25 October 2009

There's Magic Afoot in St. Helena!

In Napa Valley the other day, and I had the good fortune to catch the brilliant and creative Daniel Hale and his wife Christine in their amazing home/studio in St. Helena, nestled among the vineyards west of the village.

If I thought I had seen repurposing before, this is transformative magic. In the hands of this skilled artisinal architect the humblest of old cast off materials is transformed into elegant, spare and chic-in-spite-of-himself details, finishes and furnishings.

A Whimsical Bird Sculpture Stands in Front of
Reclaimed Galvanized Fencing

A Door Made From Cast-Off Wooden Fencing

A Canoe Shaped Chandelier Made From Found Wood

This Charming Clock is Daniel's Design, and Reminds Me
of the Charm of Picasso's Satyr Paintings

Another Door Made From Wood Used
Exactly as it Was Found

The Guest Bedroom; Transluscent Plaster Walls, a Headboard
Made and Decorated by Daniel, Christine's French Linens

The Headboard With Fanciful, Hieroglyphic-like Designs

A Sculpture Made From Found Wood for Pedestal
and An Old Iron Hoop

Christine's Inviting Old French Linens Furnish the Sofa Daniel
Crafted from Crating Material

These Angel's Wings Arrived From a Friend
Who Knew Daniel Could Work Magic With Them!

The Approach to Daniel and Christine's Home in St. Helena, Napa

Trained in architecture on the east coast, Daniel's aesthetic was honed by living two years in St. Remy, in the south of France, where he and Christine moved their brood of three children and set up home. Christine spent time gathering lovely old French linens that she has put to good use as upholstery, pillows and bedding for their home in St. Helena.

The home they are creating for themselves is stunning, spare, modern and completely unique. It's clad in beautifully worked plaster that Daniel insisted be mixed with the local dirt so the color would blend perfectly with the land. Situated at the end of the road in the vineyards, the home is open to the views on both sides; large sliding doors are integral to the design. From the great room you can see vineyards in either direction. The imaginative layout includes a dining room "peninsula" that is open to the air and yet sheltered from the heat and the rain. The guest suite is up a flight of stairs in the style of the "pigeonnier" found in the old bastides in France...vaulted ceiling and lovely, high views.

Every single detail, from the refreshingly scaled and liveable floorplan to the elegant and spare materials, to the artistic and creative detailing is a unique synthesis of his creativity and the salvage he finds. Daniel uses what he finds around him to build his walls, his doors, his windows, his furnishings, his art.

In this magical home you will see life as it is meant to be lived: open to the outdoors visually and literally, a work of love in progress, and a place that supports their life work of creating beautiful living spaces and things out of found objects.

See Daniel's Blog: Serendipity Rising and Website

All Photos (except Bird Sculpture) Taken by Kit Golson



Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


  1. Yes Beth, he is amazing. This home is just a small part of his artistic endeavors...thanks for stopping by!

  2. nature, natural, naturalness....it's nothing more or less....color, life,all is wonderful !


I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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