3 Ideas to Steal From a Winemaker's Kitchen Renovation
When it came time to select a location for a vacation retreat for winemaker Robert Mondavi Jr. and his wife Lydia, the family naturally gravitated towards South Carolina’s Lowcountry thanks to Lydia’s childhood memories of the area and its peaceful, grounding vibe. In an effort to create a calming escape from the family’s permanent residence in Napa Valley, the Mondavis sought to design a home that would feel personal and reflect their love of entertaining all while honouring its gorgeous waterside location.
“We designed the house to be functional, comfortable, and approachable with well-appointed luxuries,” Lydia tells us. With colour inspiration taken from the sea and design help from Lydia’s mother, interior decorator Anita Wilbanks, the Mondavis created a kitchen, at once functional while exuding a casual yet elegant style. If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, take a cue from their thoughtful, personal design to ensure your space functions for your every need.
Seeking to include pieces with a sense of history, the Mondavis opted to use reclaimed wood flooring from Authentic Reclaimed Flooring to incorporate an element with history into their new home. “We were looking for a functional floor, full of life and character,” says Lydia. “It embodies our Napa Valley lifestyle and appreciation for sustainable living.” The Mondavis settled on a French oak floor recycled from barrelheads used in the production of wine. The project was such a success that the oak barrel flooring became part of Authentic Reclaimed Floorings’ permanent collection.
A farm table, which once belonged to Lydia’s great-grandparents, is used in the kitchen’s eating area, further personalizing the space.
“Entertaining is in my blood,” says Rob Mondavi Jr. Since the kitchen is the center of the Mondavis’ vacation home where they host family and friends, it was important that it function optimally for their entertaining needs. An oversized center island with Cosentino’s Silestone countertops was designed to be a low-maintenance surface that could handle not only spreads of the fresh catch of the day but also the occasional red wine spill.
A pair of dishwashers accommodates excess glassware and an adjacent wine gallery keeps bottles of red and white at the perfect temperature and within arm’s reach.
The home’s gorgeous waterfront location and the kitchen’s placement at the back of the house meant the room would have sweeping views of the Atlantic. To maximise this, the couple made smart design choices to ensure their space would function, without blocking the view. “We designed the kitchen without a lot of upper cabinets so we could maximise the views of the Atlantic Ocean,” they tell us.
The center island’s ventilation hood extends only 23 inches from the ceiling to preserve sight lines and maximise the breakfast nook’s wall of windows.
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