A Napa Valley Farmhouse as Remarkable as the Wines It Produces

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Interior Design: Hawkins Interiors · Photography: John Merkl · Architecture: Backen & Gillam Architects

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What happens when you bring together a multi-generational family-owned winery in Calistoga, California, an artist, and Hawkins Interiors? The most interesting, coziest wine country farmhouse ever. By layering in original artwork by the owner, Kate Solari, with artifacts commemorating the (more than century-old!) history of the estate and tons of natural textures, they created a space as rich and complex as the wines Larkmead produces.

It’s only appropriate to pour yourself a glass of wine before scrolling through this truly remarkable gallery of Larkmead Winery, friends. We predict that this design will be one to withstand the ages. This beautifully designed vineyard will only continue to evolve in character and appeal with the arrival of each generation of visitors to Napa Valley.

Hawkins Interiors’ motto is to work to design for “people who meet us as clients and stay on as friends” – which we love! How does that relational approach inform your design process? How does it affect how you run your design studio?

We build a deeper connection with our clients to truly get to know them and understand their lifestyle. Our clients are our highest priority, and being a small business allows us to have a personal relationship with them. By seeing the project through their eyes and utilizing our expertise, we’re able to create designs that feel like them.

You specialize in both hospitality and residential design projects. What are some of your favorite parts of designing for hospitality clients?

The end result is our favorite part about hospitality projects, because so many people get to enjoy the spaces we create!

How would you describe the trademark style of Hawkins Interiors?

It’s hard to describe our style in just one word! We aim for a layered, casual vibe that’s comfortable yet tailored. We want our spaces to be thoughtful and relaxed with refined details.

You spent 10 years at Backen Gillam Architects before opening your own studio. How did the first chapter of your career prepare you for launching Hawkins Interiors?

Working at a large architecture firm gave me exposure to all aspects of a project, and there was a lot of in-house collaboration, which is what I like most about the job. Having this background gave me more knowledge and insight to the business, which has allowed me to have a successful firm.

You’ve so beautifully incorporated details from the vineyard’s history throughout this project – from the wine corks providing lift behind the artwork to the framed memorabilia. How do you manage to uncover these gems in your process with working with clients?

The special thing about this project is that the owner’s father founded the winery many years ago, so there is a lot of family richness and history within their story. Kate is also a talented artist, so being able to display her work in the space helped set the tone for the color scheme and helped bring everything together.

Can you take us through the journey of designing the Larkmead Winery? Were there any challenges?

Part of the property was already built, so some of it was an interior refresh. The main challenge was being creative and resourceful while staying on budget. For example, we used some of the clients’ existing pieces, like a rug that was sitting in the attic for several years!

What are some practical design tips when designing an indoor-outdoor space, as you did so beautifully here at the winery?

Good flow is key! The harmony of the color palette ties the indoor and outdoor spaces together in a cohesive way. The simplicity of the furniture also helps keep it from feeling too busy.

Sometimes, dealing with large open floor plans and high ceilings can be intimidating! What advice do you have for those in our community seeking to make a similar space feel warm and cozy?

We love incorporating lots of layers! Adding different colors, textures, and lighting is important to make a room feel warm and cozy.

How do you make everything feel like it has always been in the property all along – like you achieved here?

We incorporated classic details and added character to make it feel like a traditional farmhouse.

What does a well lived home mean to you?

A well lived home is cozy and comfy! There’s always a comfortable spot to relax or space to gather with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company. 

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Interior Design: Hawkins Interiors · Photography: John Merkl · Architecture: Backen & Gillam Architects

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