WSJ.com’s 2020 House of the Year winner will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Click here to read about our second runner-up from Jackson, Wyo.
Twenty-one years ago, Carson and Suzanne Levit were looking for a summer respite from their home in San Francisco, where Mr. Levit worked as a hedge-fund manager and private investor. The home they purchased, now a six-bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,268-square-foot Napa Valley home, scored 10,838 votes, the second-most in WSJ.com’s annual House of the Year poll.
The couple initially found the 4-acre property during a trip to the resort Auberge du Soleil and made an offer for it on the spot. They paid $4.2 million for the Rutherford, Calif., home. “We were so mesmerized by the garden and the stone walls,” said Mrs. Levit. “The former owner was an avid gardener, and she would work alongside two full-time gardeners to maintain it. The main house was basically an old ranch, which was sort of cute when we purchased it. Ten years in, it really was just getting run down.”
In 2010, they tore it down and built a new house and made substantial upgrades to the landscaping. With the help of architect Hal Taylor, the original three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot house was replaced with the current home. It is modeled after a French country estate with modern, open interiors.
The airy great room has an open plan that connects it to the kitchen and the dining room. Pocket doors at the end of the room open up to the pool, vineyards and dining area, while French doors also help bring the outside in. The antique limestone fireplace was sourced by Mrs. Levit, who also used French limestone flooring in the great room and throughout the home.