Over the past 11 years, homeowners Barbara and John Witt—with the help of local designer Erin Martin—have built or remodeled a series of buildings on their Napa Valley property. The Witts moved to the small town of St. Helena from Ohio, drawn by a love of wine and the West Coast lifestyle. Now they produce a Merlot named “Repartie” under their Witt Estate label. Their latest project, a two-story home completed less than a year ago, is perhaps their most creative project yet.
Both Martins and the Witts share a love for the Napa Valley lifestyle. It's one that centers on a love of friends, family, food and entertaining. The kitchen embodies that lifestyle. In the kitchen, Martin created a space that is modern, but has a rustic spirit. It's simple and not overwhelming, but has industrial elements that keep it interesting. “I love the European lifestyle of cooking, food and family,” says designer Martin. “That’s also the lifestyle that draws me to Napa Valley.” With that in mind, she created a kitchen that’s simple and not overwhelming.
Open cupboards make everything visible and are backed by blackboard paint, which makes it easy to identify where things go—a plus when cooking with friends and family. Many of the shelves are trimmed with boards that the house builders used as worktables; their saw marks make a unique pattern.
“If there is a design rule, we will break it,” says Martin. Save for the guest room and powder room, the house is without doors (“I’d like to live in a house without boundaries, wouldn’t you?” she says). The bedroom's high ceilings and rustic beams make for a restful room.