Creative country house update

An everyday residence or a rural getaway? After a thoughtful remodel, this little house in downtown Sonoma combines the best of both

Country house update
Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Jess Chamberlain

Country house update

While living in rainy Seattle eight years ago, Josh Heiser and Steve Burns decided to make a change. “We thought, Where do we want to eventually end up? Why not go there now?” says Josh.

And so they did, heading to Sonoma. The prime getaway spot is justly famous for its enviable climate, dreamy grapevines-for-miles landscape, and notable wineries and restaurants. How, then, to keep that away-from-it-all vibe in a home that has to function as, well, a home?

The couple found a onetime cookshack, complete with shaky 1880s foundation and four layers of musty wallpaper, on a half-acre a few blocks from the main plaza. “The original structure was funky at best,” Josh adds. “But the lot was so great, the house was secondary.” That was then. After a thorough and thoughtful update, this is now.

Create the cozy

Fireplace, sink-in leather chair, and tapestry ottoman give a lodge-like feel to this corner of the 1,100-square-foot home. White walls and sisal carpeting keep the room from feeling too heavy.

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