When they were ready to make a permanent move from city life in San Francisco to the country in Sonoma, California, Gail Defferari and Belinda Gregory-Head found inspiration in an unexpected place: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While visiting friends at Flora Farms Culinary Cottages—a vacation enclave with a farm-to-table bent—they discovered that the floor plan “worked perfectly for both entertaining and full-time living,” Gail says. By happy accident the designer of the cottages, architect Chris Dorman, lives minutes north of SF in Mill Valley, California, so they engaged him to design their dream home in nearby Sonoma County.
Photography by Karen Steffens for Remodelista.The new house is closely based on the Flora Farms design, with an added mudroom to accommodate life with dogs and a larger kitchen to accommodate Gail and Belinda’s shared passion for cooking.
Gail, who hails from Texas, is the former proprietress of one of San Francisco’s original design-forward restaurants, Universal Cafe in the city’s Outer Mission, and is now a part-time collaborator at kitchen emporium March in San Francisco, a Remodelista favorite.
Gail and Belinda, who is from England and has a dental practice in SF, share complementary aesthetic sensibilities and designed the kitchen themselves.
The kitchen is amply sized, in part because Gail plans to open it up as an occasional venue for cooking classes, guest chef nights, and similar events.
Gail and Belinda were delighted with the work of their architect and contractor Mike Slater of S&S Builders, both in Mill Valley. “They were terrific to work with,” said Gail. “We have had a great experience with this build and none of the nightmares people talk about.”
“Having been in the city for almost 30 years,” said Gail, “it is time to be in the garden.”
Frequently asked questions
What is the article about?
The article is about a modern farmhouse built for a Brit and a Texan in California's wine country.
Who are the owners of the farmhouse?
The owners of the farmhouse are a Brit and a Texan.
Where is the farmhouse located?
The farmhouse is located in California's wine country.
What style is the farmhouse designed in?
The farmhouse is designed in a modern style.
What is the inspiration behind the farmhouse's design?
The inspiration behind the farmhouse's design is the owners' love of modern design and the surrounding natural beauty of the wine country.
What materials were used in the construction of the farmhouse?
The farmhouse was constructed using local reclaimed wood, concrete floors, and iron and steel accents.
What is unique about the farmhouse's kitchen?
The farmhouse's kitchen features a custom hood made from reclaimed wood and steel, along with a custom island made from a 500-pound piece of reclaimed walnut.
How does the farmhouse incorporate indoor-outdoor living?
The farmhouse incorporates indoor-outdoor living through large sliding doors that open up to the outdoors, a covered patio, and a pool area.
What role did the landscape architect play in the farmhouse's design?
The landscape architect helped to create a naturalistic and drought-resistant landscape that would blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment.
What notable design features does the farmhouse have?
Notable design features of the farmhouse include a central fireplace made from local stone, a floating steel staircase, and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light.