When designing his own home in Napa Valley, Benjamin Dhong of Benjamin Dhong Interiors faced the same challenge that many of us do. How do you transform a generic builder’s house into a space that reflects your own sense of style, and without breaking the bank? Because his home is in a wine grape growing region, Benjamin opted for an updated farmhouse with clean lines, large windows and open spaces.
As he does with clients, Benjamin paid close attention to budget. He couldn’t afford elaborate moldings or lots of fine finishes, so he created interest with simple, inexpensive lumberyard materials and flea market finds, mixed with a few more costly pieces. He used wide lumber planks on walls and ceilings to provide scale and establish the foundation for his modern farmhouse design.
I applied wabi-sabi—that Japanese idea of imperfection, irregularity, and serenity—to keep it all informal. Benjamin Dhong
In the living room, an eclectic mix of furniture styles and plenty of comfortable seating creates a relaxing and serene space. The art piece over the mantel which provokes an ethereal, cloud-like feeling, is actually left-over Fornasetti wallpaper with a plywood backing.
“I paint things white to make them look ethereal.” Benjamin also uses a few larger, dark pieces to ground each room.
An original cloud painting by Sonoma artist Wade Hoefer carries the ethereal aesthetic to the dining area.
Benjamin placed the large kitchen in the center of the home, flanked by dining and breakfast areas. The over-sized sideboard adds a sense of history at less cost than new, traditional cabinetry.
Benjamin opened the ceiling to the gable roof to create a more open and airy feel. The bench seating in the breakfast area doubles as extra sleeping space.
A simple, yet eye-catching print in the entryway matched with an asian table gives a hint to the eclectic spaces in the home.
The master bedroom is quiet and serene – the perfect place to drift off to sleep. Benjamin uses mirrors throughout the home to open spaces and make them appear larger.
The bright Hawaiian quilt and textured pillows make a bold statement in the otherwise calm guest bedroom.
Ryder Lamp: Arteriors
A beautiful Asian tableau in the stairwell.
The moody color of the sitting room is a contrast to the lightness of the rest of the home.
My goal is to create beautiful rooms that are harmonious and soulful and never flashy—rooms that make you feel relaxed. I put in a lot of effort to achieve a design that does not look as though it’s trying too hard. Benjamin Dhong