Calistoga Serenity


They sound like the ideal clients– a sophisticated winemaking couple who love to entertain– and they tasked designer Jennifer Macdonald of Jennifer Robin Interiors to create a new kitchen and dining room within the framework of a handsome stone and timber home by architect Amy A. Alper.

Macdonald and Alper collaborated throughout the project, bringing what could best be called a profoundly subtle aesthetic to the project. Beyond answering the client’s basic functional needs in the kitchen, Macdonald sought to create a neutral space that would not interfere with room’s wide-ranging views of the surrounding vineyards and Napa County. In the end, it’s the perfect winemaker’s kitchen, beautifully crafted and luminous, where food, family and friends (and wine) come together.

Above, the nook, central to daily life in any kitchen, fits into the same horizontal plane as the counters and island. Canteen Table in recycled wood by Piet Hein Eek for Future Perfect.

Custom cabinets are oak in a soft, pale finish. Bowing to practicality, the owners selected Nucrete cast stone for the countertops instead of marble, which also permitted fabrication of the deep integral sinks. The grid of the cabinets reflects the grid of the steel window frames, all massed skillfully with a vertical wall of refrigeration and storage enclosing the range, and what’s not here is just as important as what is: are no wall-mounted hanging cabinets, no window treatments, nothing to obscure the view, no attempt to decorate.

Below, an outscaled white plaster chandelier from Bobo Interiors fills the volume of the dining room and contrasts with the stone walls and rough soda-blasted cedar paneling, recalling the polished white plaster light fixtures produced for Jean Michel Frank in 1940s Paris. The bar is lined with antique mirror; the custom dining table was crafted from recycled timber by Statsky Design and extends to over 14 feet in length. In another nod to France, it’s paired with softly sexy chairs from Roche-Bobois.

Below, a detail of the kitchen pendant fixture from Urban Electric, covered in a marbled fabric by Rebecca Atwood– Macdonald’s salute to the marble countertops the owners decided to forego.

Photo Credit: John Merkl