In a verdant vineyard in Napa Valley, a towering redwood grove atop a picturesque hill proved to be the perfectly grand, yet cozy, setting for a “jewel-box” cabin that serves as an inviting guest home on the 16-acre property. The design—a collaboration between Wade Design Architects, Jennifer Robin Interiors, and the owner—played off the redwood setting to create a cabin that is at once contemporary, yet grounded in history. The space features filtered natural light and materiality reminiscent of a stroll in the woods.
The team worked with a 1,200-square-foot size limit because of zoning restrictions, so each element in the one-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a loft was meticulously planned and selected to support the design story and to create a seamless marriage between project and place. The elemental materials—reclaimed and treated wood, copper, steel, and concrete—create a “wood-to-view” effect.
lass windows trimmed in thin, delicate steel to support the jewel-box theme include huge pocketed doors that disappear into the walls of the main living area and the master bedroom to illuminate and ventilate the space while inviting the outside in. A clerestory monitor that stretches along the spine of the soaring structure provides light from above. At the same time, warm, dark wood tones of the reclaimed interior wall cladding soak up the sunlight. Structural trusses break up the daylight streaming in from above, allowing sun drops to trickle through the top of the building and reinforcing the sense of walking through a redwood forest.
The living room, dining room, kitchen, and sleeping loft coalesce into a great room that not only saves space, but also gives each area a sense of intimacy. The dining room is tucked into an alcove, for instance, while the kitchen has its own nook carved out of the porch. The living room is anchored by a fireplace dressed in custom steelwork and marble dust plaster that gives it a translucent quality, creating a touch of mystery that fits harmoniously with the natural setting.
he master bedroom is a cozy nest that offers a counterpoint to the volume of the great room. Sliding doors subliminally expand the unpretentious space, blurring the line between the structure and its natural surroundings. A luxurious bed and a warm fireplace complete the charm of the room and invite a languorous approach to the day.
The colors of the surrounding environment and the rich textures of nature were carried into the concept of the finishes as well. The layering of warm elements—such as reclaimed wood, plaster, and copper—with the steel and concrete soften the space. Luxurious velvets, linens, and leathers contribute to the inviting feel. Mixing old with new is another key design element, illustrated in the chicken-coop heater that was converted into the main room light fixture.
A 12-foot-deep wrap-around porch with overhangs that shield the soaring view from glare stretches three-quarters of the way around the cabin and more than doubles the interior living space. The porch features a custom-made hanging daybed with steel back support pieces that can be configured for comfort while soaking up the view. An outdoor kitchen, fire pit, and fireplace support outdoor dining and entertaining, while the concrete floors used both inside and out add a natural element that evokes a “come as you are” approach to rural living on the vineyard.
Wade Design Architects
Luke Wade, Principal
Valerie Liang, Project Manager
Jennifer Robin Interiors