape architect: Chris Hedberg
The couple hired architect David Rulon to design a home with distinctive Napa Valley industrial modern farmhouse style. “David Rulon worked for architect Howard Backen for years. And Backen was the architect who came up with this look and designed local wineries in this fashion,” Ellison says. “It was quite a departure from their former tract house that had burned down.” Rulon designed the home and Ellison helped the couple tweak it to suit their style and function for their needs. Also, the new home was built to new California codes for fire safety and resilience.
Exterior gutter and metalwork paint: Urbane Bronze, Sherwin-Williams; front door paint: Kendall Charcoal, Benjamin Moore
One of the tweaks Ellison worked out with her clients was this arched and trellised entry that lends the local modern industrial farmhouse style. “We wanted to follow a feng shui principle of a sense of transition between outdoors and in,” she says. That transition begins at the arch and continues into a small entry courtyard. Local company Wyatt Studio completed the metalwork.
The front doors have reeded glass panes that let in natural light while providing privacy. To the right is a refrigerated wine room and a coat closet. On the left Ellison chose a bench that also serves as a sculpture. “These clients have a wonderful art collection that they have collected on their travels,” she says. “And they are so great to work with because they aren’t afraid to take chances.”
Ellison helped them integrate their existing art pieces into the home and to source new furniture. They used Houzz ideabooks to share ideas and shopped in the Houzz Shop for furniture.
Wall and ceiling paint: Eagle’s Meadow, Kelly Moore Paints; trim paint (throughout the house): Cloud White, Benjamin Moore
“This kind of clerestory is great for Napa because skylights can make things too warm on hot days,” Ellison says. “This clerestory design lets the light in from the sides, which controls the heat.”
She used warm colors for the furniture, rugs and accessories. “There are a lot of cool whites and grays on the ceiling and the walls. I like to balance warm and cool tones together so it’s not too sleek,” she says.
Wall paint: Pale Oak; Benjamin Moore
The house has two wings off either end of this large, open area. The primary suite, guest bedroom and children’s sleepover bedroom are in the wing beyond the fireplace. To the left, large glass doors open fully to a covered outdoor lounge and dining area. They also provide views to the backyard.
She and her clients did a lot of the sourcing and shopping together. “I just love these clients because they aren’t afraid to take risks. On our search for chairs, the wife fell in love with this fabric that’s kind of a global mix between ikat and a flamestitch. She has a great eye,” Ellison says.
She designed a special beverage bar off one end of the dining table. It includes a bar sink with a purified-water tap, two refrigerator drawers for beverages, a fizzy water maker and the coffeemaker. This makes it easy for guests of all ages to grab a drink while staying out of the cook’s way in the kitchen.
The bar’s backsplash is composed of Moroccan zellige tileand the countertop is quartzite. These elements add an earthy feel that suits the wine country landscape. The upper cabinetry’s reeded glass doors and interior lights show off the bottles and glassware inside.
Beverage bar shelving: Wyatt Studio
Just as the large, open space called for a large dining table, it also called for a long island — this one is 10 feet long. Ellison was able to source one long quartzite slab to top it off. She painted the island a darker color, Sherwin-Williams’ Sommelier, for contrast. This creates a nice transition between the dining area and kitchen. It’s also a great paint color name for wine country.
To the left, a hallway leads to a large food pantry. The homeowners also opted to place the microwave in there.
The door leads to a covered outdoor eating area. This wing also includes a flex room and the pool bathroom. The flex space is a fourth bedroom. The homeowners mainly use it as a home office and workout space, but it also has a Murphy bed for when they have a full house.
Wall paint: Ancestral Gold, Sherwin-Williams
This full pool bathroom also serves as a guest bath for the flex room and as a powder room. “We had just completed the pool bath before the house burned down, and my clients had loved it. So I was glad I was able to find the same finishes for the new pool bathroom to give it a similar look,” Ellison says.
The finishes they loved so much include a river stone floor tile and large-format digitally printed tile that resembles concrete for the shower walls. It’s a balanced mix of natural and industrial materials.
More natural light comes into the room from a high window over the mirror. The vanity color plays off the colors in the floor tile.
Out on the covered patio, Ellison helped her clients source comfortable outdoor furniture and add bold splashes of color to the space.
This photo also shows the clerestory over the main part of the house and the windows along the sides that flood the interior with light. Another important element is the long screen that protects the outdoor covered lounge and dining areas. The screen rolls down from a casing electronically.
In the homeowners’ bedroom, they requested a pair of cabinets. Ellison created a window seat and flanked it with the cabinets for a cohesive look. They’re covered in an Italian veneer that resembles white oak. The cabinets are topped with quartzite, bringing a natural element into the room. Ellison also notes that the bedroom wasn’t quite completed on photo shoot day, and one thing she’s still working on is a custom cushion for the window seat.
Wall paint: Glass, Devine Paint
Ellison encouraged elements that will help the couple age in place in the home. Ample lighting and lever faucets are two of the elements seen here. “Lever handles are easier to use than cross handles, and long drawer pulls are easier on the hands than knobs,” she says.
One of the best features is the slim pullout cabinets that flank the vanity. The top areas of these cabinets have outlets for hair appliances, electric shavers and toothbrushes, as well as smaller compartments for makeup. The bottom portions of the pullouts provide space for larger bottles.
One of the doors seen off the shower leads to the water closet, where Ellison installed grab bars disguised as toilet paper holders. Due to past knee operations, these bars are especially handy for one of the homeowners. The other door leads to their walk-in closet.
Note: If you aren’t interested in installing grab bars during a remodel, consider having the contractor create support for them behind the walls and leaving you a map of the locations. This will make it easier to install them in the future.
Gathering with their adult children and their grandchildren is one of the couple’s favorite things about spending time here. They wanted to outfit one of the bedrooms for fun cousin sleepovers for their four grandchildren. Ellison and her clients shared Houzz ideabook photos that inspired this bed configuration. One of the beds has a trundle. The designer also added lights over the beds for reading. The wall opposite the beds has storage for toys and a TV.
The guest room continues the global theme with a bed upholstered in a playful pattern and a colorful area rug. Ellison added reading lights on either side of the bed.
Hexagonal floor tiles in earthy colors add a playful touch to the space. Another bench provides a spot to visit with young bathers and provides extra storage.
The tub surround is composed of porcelain slabs with marble-like veining. The shower walls are covered in a 3D tile. Like the couple’s bathroom, this shower has a light well that runs along the top. “The light well highlights the 3D pattern on this tile beautifully,” the designer says.
Though the couple suffered a devastating loss in the wildfires, the experience made them appreciate gathering with family and friends here in their new home even more.
This content was originally published here.