Two close sisters and their families, living in different states, dreamt of a place they and their adult children could meet up and enjoy wine country living. The perfect Napa Valley property was found, and Two Belles Farm was born. Belle #1 and her husband claimed the larger, street facing portion, and installed 5 acres of vineyard and the shared tennis court along with their home, guest house, and garage/barn. Belle #2 and her husband opted for the more private rear portion of the lot, and installed a shared pool area with shade pergola and vegetable garden, along with their home, guest house, and detached garage. Working with the same team of architect, landscape architect, civil engineer and builder for both projects assured continuity between the properties, while the areas immediate to each home reflect the tastes of its owners.
The first property features more traditional farmhouse architecture, with an agrarian grape stake fence, a play lawn for grandchildren, a secluded grilling area for him, and a potting bench for her. Shade gardens feature Japanese Maple, Hydrangeas and Hellebores; in sunnier areas, Roses, Penstemon, Lilacs, and Salvias are featured along with native shrubs.
At the other property, more contemporary architecture is complemented with a more formally geometric layout. A limestone path and steps lead through a steel I-beam portal in the stone courtyard wall, and pass through a Moor Grass meadow accented with Crepe Myrtle, Roses, Fringeflower shrubs, Gloriosa Daisy, Pheasant’s Tail and Geum. Beyond a woven willow fence, a weathered steel and woven willow pergola create an outdoor dining and sitting area with a custom steel fire pit and serving shelf. A matching pergola provides shade poolside, along with existing mature Coast Redwood trees underplanted with Cape Plumbago and Star jasmine.
The majority of the properties flow together with meadows of Blue Grama Grass and Purple Needle Grass, with no demarcation of where one parcel ends and the next one begins. Many trees were added among the meadows, including a fruiting Olive orchard, Arbutus x. ‘Marina’ London Plane and California Pepper trees. Simple gravel and mowed paths through the meadows connect the homes and the destinations, including the ‘popcorn trail’ creating the shortest direct connection between the sisters’ kitchens.
Architecture: Polsky Perlstein Architects
Construction: Teambuilt, Inc.
Landscape Installation: Siteworks, Inc.
Photography: Eileen Roche Photography