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Serene Luxury in St. Helena

By Atissa Manshouri | Photos Courtesy of Amy Weaver Design

As the sun sets in St. Helena, warm reds and yellows wash over sleepy hills. Birdsong floats on a balmy breeze. Traces of lavender and mustard linger in the dusk. If a landscape can be a work of art, then countryside dotted with faun lilies would be an impressionistic masterpiece come to life.

St. Helena and its geography offered the perfect combination of luxury and serenity to a couple searching for their West Coast retreat. “The clients were living on the East Coast, and [they] fell madly in love with the town of St. Helena and this charming property on a beautiful vineyard,” says Amy Weaver, the Bay Area–based designer who worked on the ambitious redesign of the house situated on an exceptional piece of land. “It had a wonderful artisan feel that needed to be updated with soft, comfortable furnishings.”

With its neutral palette and abundance of raw and natural materials, the St. Helena Residence is the rare design that combines an unmistakable “wow” factor with a true sense of ease and livability. The open-concept living room and kitchen function as a focal point for indoor gatherings, while the minimalist exterior landscape features a swimming and lounging area that would rival any of the region’s five-star hotels. As Weaver explains, “We really wanted this to be an ‘indoor-outdoor home.’ We kept the surroundings very natural and unmanicured to play off the interior of the residence, which had some unpredictable formal elements.”

Originally built and occupied by an artist, the house contained several unusual features that Weaver retained and incorporated into her design, such as the large wooden light fixture hanging over the living room’s seating area and the industrial lighting in the kitchen. She also re-covered an outdoor swing/daybed in Perennials® fabric, elevating what might have been a whimsical aside into the centerpiece of a unique, inviting guest room.

The element of surprise is a theme that repeats throughout the design. “My favorite places in this home are definitely the quirky artistic vibes against the formality of some of the custom furniture vignettes,” says Weaver. A pair of gilded demilune tables by Myra Hoefer set against a black lacquered floor in the foyer illustrates this juxtaposition.

In addition to the St. Helena Residence, Weaver’s diverse portfolio includes everything from timeless coastal retreats to city-chic apartments. Among her current projects, she is especially excited about the renovation of a 1908 clapboard house in the Sausalito Hills.

Like so many others who spent a lot of time at home over the past year, Weaver has had a chance to consider what her home means to her. “This year has been a huge eye-opener to me,” she says. “My need for a home that reflects my personality and the things that I love—art, accessories, and family pieces—is more important to me than ever.”

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