Fuchsia sale in Sebastopol

The Sebastopol Fuchsia Society is sponsoring an outdoor plant sale on July 31 at the Sebastopol Center or the Arts.

All the plants are grown by society members and there will be lots of hanging baskets and upright plants in a variety of colors. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or ending earlier if plants sell out. For more information, call Edwina Sauers at 707-838-9429. Cash, checks and debit cards accepted. 282 S. High St., Sebastopol.

New book showcases Wine Country architecture

Bay Area writer Chase Reynolds Ewald knows when a design theme is ripe for its own coffee-table book. Ewald recently teamed up with Heather Sandy Hebert, a fellow writer who has worked at architectural firms throughout the Bay Area, to craft “At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards,” a new book that showcases spectacular homes in Sonoma and Napa counties.

From contemporary farmhouse-style properties to ultramodern residences, the homes featured in the book pay homage to the prized setting they inhabit as they blend into the natural landscape.

This restrained approach to architecture is seen in the seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the properties: expansive, unadorned windows frame outdoor views while subdued color palettes give focus to surrounding vineyards and rolling hills. Hebert predicts this focus on connected indoor and outdoor living spaces will continue in the world of design and architecture as homeowners try to create year-round outdoor areas for social gatherings in the wake of the pandemic.

To make homes blend with the surrounding area, the architects who built the homes highlighted in the book have paid close attention to the topography and colors of the landscape. For a property located on a hillside, for example, they build into the contours of the hills, Ewald said. Color palettes emulate the colors of the natural landscape or contrast with them — in black and white — to showcase the nature rather than the house. A “Black Box” home in Napa, for example, might seem at first glance to be a radical exercise in modern design, but Hebert points out that the architect’s intent was to make the building “disappear” into the afternoon shadows cast by the trees.

“At Home in Wine Country” features exterior and interior shots of stunning homes; design details such as creative countertops that use pottery, textiles and natural elements; and garden landscaping that is beautiful, drought-tolerant and fire resistant.

While the book offers plenty of information and advice to prospective homebuilders, it’s primarily a celebration of architecture as an art form. Ewald, who grew up in Vermont, prefers a modern farmhouse “warmed up” with rustic elements while Hebert adores the “Nana windows,” a folding wall of windows that opens up toward the outdoors.

“At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards” is available Aug. 24 and can be purchased online.

Direct home and garden news to Staff Writer Meg McConahey at 707-521-5204 or [email protected]. OnTwitter @megmcconahey.

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