Painted and White #1

Sometimes it is hard to figure out why I like certain things

a fragrance
a color
a great pair of shoes

In my case...recently I have had a love affaire with white floors
I should be ice cream
guys with great style
small fat little puppies 
but nah...white floors it is

 it is the clean simpleness 
that draws me to them
are they practical?  
don't know
 and who cares
they just have the 

I am 
could you?
would you?
 a pickle? 
 a  glaze?

Should I?

Modern Farmhouse Architecture

 Of the many wonderful architectural styles that I enjoy
 I think the modern farmhouse vernacular is by far my favorite
 Architect Howard Backen
has designed dozens of residencies, wineries,
 hospitality and retail buildings,
 but the simple and appealing farmhouse aesthetic
is what he does so well 

 His, is a classic American house, combined with modern details and amenities,
wonderful sight lines and clean landscape.

All of these elements allow for a lean and modern home,
 which include references to Scandinavian and French influences as well.

Nothing appears over done or excessive.

 The homes that he designs 
are filled with calm
and each element seems to have a purpose 
The inside to outside flow in his work is wonderful too!
His wife is a very talented interior designer in her own right and her work fits his design to a tee.

Always with an exterior vista in mind, he often includes over scaled openings.
Even if there is not an amazing view,
 there will be a opportunity to enjoy the out of doors around each corner.

He and the partners in his firm call this 

 In 2012 Mr Backen opened his first restaurant
in the landmark Vanderbilt building in Santa Helena,
locating his offices in the convenient right!!
The restaurant is called French Blue
referring to the antique blue doors that have graced the front of the building 
for over 50 years

Although he has designed many restaurants, 
this is the first that he actually owns

here is the menu

it looks pretty tasty 
and not all that  pricey either

A few of the other restaurants he is associated with include 
Press in St Helena

 Go Fish in St Helena
and numerous Il Fornaio restaurants 
throughout the United States
Mr Backens designs are perhaps the alter ego of much of what has been built in Napa,
 known to many as the valley of excessive faux chateaus
and larger than life tuscan monsters.

His admiration for the American farmhouse lies in the honesty of the details,
 the house as an element of the site
and the surrounding landscape.

Some of his work is more large scale 
including the home of Gary Freidman CEO,
 creator and curator of Restoration Hardware
 and the much loved home of designer
Barbara Colvin Hoopes shown above

I wrote about Gary Freidmans  house a while ago
and it is really an impressive residence
Many of the wineries Howard Backen has designed are in the 
modern Farmhouse vernacular as well 
The Paul Hobbs Winery above suggests the cleanliness of surgical steel
with the down home thoughtfulness of the American barn
Most of the wineries have wonderful spots for large gatherings and tastings

 intimate dinning rooms 
and large airy locations
weddings and events

The use of the very humble but much loved front porch is really so fun to see

Hay bales for seating.... a great idea
but I'll take the side with the pillows
He designed Sundance Resort in Utah
Meadowood Resort in St Helena

Solage in Calistoga

His retail work includes defining former public buildings into large retail spaces with many varied areas for merchandising, including enclosed exterior spaces
and huge lofty ceiling heights
shown here in a Restoration Hardware location
 But I think this is what defines his look
 The simple farm house...although not as simple as it may appear

It is often what we think of as the true "American" home

Hope you enjoyed this tour!

Any thoughts on your favorite style of architecture?

Have a fun weekend

post signature~kelley~