What I love about my home in Northern California’s wine country

What I love about my home in Northern California’s wine country
Placeholder while article actions load

When Adam and Allison Messner’s home was damaged in 2017, the couple restored the property and its grounds. Their experience led the couple to found Yardzen, an online landscape design company. Allison shared their experience and what they love about their home in an email:

Our home is a 100-year-old historical farmhouse in Northern California’s wine country. We knew it was “the one” because it had great bones, beautiful, old trees and lots of space to enjoy the natural surroundings.

A few years after we purchased the property, the Tubbs Fire swept through our neighborhood, destroying many of our neighbors’ homes but somehow miraculously sparing ours. The fire burned right up to the walls of the home, melting the gutters, damaging the roof and destroying the outdoor areas we loved.

What I love about my home in Leesburg, Va.

We wanted to restore it to its former glory, and it ended up being the impetus for founding Yardzen, our now national online landscape design and build platform. We set out to preserve the character of the home while also using the most environmentally friendly materials available, including repurposed furniture, FSC-certified wood and using native plants to create a habitat-supporting and sustainable yard.

The former carport-turned-California-room is our family’s favorite place to hang out together. We dreamed of an outdoor space that felt like an extension of our home, and because we lived here full time during the first few months of the pandemic, we needed it to function in several ways: outdoor office, dining space and relaxation area.

We created several “rooms” in the space to truly make it feel like we moved our living room, dining area and home offices outside. We added comfortable outdoor couches made from FSC-certified teak wood and a big area rug to make a cozy gathering space where we could relax with our kids and take video calls during the workday.

What I love about my home in Mount Rainier, Md.

My favorite piece of furniture is the large antique dining table, which we found on Craigslist. An older couple was downsizing and happy to see it passed along to another young family for hopefully many more years of use. We included both twinkle lights around the perimeter and hanging light fixtures over each “room” to create distinct areas.

Living in California, you must take advantage of year-round good weather, so we also restored the covered porch, adding a modern redwood slat railing on one side and two hanging patio chairs positioned next to the front door. The chairs add a fun, lighthearted touch to our white, minimalist farmhouse exterior. Our kids love to relax in the chairs and oversee our work in the front gardens.

We were very intentional about the plants we used, choosing native and low-water plants that help attract pollinators and make our yard more sustainable, while still providing a pop of green. The outdoor spaces for our home were just as important as the interiors and we can’t wait to spend even more time in them over the summer!

In this ongoing feature, we ask homeowners what they love most about their home. If you’d like to share your story, please send a photo of the room/feature you love (preferably with you in the photo, too) and 400 to 450 words describing the space and why you love it to: [email protected].