Home Away from Home


Corinne Mathern creates a dreamy event destination out of an expansive villa in the Santa Ynez Valley

Saltillo Tiles run throughout the living room.The fireplace is an imported 18th century French Limestone mantle. The area Rugs by Marc Phillips. The sofa is by Una Malan upholstered in Caramel Velvet. Photos are by Nicole Franzen.

“I felt as though the property had an existing personality and was ready for a new owner to infuse life into it and I loved the concept of turning the residence into an event space-as with all of the hospitality spaces we work on, we infuse a residential feel to them so guests feel welcome and ‘at home’, says L.A.-based designer Corinne Mathern about a remarkable residential property that she was enlisted to transform into the Grassini Family Vineyard’s event villa. “The fact that La Tarantella was already a residence made it feel like the design brief was written for us.”

Another seating area in the living room features four vintage arm chairs are from 1st Dibs and upholstered in light blue linen.
Photos are by Nicole Franzen.
The powder room features a custom limestone vanity designed by CM Studio, the Henry faucet is by Waterworks. Photos are by Nicole Franzen.

Nestled on a 100-acre property in the Santa Ynez Valley, the 10,000-square-foot home was converted into the event space now known as La Tarantella in response to the region’s booming growth. “My sister and her husband run Grassini Family Vineyards and La Tarantella and my parents own the properties,” says Mathern. “La Tarantella at Grassini Family Vineyards welcomes their guests to enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the vineyard within a space that was designed to contribute to the story of the family, the history of the vineyard as well as the history of the property.”

The kitchen features custom white oak and limestone countertops. The hardware is by Ashley Norton.
Photos are by Nicole Franzen.
In the dining room the rug is by Woven, the dining table is custom by CM Studio and Bananas and Hammocks and the chairs are vintage Göran Malmvall made of pine. Photos are by Nicole Franzen.
At the foot of the dining room is another stunning 18th century French mantle and the vessels were found on 1st Dibs.
Photos are by Nicole Franzen.

The original owners instilled the residence with exquisite architectural details that evoke historical charm including 16′ high, beamed-Cedar ceilings in the living room, clerestory windows, incredible 18th century French fireplaces and Douglas fir and Cedar beams in the lounge. “As part of our brief, we wanted to lean into those elements and compliment them with vintage and custom furniture,” she notes.

In the lounge, the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Temptation, the sofa is vintage by Guillerme et Chambron, upholstered in green boucle. Photos are by Nicole Franzen.

Like most properties developed in the past three years, Mathern faced time constraints and production limitations from the pandemic. “With the talks of supply chain issues and shipping delays, we knew we had a challenge on our hands which made the project more exciting,” Mathern recalls of her five month deadline. “We made the decision that the project would need to be 90% vintage and custom pieces in order to hit the demanding timeline, which made it quite a challenge. We completed the install in the knick of time, two days before their first big event—a 300 person wedding.”

Outside, a French limestone bird bath is surrounded by Olive trees. Photos are by Nicole Franzen.
Vintage Wooden Doors open to a courtyard. Photos are by Nicole Franzen.

Mathern was able to swiftly deliver the desired design within the timeframe and still leave the family in awe. “Upon reveal, we poured Katie Grassini McKillen and Dean McKillen (who run Grassini Family Vineyards and La Tarantella) and Larry and Sharon Grassini (the founders) a glass of Grassini Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and walked them in through the massive rustic doors that open into the courtyard,” she recalls. “They were speechless, which was unheard of for the very verbose family.  They just kept gasping in joy and pointing and smiling which was so fun to watch.  After we finished the tour, everyone ended up in the lounge and continued to talk about how transformed the space was.  It was satisfying to see how the space would be occupied in the future-welcoming friends and family to enjoy.”

Photos are by Nicole Franzen.