Napa Valley Style

Kathryn Masson, Author, Steven Brooke, Photographer Rizzoli International Publications $50 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8478-2570-7
More a tour through luxury homes than a study of design style, Masson's coffee-table book showcases Napa Valley residences that""celebrate a vision of the 'good life.'"" The volume, which is illustrated with 137 color photographs, presents 22 homes. Some are converted farmhouses or wineries; others are designed to resemble villas or bungalows; several are contemporary or modernist structures. What all these homes have in common, however, are their careful detailing and their enviable locations. Jan and Mitsuko Shrem's modern villa, for example, is located in the Clos Pegase Winery, and Pat Kuleto's timber and stone house has a view that extends over Lake Hennessey and most of the Valley. Masson begins her book with a brief history of the region's transformation from cattle-grazing ranchland to wine lovers' mecca, and throughout the volume she emphasizes the history of the homes that she has selected, as well as their owner's personalities. The result can sometimes feel a little like an episode of Lives of the Rich and Famous: all extravagant particulars and no overarching vision.
Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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