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St. Helena Retreat

At once secluded and right in the middle of it all, this Napa Valley house sits back on its site to become a comfortable retreat. Creating distance to protect the main house from the noise and commotion of the street, an elongated lap pool reaches between the two volumes that make up this home, the main house and the garage and studio. As the pool meets the main house, long, shallow steps of light gray concrete create a gentle ascent from outside to inside, through an in-between space captured by a powerful overhang. Inside, gauzy, translucent curtains make for blurry divisions between the private bedroom and the main spaces of the house, providing just enough privacy for the owners. Upstairs, a marble-surfaced bathroom overlooks the tops of the neighboring trees, the quiet core of a private oasis just a five-minute walk from downtown St. Helena.

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Floor Plans

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Special Feature

The design includes canted roofs and cantilevered overhangs that provide deep brims and protect from hot summer sun and natural elements. This design is derived from vernacular sources: California Missions that evolved from Spanish buildings and adobe architecture with thatched-roof palapas.



3000 sq ft


St. Helena, CA


Dave Sturm



David Duncan Livingston

Interior Designer

Sabra Ballon Studio

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