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Delightful guesthouse sanctuary offers scenic wine country views

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Set atop a hill with splendid lake views is this guesthouse sanctuary designed Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects, in collaboration with Julie Hawkins Design. Located in St. Helena, California, this home was created for a couple of sophisticated empty nesters from the East Coast looking to have a retreat they could visit to unwind. The property consists of a main residence and three separate modern barn structures to compliment this newly acquired home.

Overall, this property serves as a gathering place for extended family members to spend time together. The design team was tasked with creating spaces with a sense of intimacy, yet with a strong sense of place. Melding with the surrounding landscape is this featured guesthouse, along with a bathhouse and fitness building, all sited to take full advantage of the views. The living room is the main gathering space, centered around an exquisite, floor-to-ceiling concrete and custom plaster finish fireplace surround.

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The architecture is minimal yet refined, showcasing materials of wire-rubbed Douglas fir ceiling beams, blackened steel, poured integral-color concrete flooring, wall of v-groove board and plaster and gleaming glass. The guesthouse features 18-foot high, vaulted ceilings with expansive, retractable steel and glass doors, framing views of the swimming pool and beyond to the lake. This open interior environment merges interior and exterior living. The interior design scheme captures the elegant simplicity of St. Helena style with minimal decor and beautiful layers of detail at every turn.

Above: A small kitchenette with open-shelving is cleverly concealed behind 10-foot high sliding barn doors.

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What We Love: This guesthouse sanctuary offers a peaceful wine country setting to unwind while entertaining friends and family. After seeing a tour of this home, we can imagine the main residence is just as beautiful, but we would be perfectly content with this sublime guesthouse. A warm and inviting space with incredible surroundings and perfect indoor-outdoor connection… Readers, what do you think, would you be comfortable in this guesthouse retreat?

Above: His and hers office spaces double as sleeping quarters to host overnight guests.

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Above: Furnishings includes textural materials of linen, jute and reclaimed wood.

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Above: In the bathhouse, the custom designed vanity is comprised of reclaimed oak, finished with concrete countertops. The concrete tile was custom made to match. The ceiling is a drop tray Douglas Fir, illuminated to cast a soft glow throughout this space.

MORE INSPIRATION

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RELATED: Stunning vineyard estate in St. Helena

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Above: The 500 square foot fitness building is the smallest structure of the group, features a pitched roof and board-and-batten exterior siding. Conveniently set right next to the pool, it offers a simple transition to a post-workout dip!

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RELATED: Small woodsy cabin features a cozy farmhouse style in Napa Valley

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RELATED: Gorgeous farmhouse retreat in Napa Valley wine country

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Photos: John Merkl

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