A winery remodel offers design inspiration for any home
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When David Sinegal purchased a historic winery in St. Helena, California, three years ago, the property was like a 19th-century painting come to life, with a storied Victorian farmhouse hugged by vineyards and a botanical garden. As much as he embraced the property’s past, he also craved something modern and unexpected on the grounds.
To that end, Sinegal hired San Francisco interior designer Katie Martinez to reimagine one of the winery’s less picturesque buildings: a brick fermentation facility from the 1980s. Her vision: a warm, contemporary interior that felt more like a private home than a traditional tasting room.
Follow along to see the final result.
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Let objects pop
A white oak built-in bookshelf was ebonized to create a high-contrast display. Even with the dark finish, the grain of the wood stands out, says Bill Schaeffer of Cello and Maudru Construction Company, the project’s general contractor. “This is a good way to update wooden cabinets that have a dated finish,” he adds.
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Make an impact
Martinez created drama within a tiny 12- by 12-foot VIP room, with a wall pattern created out of inlaid wood and an oversize brass pendant. Soft leather chairs and a faded rug balance the glam.
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Warm up white
To keep the white walls from feeling cold, Martinez chose rich materials such as wood, leather, brass, and stone and added barnwood doors. It was important that nothing felt precious, says Martinez. In contrast to the stainless steel tank production room just beyond, “I didn’t want the finishes to be slick, shiny, or new in this space.”
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Embrace the dark side
For a moody bathroom, Martinez paired color-saturated walls with coordinating tile. Brass, reclaimed wood, and plants (which get sun exposure thanks to skylights Martinez had installed) keep the space from feeling gothic.
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Balance strong with soft
Playing off the strong architecture, Martinez opted for an angular wooden table with brass plates. Round-backed textured barrel chairs and vintage bentwood chairs add soul. A hand-dyed indigo sofa and an over-dyed wine-colored rug—a subtle nod to the venue—add welcome color to the room without disrupting the masculine-leaning aesthetic.
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Art = personality
To create the feeling of a home, Martinez incorporated a gallery wall. When embarking on an art wall, she suggests starting with a couple of large pieces to build around. From there, choose a palette or theme that connects the pieces and consider mixing mediums, such as prints with photography and paintings.
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Glass doors that fold to the side unify the terrace and tasting room. In choosing pieces for the outdoor space, Martinez played off the building. The custom-bleached teak table ties into the finish of the trellis, and the chairs echo the charcoal façade.