Canappela Farm came to us with its own voice/style-- that of a farmhouse reimagined. The 1-acre property was built in 1958 by a retired San Francisco fireman and according to my neighbor and one of his best friends, he lovingly planted 10 walnut trees (2 different types and while we love the black walnuts, he preferred the larger variety in our front yard) and he also tended the very old fig tree carefully on the property so that it’s now truly a spectacular specimen. His favorite was the persimmon tree, which now that it’s early November, I can see why (see photo below). At various points in time, the property has also housed animals and I noticed in photos as recent as 5 years ago, there were animal pens where there are now raised vegetable beds. In addition, we have a lovely potting shed and well room with a good size storage area. Plans are to install a few chickens in the back and enclose them in a spiffy chicken coop so the local “vermin” don’t get them.
We haven’t totally decided what to do with the very large space that we call the “barn,” but I was told by our neighbor that it’s actually 2 portable school classrooms and has served many purposes through the years.
As I designed the addition to the house and the pool house, I decided to stay with the Farmhouse design theme that if Pinterest is any indication, seems to be the style du jour. I can honestly say that I inherited the aesthetic and the more time I spend with the design, the happier I am that we have this and not some Mediterranean knock-off that is so prevalent in Sonoma. I swear by this book and it’s guided much of my decision-making through the design phase: The Farmhouse: New Inspiration for the Classic American Home, Sept. 2006.