The Perfect Gray, Courtesy of Sonoma’s Farmhouse Inn


Ever been to the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley? If yes, I’m sure you’re already planning your return. If no, here are just a few of the (many) reasons to go: a row of sweet little cottages decked out with all the extras, including private in-room saunas(!); a Michelin star farm-to-table restaurant with meals so fresh and flavorful your taste buds will cry (re: salivate) with delight; a s’mores bar fitted with everything you need—even house-made marshmallows—to roast your own dessert around the fire pit out back. Need I say more? Probably not, but this blog is about interior design, so I shall.

Even without all the decadent, stress-melting amenities I’d still be plotting my next trip, if for no other reason than to take notes on the lovely decor. The main building dates back all the way to the 1870s and period details abound, starting at the architecture and continuing to the emphasis on hospitality and attention to detail. Yet, while firmly rooted in its rich history, the inn offers plenty subtle decorative touches of modernity that keep it from feeling even remotely dusty, and also manage not to look jarringly out of place. How do they do it? I’m still trying to suss out the exact formula, but one thing’s for sure: It involves a great deal of rich, velvety greige paint–namely, Pashmina by Benjamin Moore.

The name’s fitting because it was so warm and cozy I wanted to wrap it around me and nuzzle up into it–which is pretty much what happens when you walk into the Farmhouse restaurant. Walls, moulding, wainscoting and ceiling are all bathed in the stuff, creating a smooth backdrop off which the food truly pops. 

But while I’m sure the subtle tone was used in part to act much like a white plate, keeping diners’ focus squarely on the act at hand, I’ll admit my attention strayed a few times during the meal. But don’t blame it on the dinner (which was dang good, by the by); blame it on those eye-catching velveteen rabbit-hued walls.

Images: Decorati; L.A.’s the Place; Lily Gahagan

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