Rustic Vineyard Home

Rustic Vineyard Home with wrap around porch

This stained sided home sites elevated over the vineyards with a wrap around porch. There is an outdoor sitting area that captures the surrounding views. The inside of this home has an open plan with lots of natural wood. The main fireplace is stone with a hand hewn mantle. There is also a detached garage with a game room; a pool and gazebo; and a vineyard barn.

Publications: Trends 2001

Contractor: Barbosa Custom Bldrs.

Photographer: Exterior: Tom Rider

Interior: Tim Maloney

Sometimes the frantic pace of the modern world makes us yearn for a time when life was slower and less complicated, and people had a stronger affinity with nature. That is the feeling the owners of this rural home sought to create. The brief they gave architect Chuck Peterson was a simple one – they wanted a rustic farmhouse look, achieved through the use of natural materials such as timber and stone. “They showed me a photo of a little farmhouse with a stone fireplace and told me they wanted a place like that, but on a much larger scale,” says Peterson. A vineyard and creek were already located on the property. Because the intended site of the house was lower than the vineyard, Peterson says it was necessary to raise the house by 6ft. “The owners wanted the house to be on one level,” he says. “However, when the vines are in full bloom, they are about five feet tall. Lifting up the entire house was the best way to ensure a clear view.”

To give it a rustic feel, the home’s exterior is clad in timber. The window joinery is pine and re-sawn cedar is used for the siding, constructed in the traditional board and batten way with vertical rectangular boards lapped over each other. Composite shingles were chosen for the roof to retain the farmhouse look, but to eliminate the fire risk posed by their wooden equivalents, says Peterson. “Despite its size house, the owners wanted to retain the feel of a little farmhouse from the entry side,” he says “This was achieved by keeping the front small in scale and rather low-key.” Steps lead up to a large porch which runs around three sides of the house. A wide overhang on the southern side prevents too much sun entering the house in summer. “The total area of the porch is about the same as the square footage of the house itself,” says Peterson. The owners wanted this porch to be an extension of the living area, so French doors open out onto it from several rooms. To the right of the entrance, a large, covered sitting area extends out beyond the line of the main porch. A solid railing creates a semi-enclosed area that feels like a room, while allowing views of the surrounding grounds. Like the exterior, the interior is dominated by timber. The walls and ceiling are cedar, while beech tongue-and-groove boards are used on the floor.

Given the home’s isolation from neighbors, privacy is not an issue. The lack of window treatments means the pine window joinery and French doors become a feature, and allow a strong connection with the outdoors. “The owners’ request that the entire interior be timber meant there was a risk that the rooms would be very dark,” says Peterson. In order to bring more light into the house, he incorporated a number of dormer windows. Positioned above the porch overhang, these provide natural overhead lighting, and together with flush-mounted, low-voltage ceiling spots provide sufficient light. The living-dining area is a single open plan space with a large stone fireplace. “The owners enjoy informal entertaining and this room lends itself very well to that,” says Peterson. The rustic-looking fireplace on the southern wall of the living area is made of local stone with a hand-hewn timber mantel. The chimney’s stone foundations extend right down to the ground, 6ft below the floor level.

Although its construction presented many challenges, Peterson says it gives the home a more authentic country feel. This idea has been continued throughout the other rooms, with ceramic tiles chosen for the kitchen and bathroom countertops, rather than granite or marble. “A solid granite kitchen countertop would have been too ostentatious and lacked the rustic feel we were after,” says Peterson. Also for this reason, traditionally styled brass faucets and a cast-iron sink were chosen. Although the kitchen forms part of the open-plan living area, it is shielded from the lounge by a wall of cupboards, allowing meals can be prepared out of view. Throughout the house muted, natural colors such as cream and green complement the timber and reflect the country theme.

The master bathroom combines warm salmon tones with accents of green. The tub, shower and countertop are finished in soft peach-colored tiles, which tone in with the Mexican floor pavers. A backsplash of green tiles in a geometric pattern runs around the countertop and the edge of the tub. The deep soaking tub was fabricated on site. Large windows extending down to its edge afford bathers a view of the vineyard, says Peterson. The master bedroom, at the rear of the house, faces east toward the creek. Warm cream walls give this room a spacious, airy feel and complement the rich timber of the ceiling and window joinery. French doors opening onto the porch provide maximum light and views.