Nostalgia can pull us back to a place where we recall deeply the sweetest scenes of our memories. It was that energy that drew Jenni Kayne, the L.A.-based designer of her eponymous California lifestyle brand, to seek out “the most magical property” in Santa Ynez, California. She’d grown up visiting her godmother and taking naps in her hammock with oaks rustling in the breeze. So a 20-acre ranch of rolling green hills and numerous trees struck a nerve—even if it was “decrepit.”
Beyond its epic views—green as far as your eyes can see in the winter, and straw brown in the summer—this Woodstock Ranch home was seemingly abandoned since the ’70s. “There was caution tape on sinks and toilets, and animals living inside of it,” Kayne says. Still, she imagined a special place where she, her husband, and their three children could retreat from L.A. but also where invited friends of the brand could escape to ride horses, pet baby goats, dine on farm-to-table alfresco meals, practice yoga, taste wine, indulge in facials and massages, and visit local lavender farms.
Kanye, who loves designing homes, outfitted the ranch top to bottom with the goal of allowing guests to step into the Jenni Kayne lifestyle. “To me it’s all one world—whether it’s clothing or furniture or your home or your garden, it’s all equally inspiring.” She and her team took the house down to the studs and rebuilt, raising the ceiling in the kitchen—“obviously the heart of the home”—creating more flow between rooms, adding steel-framed glass wherever possible to maximize views, and replacing the floors with pale oak.
They blew out the “choppy” primary suite and created a bathroom with two vanities, Moroccan clay tile, and a tub that looks out to a side yard with burbling fountain. “You never want to leave there,” she says. The kitchen underwent a major upgrade, going from tiny with barely any windows and a drop ceiling to a breezy, sunlit space that entices people to gather around the banquette or island. The surfaces are simple, but organically attractive. Kayne designed the barstools and kitchen chairs especially for the space, and says they’ll be joining her line soon.