Design Spotlight: Suite Service

By Jennifer Massoni Pardini

A Mallorquina bed by Alfonso Marina, Louis XVI armoire-turned-wet bar and a Trumeau mirror that dates to the early 1700s have all found a new home in the Chêne Suite. | Photo courtesy of R. Brad Knipstein

France and family factor into the revival of a guest experience in the hills of Healdsburg.

Among blooming persimmon, wending wisteria and vines of ivy that climb the yellow stucco walls of Jordan Vineyard & Winery’s chateau in Healdsburg, a trio of adjoining guest suites have been accommodating Jordan members with onsite lodging for more than 40 years. Founded and built over the 1970s by Tom and Sally Jordan, the parents of current owner John Jordan, the winery has since produced cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay — today under winemaker Maggie Kruse — that have put Jordan on the map in a region not always known for the wine tourism that Sonoma County is today.

With travel and hospitality intermittently shut down for the better part of a year, John jumped on the opportunity to embark on a $1 million renovation of the suites, completed in May. Just eight months prior, Maria Haidamus of Maria Haidamus Interiors had been hired, in collaboration with Loczi Design, to modernize the rooms while preserving the past of the French-inspired chateau that also houses winemaking facilities and cellars, a commercial kitchen, dining room and tasting library and crowns 1,200 acres in the Alexander Valley. Aside from 120 acres of grapevines and 16 of olive trees, most of that land remains wild woodland, grazing pasture for cattle as well as a notable sanctuary for pollinators — all on view from the suites’ shuttered windows or French-doored balconies.

“For a lot of my work I draw sensibility and inspirations from my travels,” says the designer, originally from Beirut and based in San Francisco for the past 25 years. But the pandemic also meant that Haidamus couldn’t travel to France to source the antiques she wanted to add to those Sally acquired over the years, such as a Rothschild family 19th-century Louis XV armoire that now contains a record player, chess set and vintage playing cards.

In the Cépage Suite, a neoclassical pair of biscuit plates from the late 19th century hangs in antique brass frames on plaster walls, custom color matched using Farrow & Ball. | Photo courtesy of R. Brad Knipstein

Instead, she scoured 1stDibs to procure such gems as a 19th-century Aubusson-style painted tapestry from a Paris antique store that now hangs not far from that armoire — in the grand Vendange (“Harvest”) Suite living room that overlooks the oak tank barrel room. On Chairish, she found a midcentury Parisian grisaille painting as well as a Napoleon III-style onyx and mahogany side table, both for the middle Cépage (“Grape Varietal Blend”) Suite bedroom. In the Chêne (“Oak”) Suite is the oldest antique now on-site: an early 18th-century Trumeau mirror. Across the room, a 19th-century Louis XVI armoire imported from Northern France was converted into a stand-alone wet bar, solving the challenge of designing within the concrete-walled footprint.

“I am working with a space that has beautiful bones and I was very inspired by the architectural details,” underscores Haidamus on a recent tour of the connected suites and their entry landing, also redesigned around a commissioned art installation. “My concept from the start was to proceed with great respect for the legacy of [the] Jordans’ classic French style.” The designer felt inspired to execute a comfortable and cohesive update while remaining true to the family’s overall vision for unique experiences in each space. “John wanted a surprise and delight in every suite,” she adds.

The first thing she changed was the color palette, moving away from peach and yellow hues, and bringing in colors that echo the surrounding nature, such as soothing tones of moss, oak, sage and taupe. “The rest fell into place quite naturally,” she says.

Haidamus’ favorite features in the guest quarters also serve those desired elements of surprise: the black and white botanical Meadow wallpaper by Peter Fasano in the cozy bedroom in the first suite; the neoclassical deux bed by Alfonso Marina in the second; and the Schumacher Italian Panoramic mural wallpaper in the bathroom of the third.

Cohesion is also achieved with glazed California-made Fireclay floor tiles, laid in herringbone patterns in each of the three bathrooms, while the suites themselves boast their original terracotta hexagon tiles, once sourced by Sally in Provence and installed in the ’70s. Now matte rather than polished, they remain a reminder of the Old World charm at the foundation of this destination among the vines.

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