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Inspired by the great wine estates of France, Jordan Vineyard & Winery founders Tom and Sally Jordan created an elegant winery château in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley in the ’70s. Nearly 50 years later, interior designer Maria Haidamus was tasked with leading an extensive remodel of the winery’s guest accommodations—the property’s first renovation since its opening. Maria approached the project with the intention of preserving the old-world sensibilities of the guest suites while updating furnishings and finishes to make the space feel polished yet inviting. With such a substantial project at hand, Maria turned to Chairish to source some elegant and timeless antiques, including nightstands, an octagonal walnut table, a wine press, and more.

We spoke with Maria about the renovation project, the enduring allure of antiques, and her own personal vintage favorites. Read on to learn more about her and some of the inspirations behind the winery’s remodel.

First and foremost, how did you get involved with the Jordan Vineyard & Winery project? Had you ever done a project like this before? 

I’ve worked with the owners of Hotel Healdsburg on numerous projects, including the design and construction of the hotel’s luxurious spa in Healdsburg, and they recommended me to Jordan’s director of marketing and communications, Lisa Mattson. I had never done a hospitality project like this before, but was very excited to take on the challenge.

What was the overall design directive for the project? What kinds of feelings did you want to imbue in guests?

My goal was to embrace the French château heritage of the property and update it by layering in refined furnishings and finishes to make the suites more sophisticated and sumptuous—like a luxury resort. The suites needed to feel warm, inviting, and comfortable. 

Design by Maria Haidamus / Photo by R. Brad Knipstein

Since the winery hadn’t been renovated in almost 50 years (since it was founded), how did you go about your designs for the guest rooms? How did you incorporate old with new?

When I first walked into the suites, I was impressed by the architecture—the space had great bones. I knew right away what we had to keep and what needed to be updated and I knew that the existing color palette of peach and yellow had to go. I introduced a neutral palette inspired by Jordan Estate’s 1,000-acre nature preserve—woodlands filled with oak trees draped in lichen, rocks wrapped in velvety-green moss, and wild mushrooms waiting to be foraged. 

Sally Jordan acquired some amazing Louis XV French antiques in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I loved her choices and knew I had to incorporate them into the design. We had many of the pieces restored and repurposed. We converted the 19th century Louis XV armoires into entertainment centers with record players and French classic vinyl records, and we transformed a Louis XVI armoire Lisa found into a wet bar stocked with housemade snacks and Jordan Estate foraged tea.

Mixing old and new is one of my strengths, and for me it is more alchemy than science. You just know it works when you see it all come together.

Design by Maria Haidamus / Photo by R. Brad Knipstein

You sourced several items from Chairish for the project, including a painting and side tables. Did you already know what you were looking for when you were searching on Chairish, or did you find the pieces while browsing?

Most of the time, I knew exactly what I needed when I started searching on Chairish. I love how easy the platform is to use. It’s super convenient and such a time-saver to source antiques right from my desk. I especially like that I can narrow my search by size, style, and price point. Sometimes I just go on the site for inspiration. I never know what I’ll find—that’s super fun too!

Design by Maria Haidamus / Photo by R. Brad Knipstein

What are some of your go-to searches on Chairish? Are there any pieces you’re eyeing on the site right now?

I normally gravitate towards classic pieces by Vladimir Kagan, Pierre Jeanneret, De Sede and Mario Bellini. I’m currently eyeing a 1950s A. P. Stolen Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair—I just need to find the perfect place for it.

Thinking about your own interest in vintage pieces, what do you love about using them? How does sustainability factor into those design choices?

I’ve always had a preference for antiques. There is something magical about breathing new life into old pieces—the history that they hold is pretty special. And, I do find that my clients are becoming more conscientious about sustainability these days and leaning more towards buying vintage. I personally take sustainability into account when selecting pieces.

Design by Maria Haidamus / Photo by R. Brad Knipstein

You’ve designed a lot of different types of spaces, from hospitality projects to residential homes to even a 65-foot yacht in San Francisco. Do you have a favorite project, or type of project? 

It is hard to say what my favorite project is because I love them all for different reasons. My favorite project is usually the one I am currently working on. I feel like I learn so much from each project. I’m constantly growing, expanding my knowledge base and creativity. I get very excited when I start a new project—it opens up so many possibilities.  

What would be a dream project for you in the future?

Aaaah, maybe a private jet?

Design by Maria Haidamus / Photo by R. Brad Knipstein

Were there any surprises along the way while you worked on this project? What was your biggest takeaway?

Yes, there are always surprises. During the eight-month renovation,  I worked closely with Tim and Matt Spence of Jordan Winery, who served as general contractors. Since the property is almost 50 years old, we did encounter some challenges, but together we were able to come up with creative solutions and together, we made it work.  

September 14, 2021

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