The best design books about inspired living on the West Coast

Who are we?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.


We wrote...

At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

By Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert,

Book cover of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

What is our book about?

Through compelling narrative and stunning photography, At Home in the Wine Country features architecture, style, and design in California’s picturesque wine country, showcasing the work of California’s top architects and designers in styles ranging from modern farmhouse to refined rustic to updated agrarian to unapologetically modern. This virtual tour documents a native terroir-derived style that has evolved dramatically since the days when the region looked to European chateaux for inspiration. The range of styles is broad and pays homage to wine-country living in an atmosphere of understated, family-focused, nature-intensive hospitality.

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The books we picked & why

Book cover of Nathan Turner's I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did I love this book?

One of our all-time favorite books. Nathan Turner loves California, and we love how he translates that love to us, transporting even those of us who have lived here all of our lives to a new level of appreciation for our beautiful state. A combination of food, family, design, and adventure, it is an ode to our state — a love letter that is an absolute joy.

By Nathan Turner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nathan Turner's I Love California as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Designer Nathan Turner's style is synonymous with the easy glam of California living. His first book introduced readers to his casual American style and chic design sense. Now, he has written a love letter to his home state in I Love California. This book is a journey up and down Highway 1 that takes readers from the redwoods of northern San Francisco, to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, to the beaches of Southern California. Simple recipes and tips for entertaining are featured alongside never-before-seen interiors. Lavish photographs capture the homes, people, and food of each unique location in glorious,…


Book cover of Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did I love this book?

Under Western Skies celebrates the best in landscape design throughout many western climates, from mountains to desert to rainforest, from wine country to urban oasis. 36 harmonious designs prove that glorifying nature rather than work against it results in landscapes that belong. The book is full of ideas and inspiration, as well as practical information for the home gardener or the armchair traveler. One reader called it 'an homage to the horticultural arts.'

By Jennifer Jewell, Caitlin Atkinson (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under Western Skies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This photo-driven book explores how the rugged landscape of the American West deeply influences the way people garden. It profiles 35 of the most groundbreaking gardens in the region. From desert perch to seaside oasis, gardens in the American West are on the frontier of garden design. Under Western Skies proves this, with profiles of 35 of the West's most innovative gardens - places that truly capture the wild spirit of the region. Under Western Skies reveals how the grandeur and rugged beauty of the region's landscapes set the stage for stunning and innovative design, while the various climates allow…


Book cover of Pacific Natural at Home

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did I love this book?

Jenny Kayne personifies the easy, laid-back approach to design and life that is so characteristic of California. Comfort plays a role equal to that of style, which is always organic, natural, and textural. Jenni Kayne's style leans toward a neutral palette that embraces and accentuates the light, color, and texture of the California landscape. She shares work from her own home, as well as homes of other creative women who share her natural design ethos.

By Jenni Kayne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pacific Natural at Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A known tastemaker and authority on style, Jenni Kayne spans the worlds of fashion, interiors, and entertaining. Inspired by organic textures, thoughtful simplicity, and natural landscapes, Kayne embodies an earthy and effortless aesthetic one that is intentional and where beauty and authenticity exist in every detail. In her second book Kayne turns to interior design, sharing her beautifully designed interiors as well as the homes of other creative women who embrace a similar natural design ethos. The book introduces the homes by location, spanning varied landscapes and design characteristics: houses by the ocean, desert-style spaces, mountain homes, and abodes in…


Book cover of Art House: The Collaboration of Chara Shreyer and Gary Hutton

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did I love this book?

A big bold book glorious in its celebration of art with a West Coast perspective authored by collector Chara Shreyer and interior designer Gary Hutton. One of the most significant private collections of modern art in the U.S. — approximately 600 pieces — is showcased in homes ranging from a Pacific beach house to a Los Angeles aerie to a ridgetop residence in Marin County. The book features masterworks by Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Diane Arbus, and Frank Stella, plus important works by emerging 21st-century artists. It is a colorful, vibrant, and poignant portrayal of one woman's art journey. 

By Alisa Carroll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leading art collector Chara Schreyer’s forty-year collaboration with interior designer Gary Hutton has produced five residences designed to house 600 works of art, including masterpieces by Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Diane Arbus, and Frank Stella. Art House takes readers on a breathtaking visual tour of these stunning spaces, which range from an architectural tour-de-force to a high-rise “gallery as home.” An exploration of a life devoted to living with art and to designing homes that honor it, this title is an inspiration for art and design lovers alike.


Book cover of Immersed: The California Houses of Feldman Architecture

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did I love this book?

The new monograph of the work of one of our favorite architects from our book — San Francisco-based Feldman Architecture. It's a look at 20 years of the firm's work, a collection of homes that both reflects and defines what it means to live authentically within the landscape of Northern California. We particularly love how the architects design for site, whether the home is situated high on a ridge, nestled amongst oaks or tucked within a cityscape, and their masterful use of materials. Their Surf House, overlooking the ocean in Santa Cruz, is lined inside and out with local Monterey cypress. An existing San Francisco Edwardian was transformed by the addition of a central staircase with skylights bringing light deep into the interior. Butterfly House speaks to the land trust on which it dwells as a sustainably-minded home designed as three separate volumes united by a butterfly roof. No matter the location, each Feldman design celebrates nature, light, and space in one of our favorite regions of the world.

By Vladimir Belogolovsky (editor), Daniel P. Gregory (editor), Aaron Betsky (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Immersed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Immersed - The California Houses of Feldman Architecture is an indepth look at 20 years of the firm's defining residential work spanning three areas: Urban, Suburban, and Rural. Feldman Architecture, a vibrant San Francisco-based studio, aims to create authentic, sitesensitive, sustainable spaces through a deeply collaborative process. This book, which includes commentary from Aaron Betsky and Daniel P. Gregory, as well as an interview with Vladimir Belogolovsky, situates Feldman Architecture's work within the northern California design canon and illustrates how the firm's voice subtly translates across diverse geographies and contexts. Jonathan Feldman, in closing, reflects upon the values and aspirations…


You might also like...

Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

By Christina Ward,

Book cover of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

Christina Ward Author Of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

New book alert!

Who am I?

For me, history is always about individuals; what they think and believe and how those ideas motivate their actions. By relegating our past to official histories or staid academic tellings we deprive ourselves of the humanity of our shared experiences. As a “popular historian” I use food to tell all the many ways we attempt to “be” American. History is for everyone, and my self-appointed mission is to bring more stories to readers! These recommendations are a few stand-out titles from the hundreds of books that inform my current work on how food and religion converge in America. You’ll have to wait for Holy Food to find out what I’ve discovered.

Christina's book list on the hidden history of America

What is my book about?

Does God have a recipe? Independent food historian Christina Ward’s highly anticipated Holy Food explores the influence of mainstream to fringe religious beliefs on modern American food culture.

Author Christina Ward unravels how religious beliefs intersect with politics, economics, and, of course, food to tell a different story of America. It's the story of true believers and charlatans, of idealists and visionaries, and of the everyday people who followed them—often at their peril.

Holy Food explains how faith pioneers used societal woes and cultural trends to create new pathways of belief and reveals the interconnectivity between sects and their leaders.

Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

By Christina Ward,

What is this book about?

Does God have a recipe?

"Holy Food is a titanic feat of research and a fascinating exploration of American faith and culinary rites. Christina Ward is the perfect guide – generous, wise, and ecumenical." — Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams

"Holy Food doesn't just trace the influence that preachers, gurus, and cult leaders have had on American cuisine. It offers a unique look at the ways spirituality—whether in the form of fringe cults or major religions—has shaped our culture. Christina Ward has gone spelunking into some very odd corners of American history to unearth this fascinating collection of stories…


Genres
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5 book lists we think you will like!

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