One of the things Nicholas and Patricia Adrian-Hanson loved about the property that they purchased in 2011 was the view. Sitting about 1,000 feet up in the Coombsville area of eastern Napa, the Hansons strategically positioned each room with a window with a fantastic view. The 3,500-square-foot space was designed to be airy and light, with a seamless transition from inside out. The home was featured on last year’s Kitchens in the Vineyards home tour (see page 32 for this year’s tour homes), a fundraising event where Patricia has volunteered for the past three years. This year she is serving again as the Preview Party Chair, helping to organize an elegant dinner and fun champagne tour of the five homes.

Nicholas, originally from London, and Patricia, originally from Germany, were used to the rainy European weather, so they wanted a lot of windows to make their home bright and happy. They hired Tom Trainor of Trainor Builders, whom they met on a past Kitchens in the Vineyards tour. Patricia, an interior designer, worked with Trainor to bring a European influence into the design while keeping with the Napa Valley lifestyle.

“This is our fourth home we have built,” said Patricia. “We have traveled a lot, and we knew Napa was where we wanted to settle and raise our two boys.”

“Napa is a hub for the Internet community and we found it to be extremely welcoming and friendly,” said Nicholas, who works for a food company. “Patricia has a good eye for design and we were able to incorporate items found on the property into the project.”

The home, nestled on 4.75 acres of the former Star Hill Winery, contained a hunting lodge made with large wooden beams that were carefully dismantled and used throughout the Hansons’ new home. The beams added a rustic, casual feel to the extraordinary modern scheme complemented with serene neutral tones.

High open ceilings also accommodated Nicholas’ six-foot, eight-inch stature. Patricia is just under five feet, ten inches tall. Lofty windows adorn both sides of the living, dining and kitchen area, including sliding doors that become hidden, bringing the outdoors in. Large drapes around the covered patio area help control the intense afternoon sun when needed.

“We wanted a relaxed, open dining, living and kitchen area that was clean and uncluttered,” said Patricia. “We didn’t want the typical great room.”

The Hansons and Trainor accomplished this by incorporating a lot of European designs into the kitchen, where appliances were hidden behind cabinet doors. They also utilized dual appliances to maximize space and efficiency, including two German Lieber refrigerators, an induction stove top popular in Europe and two dishwashers.

“Having two dishwashers means never having dishes in the sink,” joked Nicholas.

Off to the side of the kitchen is a sizeable walk-in butler’s pantry. One wall is flanked with roll-down shutter doors to hide small appliances. On the opposite wall are cupboard-like lockers for each family member to house shoes, coats and school supplies.

To the left side of the kitchen, enormous French doors open to the outdoor kitchen equipped with a large sink, barbeque and two wood tables that can be used together or separately. More majestic views make dining outdoors at the Hansons’ more special.

Opposite the kitchen towards the living area is Nicolas’ contribution to the design, a super-efficient Rumsford wood-burning fireplace that provides a cozy atmosphere on chilly evenings.

Though the home is unpretentious and inviting, Patricia has one passion and that is for chandeliers. A total of nine chandeliers can be found throughout the home, including a rustic wooden light fixture in the outdoor kitchen and small ornate European lighted jewels in the bathroom. Patricia jokes that of course there had to be a chandelier in the butler’s pantry.

“We believe our home fits into the countryside,” said Patricia. “It’s beautiful, but functional. Everyone’s home should tell a story. It’s nice to wake up every day to simple lines, no clutter and a big smile. One of our aims is when our friends and guests come through the gate, they feel relaxed, exhale, look at the view and say ‘Wow! I want to hang out here.’”

The Hansons tried to get the most bang for their buck when building their home and spent their dollars on the items that were most important. Patricia now wants to help others design homes on a budget.

– See more at: