Blog Crush: The Napa Project

8 Nov

I love discovering new blogs.  And I was particularly happy to discover The Napa Project.  There is nothing done to this house that I don’t both admire and envy.  In fact, I think I am developing a blog-crush.  From the ‘About’ page…

My name is Michelle and welcome to my blog! I live in Napa, California with my husband and 2 1/2 cats (ask me if you’re interested!). I also own a draft horse. Named Jasper. That’s another story…

I’m a transplanted Canadian (Go Leafs!). I love to sew and I make a lot of my own clothes. I also crochet. I suck at knitting. I love to cook and bake. French food is my new forte. Thomas Keller is a god. I’ve recently gotten into vegetable gardening. (Yikes, I’m starting to sound like Martha f-ing Stewart).

It all started in April 2011 when my husband and I bought a 1954 mid-century ranch home in the hills overlooking Napa. Shawn grew up in an Eichler in Marin County and thus began my love affair with mid century modern design. We had spent two years looking for a home, never finding the right one, or losing out on cash offers. This home had been languishing on the market for about a year. I kept it on my radar, watching the price slowly decrease but still no takers. We finally decided to go look at it with our agent. But it had a renter, a ‘caretaker’ lazy freeloading moocher living there with his wife who tried every which way to discourage anyone from buying the house. It took us a couple of weeks just to get to see the house (the maid was cleaning that day, it was their day off etc etc.). When we finally saw it in person I understood why it hadn’t sold yet. For the asking price it needed some a huge fucking ton of work. The interior was dirty and cluttered. We joked about the tacky furniture, especially a disgustingly dirty blue chair.

Serious eww!

The exterior was 50 years worth of overgrown jungle. But it had ‘good bones’ as they say and even though it was not an Eichler, had the classic wood beams and floor to ceiling windows. And a mezmorizing view. Someone needed to restore this mid century modern back to its original beauty. It turned out to be – us! (And we got if for below asking price, proving tenacity does pay off!)

When we finally took ownership and the ‘caretaker’ lazy pos moocher had finally moved out, what did they leave us sitting in the middle of the empty living room when we got to the house? The f-ing chair!! (Oh, and an overflowing, clogged toilet – but I will leave THAT up to your imagination as I did NOT take a picture)

‘Um – thank-you??’

I love her irreverant tone and I particularly love the work done on the house.  Check out these photos of gorgeousness:

Recognize that lovely paprika colored lamp?
The Eichlerondacks on the patio.  Wonder where she got those?
Michelle is a wonderful inspiration with a down to earth perspective.  In fact, I think I may just copy everything they have done and call it a day!  I hope you check out all the lovely work they have done.  Enjoy!

12 Responses to “Blog Crush: The Napa Project”

  1. Rebecca@MidcenturyModernRemodel November 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    I have wandered across this blog too and follow it. Love what they are doing with their driveway for sure.

  2. Michelle November 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Hi Brandy, Well, I love your blog and house, too! Thanks for featuring our house! It truly made my week! We should be completed the front by the 20th. It is coming together better than we ever dreamed it would so I can’t wait to show new pictures. The ‘Eichlerondacks’ were the prototype of Jeff the Eichler Guy at We saw them in his shop when we ordered our siding from him and bought them immediately. We call them our thrones as we look out over the valley 🙂 He is currently making us a modern cat condo that is going to be amazing! If you are ever in Napa, we would love to show you the Napa Project in person. Cheers!

    • November 9, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      Hi Michelle,
      I love it when I can make someone’s day much less their entire week! Your home is truly inspirational and I wanted the readers of my blog to see it. I think we will be buying our own thrones soon! Brett and I love to go to Napa and Sonoma and appreciate the invitation to see the house. We will take you up on that. I used to work at Food and Wine magazine and we love eating and drinking in the California wine country. Also, with regard to your restaurant list, have you tried Bistro Jeanty in Yountville? It’s a wonderfully casual country French cafe-type place with wonderful, simple food. We go there everytime we are in town!

  3. Alex @ northstory November 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    So, so stunning! A transplanted Canuck? Ok now I need to go see this even more (is that a terrible bias or what?)

  4. ParadigmGallery (@ParadigmGallery) November 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I love her “voice”, honest, sarcastic, descriptive…..looking forward to following the posts. Now about that house….gorgeous, and I love the use of “red” so pretty in that setting.

  5. Dana@Mid2Mod November 8, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    I’ve been following Michelle’s blog for quite some time now, and I just this minute noticed that she has that great Kip Stewart blanket chest/coffee table like the one we just sold. I love the big driveway tear-up they just did and the concrete squares they replaced it with. I can’t wait to see how they landscape it now that all that pavement is gone.

    • November 9, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      I am in love with that coffee table and am now hunting for one myself. And those concrete squares are something I hope we can do in the future.

  6. Chris November 8, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    THAT IS STUNNING!!!!!! I wish it were mine!

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