AD: Inside Designer Jenni Kayne’s Relaxed California Ranch
The L.A.-based creative converts a decrepit ranch in Santa Ynez into an airy oasis for her family and guests to unplug
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.
Her own Jenni Kayne Home furniture (for which a SoHo, New York, flagship opened last fall, with two more showrooms coming in 2022) and soft goods feature throughout, but don’t overwhelm. “Because it is so timeless and clean it kind of works everywhere, but I didn’t want people to feel like they were walking into a showroom,” says Kayne, who anchored rooms with her furniture and finished them off with collected vintage and pieces from L.A.’s Galerie Provenance for a dose of authenticity and realness. Each of the four en-suite bedrooms features her Pacific bed in a different fabrication, with linen Parachute sheets. “I don’t like everything to look the same but I like it to speak the same language,” she says.
That goes for activations, too. At Jenni Kanye Ranch, thoughtful community events such as a Women’s Wellness Weekend in early May and a Details Matter IRL panel of designers are open to the public, with a portion of proceeds benefiting a philanthropic organization. “The energy of the ranch is so special because nature is so present,” says Kayne, who’s excited for others to experience the magical, open vistas. “There’s something about the feel—the weather, the wind, the sun. We’re really embracing that California ranch vibe.”
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