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2012 Napa Valley Showhouse

Grab a glass of your favorite vino and check out the 2012 Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse at Cardinale Winery in Oakville, California.

From the Editors of Traditional Home

Do fine wine and design make a perfect pairing? Judging by the first Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse at Cardinale Winery in Oakville, California, the answer is an assertive, full-bodied, yes. Cardinale opened the doors of its sprawling fieldstone estate home for designers to update. So grab a glass of your favorite vino, and see what a showhouse in California's beautiful wine country is all about. Charged with adding visual interest to the home's courtyard, Todd R. Cole and Tim O'Shea didn't sweat the small stuff. In fact, they started big, by planting ancient olive trees and mixed grasses to soften the home's facade. Native boulders, a newly bricked parking area, and a pair of urns flanking the front steps accentuate the neutral palette of the stone exterior. In the foyer by Kathy Geissler Best, a circa 1900 iron table on wheels, believed to be from an old French vineyard, declares the foyer's Wine Country theme. Illuminating the table as the foyer's focal point is Circa Lighting's "Dressage" chandelier, an iron and leather-strap fixture that evokes equine tack. Best darkened the ceiling with a faux-bois finish for a bit of rusticity. Believing that walls, like a good Cab, need to breathe, she updated the original pink plaster with a fresh lime wash. No books? No worries. Cathleen Gouveia conceived the library not as a conventional reading space, but as a place for greeting guests and enjoying a glass of wine immediately after entering the Cardinale Estate Home. She says her design celebrates the dichotomy between wood and the stainless steel used for the winery's oak casks and steel tanks. The 19th-century French antiques provide an abstract narrative of the wine-making process. Nailheads on the fringed round ottoman, a pair of custom chairs, and pewter trays from Match hammer home the metallic theme. A crystal chandelier that hangs from the coffered ceiling suggests nothing so much as a cluster of grapes. San Rafael designer Annie Bowman wanted the living room and terrace to have a distinct Napa Valley vibe. To start, she borrowed the warm palette of the vineyards at harvest, when the valley shines. Rust-colored velvet on the fireside lounge chairs ensures that even spilled Cabernet is no problem. Bowman chose soft and tactile seating to nurture tired travelers.  All indoor upholstered pieces, as well as the coffee table and fabric-covered bookshelves, are from Hickory Chair. A quirky rope mirror suggests the Valley's organic textures. A Karastan rug warms the room. The harvest palette extends to the terrace with its sink-down seating from Lane Venture covered in Sunbrella fabric.   Aubergine paint from Pratt & Lambert cocoons the dining room designed by Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat. Within this colorful backdrop, the duo added double shots of yet more color with peacock-green linen drapery fabric and a blue antique Swedish kilim rug. This dictated a style of casual elegance that mixes a traditional table and buffet with vintage rope dining chairs, large modern art, and eclectic textiles. The woven chairs, circa-1940s French, share center stage with an iron chandelier crafted by a San Francisco artist.  Owner Barbara Banke asked designer Barbara Colvin that the great room's existing banquet table be reused to accommodate wine tastings for family, friends, and wine collectors invited to sample the Estate Home's hospitality. Colvin pushed the table against a wall in a non-traditional way to turn it into an asset. An eclectic mix of chairs and benches makes it feel transitional and inviting. Set with Rogaska stemware, the table is ready for guests. Comfy upholstered chairs flanking the fireplace and at the head of the table are from Lee Industries. For the master suite, Melanie Turner mixed nearly every incongruity imaginable¿light and dark, old and new, airy and intimate, humble and precious, contemporary and classical. An antique barley-twist chair, for example, pulls up to a new desk. The desk and most new furnishings, including the bed, bedside chests, and lounge chair, are from Henredon. Soft gray drapery fabric from Duralee hangs from rustic iron rods. A dash of color appears on the antique chair's muslin upholstery and its new velvet cushion. Flowers are from NDI. In the bath, designer Michelle Cheatham, of Napa's nearby St. Helena, kept the soothing scheme with rustic accoutrements and soft linen that skirts the vanity. This bedroom's terra-cotta and sky-blue color scheme is plucked from outdoors. Designer Melanie Coddington didn't confine the nature theme to Napa, however. Her design walks on the wild side with a zebra-pattern fabric on a wing chair. A nearby table takes the shape of a gilded tree stump. Overhead is one of the room's most whimsical flights of fancy: a white, feathery fixture inspired by swan wings. Birds of a different feather flock together on the bed's avian print pillow shams.  Matt O'Dorisio had two inspiration options for the back terrace. He could work with the palette already set that included virtually every earthy color of the surrounding countryside like rust, ochre, sienna, brown, and aubergine. Or, he could look to the citrus orchard whose branches brush up to the terrace's iron railing. Deciding the stone's palette was too dark, he opted to perk things up. The green fabric on the Barlow Tyrie banquette and sectional is more citrusy than earthy," he says. Yet he didn't ignore earth tones entirely, bringing brown woven chairs up to the umbrella table. Exterior lighting is from Bevolo. Acrylic "ghost" shelves sporting a collection of vintage liquor bottles set the settle-in-for-a-drink tone of the lounge. "The bottles' aged patinas and beautiful faded labels give the design a layer of richness," says Kathleen Pfaff, who¿with Elizabeth Cameron, her co-owner of West End Napa boutique¿designed the room. As a focal point, the collection calls attention to the decadent mohair sofa below. Another pièce de resistance is the grapevine sculpture that anchors the back wall of the conversation area.   The late vintner Jesse Jackson acquired a taste for wine in Sonoma, where he cultivated his first vineyards and wineries. Intrigued by the famed Napa Valley, he purchased its Veeder Peak vineyard on Mount Veeder in the early '90s. It didn't take him long to grasp the potential for wines crafted from Napa grapes. In 1994, he expanded again, buying the Pepi Winery in Oakville, which soon became the Cardinale Winery, known around the world for its high-quality, complexly layered Cabernet Sauvignon. Barbara Banke, who shared her late partner's vision, continues the operation with winemaker Christopher Carpenter still at the helm.  Hope you've enjoyed this tasting of the design kind, and will join us again for the 2013 Napa Valley Showhouse.