Open Concept in California Wine Country

Becky Harris

Photos by Lana Ellison

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here:
This is a retired couple’s vacation home
Location: Napa, California
Size: 260 square feet (24 square meters)
Designer: Jane Ellison

Before: Keep in mind that this was not a remodel — everything seen here burned to the ground. But the photo shows the layout the couple had lived with before the fire. The home had a compartmentalized floor plan of rooms that were closed off from one another.

Twenty-two of the 55 condos in the community had burned to the ground, so the HOA had one architect design the new shells, plumbing and electrical systems. Then the homeowners had to take it from there. Between the heavy demand for skilled labor, the pandemic and supply chain issues, it was five years before the condo was move-in ready.

“These homeowners love to cook and to socialize. They have three adult children, a bunch of grandchildren and lots of friends they like to gather with here,” Ellison says. She knew an open layout would be more conducive to entertaining than a closed design would.

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