Designer and entrepreneur Jenni Kayne has transformed a farm in California to remind her of her childhood, with timeless furniture and spaces to enjoy nature.
Sometimes nostalgia makes us dream and fulfill dreams. This is what happened to Jenni Kayne, an interior designer based in Los Angeles, who was looking for a magical home in Santa Ynez, California. He grew up taking long naps in a hammock at his godmother's house, so he looked for a place that would transport him to his childhood: a 20-hectare farm surrounded by oak trees. His condition was pitiful, but the possibilities were endless.
Beyond the incredible views, Woodstock – as the farm is called – had apparently been abandoned since the 1970s. “There was even duct tape on the sinks and toilets, and animals living inside,” says Kayne. Still, she envisioned a special place where she, her husband, and their three children could retire from Los Angeles, but also where her friends and family could escape for horseback riding, outdoor farm-to-table dining, yoga , taste wines… In short, enjoy the good life.
The kitchen as the most vital element of the house
Kayne, who loves designing homes, decorated the farmhouse from top to bottom so her guests could see and savor her lifestyle. “For me everything is part of the same world, be it the clothes, the furniture, the house or the garden. It's all inspiring." She and her team tore the entire house down to its foundations and rebuilt it, giving the kitchen ceiling more height—"it's obviously the heart of the house," says Jenni—creating more fluidity between rooms, adding glass with steel frame to extend the views and replacing the floors with pale oak planks.
They eliminated the main room and created a bathroom with two sinks, tiled in Moroccan clay and a bathtub overlooking a side patio. "You never want to get out of there," says the interior designer. The kitchen was perhaps the most important element that was renovated, going from being tiny, with hardly any windows and a sloping ceiling, to being a fresh and bright space that invites you to gather around the island. The surfaces are simple, but organically attractive. Jenni Kayne designed the stools and chairs specifically for this space, although they will soon become part of her collection.
Spaces to live and share
Her own furniture from Jenni Kayne Home – whose flagship store in New York's SoHo opened in fall 2021 – and soft objects are present throughout the space, neither cluttering nor standing out. “Because it's so timeless and clean, any object works everywhere, but I also didn't want people to feel like they were walking into a showroom,” says Kayne. The rooms, with their own furniture, are also dressed with vintage pieces and pieces from the Galerie Provenance of Los Angeles to give them a dose of authenticity and realism. Each of the four bedrooms that make up the house has its Pacific bed in different fabrics, with Parachute linen sheets. "I don't like everything to look the same, but I do like to speak the same language," he says.
This philosophy also applies to activities. Community events such as a women's wellness weekend and designer shows are held at Jenny Kayne's farm, which are open to the public with a portion of the proceeds going to a philanthropic organization. “The energy of the ranch is very special because nature is so present,” says Kayne, who is excited about people experiencing the magical views of the environment. “There is something that you feel: the weather, the wind, the sun. It's a Californian ranch atmosphere,” he concludes.