Rich Frank was looking for an escape from Hollywood. So, in 1990, the ex-president of Disney Studios purchased a classic 1930 Tudor home in Rutherford, California, in the Napa Valley. The hillside home came with a small vineyard, the fruit from which was initially sold to neighboring wine producers. Frank fell in love with the home, named Winston Hill after his springer spaniel, who ran through the rows chasing birds and protecting the crops, a quiet respite from his hectic life as a Hollywood studio executive. He loved it so much, in fact, that he and his wife, Leslie, decided to retire to the idyllic wine country retreat. The bilevel home was remodeled but never needed a gut renovation. “We wanted to keep the integrity of the home but update and brighten the overall appearance,” says Leslie Frank.
The Franks worked with local designer Erin Martin of Erin Martin Design to maintain a historic feel while making the interior much more contemporary. “Erin has a talent for combining a modern look with a vintage flair, and her creativity comes through with her ability to source unique light fixtures and furniture,” says Frank. “She understands the architecture of a home and how far you can push it to achieve uniqueness while still keeping its integrity. She was also adept at playing with the scale of furnishings and position of the artwork to make the rooms look larger and ceilings higher.”
A neutral color palette set the tone, and contemporary art from artists like Robilee Frederick, Jason Kennedy, John DiPaolo and Robert Longo brought in pops of color. Martin sourced furniture, floor coverings and light fixtures from designers and showrooms such as Blackman Cruz, Obsolete, Holly Hunt, The Future Perfect and Lindsey Adelman. The modern dining room is easily the most used room in the house, as the Franks love to entertain and their delectable Frank Family Vineyards white, red, rosé and sparkling wines are, of course, always flowing. But, at the end of the evening, when the guests are gone, they have their little slice of wine country heaven.
Click through the gallery for an inside look at the home of Rich and Leslie Frank.