Monday, January 4, 2016

From the Land, a book to be Savored


I received several design books for Christmas, all very inspiring.  The one that I was looking forward to the most has stopped me in my tracks as expected. Don't be off put by the 437 pages.  Each page reveals a new treasure greater than the last.



Honoring the relationship between nature and home, while celebrating the American Farmhouse Vernacular; Howard Backen's work is expansive yet understated and sensible. 

The Bond Estate Winery below appears to be a series of remodeled farm buildings original to the property (a Howard Backen trademark).




His designs never shout to be heard but subtly create the illusion that they have been here for years. The Napa Valley Reserve, an exclusive club in St. Helena at first glance appears to be a group of barns that are original to the property.

 

This Diamond Mountain residence validates the seemless threshold between the outside and the in so prevalent in the firms work.




Corrugated metal roofs abound , a nod to the unpretentious nature inherent in all of Backen's designs. Here at this Soda Canyon weekend home the metal hipped roof appears to "float". 



I had no idea of the expanse of his work. Though many of his designs are huge in scope such as the new Restoration Hardware Gallery in Atlanta and the home of Rh executive Gary Friedman's own home in Belvedere.  



He isn't afraid to tackle something much smaller but equally important, such as the remodel and restoration of the Gallo owned MacMurray Ranch, once a prune and sheep farm.



I knew I was going to love this book.  Once I began to peruse the pages I realized many of the homes, wineries, and resorts that I have admired were the work of Backen, Gillam and Kroger. 

From the home of Napa designer Barbara Colvin (a longtime personal favorite)



to the restrained hillside compound of the author himself, that echos the style of the original cottage on the property.



Chances are if you have visited the Napa Valley you have dined, relaxed or imbibed in any number of Backen and Company's architectural treasures. Perhaps even the aptly named Archetype, the brainchild of Howard and his wife in St. Helena.



I purchased this book for both my husband and my son in law. My husband has not been able to put it down. I have not been compensated in any way from this review.  It is simply the best book of it's type that I have happened upon in many years. Great pains were taken to describe each property in detail along with an aerial view of each site. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I.


All photos are the property of Backen, Gillam and Kroeger.

25 comments:

  1. What gorgeous spaces. I love the way the outdoors and indoors interact. Stunning.

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    1. D.A if you love this style at all go grab this book I am completely smitten with it!!

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  2. Looks like a gorgeous book Cindy! I love these photos and Archetype is one of my favorite spots. I's live there if I could! I can't wait to find this and see the other photos. Hope you had a beautiful break and Christmas! Happy New Year! Kim

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    1. Thanks Kim! Since we have been knee deep in elder care we have been nowhere! The book makes me want to go check out every one of the wineries that he designed. I do love Cliff Lede!

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  3. Hi Cindy, Happy New Year! Thank you so much for sharing this book with us. I'm going to order it on Amazon right now. Loved all the photos you shared and pinned most to my Dream Retirement Home board. Great inspiration!

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    1. I am going to have to check out your dream retirement board! We may be dreaming of the same things!!

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  4. Looks like an amazing read! Happy new year Cindy!!

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    1. You would love it Kris! No pink floors in this book!!

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  5. This is a style that, as a California girl, I embrace and feel so comfortable with. Barbara Colvin's home has been a favorite of mine for years. I hadn't retained the info of who the architect was. I'll need to buy this book. Inviting the outdoors in has such a calming influence on me.
    Thanks for the in depth introduction.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. I didn't either Karen. Once I realized he was connected to so many of the places I love I had to have the book. It is a keeper!!

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  6. BEEN THERE........the last photo.
    I adore design books...............they are THE BEST GIFT!

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    1. Ironically I have not been to Archetype! Looking forward to lunch next week!!

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  7. I am always captivated by your finds and suggested designers, Cindy. You have been in my thoughts and prayers as you care for your mother.
    Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!
    w/L

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet thoughts Lynne

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  8. Looks like a beautiful book! Happy New Year, Cindy.
    Claudia

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  9. Every image you show is incredible. Thank you!

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  10. This book looks amazing Cindy! I will have to go find it now!

    Sheila
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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  11. Cindy thank you so much for this great book recommendation!
    Wonderful images!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Life Lessons: So Honored

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  12. My house it FULL of books but I just cannot seem to get emough of them and this one looks fabulous! xo K

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  13. My husband and I bought this book last year and have looked through it so many times... It's such a pretty book. Just stumbled across your blog, I'm your newest bloglovin follower :-)

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