Napa Valley’s Silverado Resort has been a coveted place to live for decades. The neighborhood includes homes from the late ‘60s and ‘70s, with many properties starting to be replaced or renovated for today’s families. Though the lot sizes lean towards the smaller size with limited square footage to build, most homes are oriented towards the golf course and boast expansive views. On this particular property, updated for empty nesters, a second story was not allowed—so the renovation goal was to maximize the potential in one level. Enter designer Sarahliz Lawson of Sarahliz Lawson Design [SLD]. SLD designed all interior spaces from floor to ceiling, including finishes, cabinetry, furnishings, fabrics, window treatments, and lighting throughout the entire home. Working with architect Luke Clark Taylor of Field Issue Design, as well as Trainor Builders, the end result is a well-planned, visually impressive home that embodies “Wine Country Luxury.” Sarahliz tells us more. 

Tell us about your clients. What were their goals for the home?
The owners are exceptionally kind and thoughtful empty nesters from Manhattan beach. She is an attorney—Chief Legal Officer for a healthcare company—and he is the Chief Marketing Officer for many large businesses looking to grow.

Their goals for the home were to create a retreat in the wine country where they could work remotely, entertain, play golf, and convene with several of their long-time friends, also owners of property in the same neighborhood.  They hoped it could also be a place where their children would eventually bring their families for holidays and vacations.

What was your approach to the design of the home?
In general, the owner’s wanted an approachable design scheme throughout the house using warm layers and natural textures, all while infusing the home with both traditional and modern elements. The blue Ilve stove from Italy was the jumping off point for the kitchen.  We designed a modern fluted hood made from limestone and selected a unique yet understated cabinet style to offset the traditional lines of the stove. The primary bedroom and living room have souring vaulted ceilings with giant wood beams and large sliding doors that open to the golf course, creating the much-loved indoor-outdoor connection. The dining table is stunning—a custom one-off piece fabricated locally. The kitchen bar stools, and the living room lounge chairs were recovered in a custom fabric to provide a pop of color and texture in an otherwise neutral context. Light filtering, textured drapery panels flank the large sliding doors, helping to frame the views and add softness to the rooms. Another favorite space in the home is the primary bedroom and bathroom where cozy textures add interest, and luxury linens and original art create a warm, luxurious environment. And each bathroom has a custom modern vanity paired with a rich wallpaper selection and an artisan style sconce. 

The indoor/outdoor connection is a big factor in this home. How did you get this right from the start?
The architect did a wonderful job of establishing a strong sense of entry that seamlessly connects the front of the house to the outdoor living spaces on the golf course side of the house. The entryway is one of my favorite spaces from an interior design perspective.  It is rich and layered, with herringbone floors, wood ceilings, an antique runner, a ten-foot-long custom console table, gorgeous lamps designed by Athena Calderone, and modern flush mount fixtures by Urban Electric. For the size of the home, it is a gracious entryway, and it really sets a special tone for the rest of the house.

 Did this project have any challenges?
One of the challenges was the fact that it was a house from the ‘70s built with block walls and foundations that didn’t meet current codes, making it difficult to substantially remodel without replacing most of the structure.

We did have some construction delays which put us up against the immense challenge of moving the owners into the house in a very tight timeframe. They requested a move-in date of BottleRock Weekend (a local music festival) when they planned to entertain a whole house full of guests. From both a construction and furnishing standpoint it felt like we completed about 3 months of work in that last 2 weeks to get them in by that weekend. Thankfully the whole design and construction team were able to come together to meet the deadline and the owners were very grateful.

In fact, one of the absolute gifts which made all the challenges so easy to deal with was having such fabulous and understanding clients who not only trusted us implicitly and appreciated our design approach, but they were refreshingly gracious in navigating all the bumps that come along with the construction process, especially when doing such a significant remodel of an old home with all of the hidden surprises.

The owners were absolutely thrilled when they saw the finished space for the first time and were very excited to walk their neighbors, friends, and family through it.