Country Sophisticate


Alice B. and Rick W. Jack were no strangers to home design and construction when they began building their home in Loomis. Not by a long shot. They had painstakingly remodeled and updated, “room by room by room,” their former home in Hillsborough: a circa 1926 English country-style manor. “We lived there for 29 years,” Rick says, “and probably 25 of those years we spent in construction.” So when it came to starting from scratch, Alice and Rick could easily be counted among the most prepared people on Earth. Which helps explain how they came to hundreds of right decisions about wood, stone, stucco, glass, tile, metalwork, furnishings—all of which harmonize in a warm, comfortable contemporary home based on the look and feel of a traditional tile-roofed Italian farmhouse. The Jacks credit builder Don Murphy (Kinetic Partners) and lead designer Pete Lugo (PL: Residential Design) with listening to their ideas and creating an indoor/outdoor environment that embraces the bucolic vineyard locale of Sierra de Montserrat, which includes 30 acres planted with grapes. “No matter where I was, what room I was in, I wanted to feel like I was outside,” Alice says. The Jacks moved to Loomis to be close to their grown children and grandchildren, so another priority was that the materials and spaces be beautiful, easy care and navigable for children, older adults and everyone in between. The halls and doorways are wide, the showers and entries curbless. The sliding doors glide on tiny guides, not channels. “This is really a multigenerational home,” Alice says. One that was built for today and for generations to come.

The house: “Rick could have been an architect, designer or contractor in another life,” Alice says. “He was very interested in building his own home.” The H-shaped layout has a great room connecting public and private wings. “In our other home, we had a parlor we rarely went into,” Rick says. “In this house, there’s no dead space. There’s no area that you just don’t go in.”

The land: “We looked in Sonoma and Napa but, of course, our children weren’t there,” Alice says. “We were exploring the area here, turned in to Montserrat and thought, ‘Oh! Look. We’re in Napa. We didn’t know there were vineyards in Placer County. This is beautiful.’” 

The process: “We described what we were looking for,” Alice says, “and I thought: ‘I’m going to hate this process of going back and forth and back and forth.’ But Pete came back with the design, and it had everything we asked for. Rick tweaked the sizes of the rooms and other things, but the design was really amazing.”

The grounds: Twin pools and fountains bookend the entry. Alice’s herb, flower and vegetable gardens, a mini orchard and a vineyard border the home. Since moving to Loomis in October, Alice has been learning how to garden and preserve, stocking her pantry with peach, pluot and strawberry jams, pesto and Asian plum sauce. 

Out back: An infinity-edge pool and casita, backed by 3 acres that will remain undeveloped.

out back pool

Specialty of the house: The wine room’s stone walls and stainless-steel cable storage system.

wine cellar

Glamour shot: Glassware and crystal displayed in adjacent LED-lighted cabinet. Wow.

Practicality: Kitchen counters are not marble but slab porcelain, which (after an incident with orange Gatorade) Alice calls “bulletproof.”

slab porcelain kitchen

What’s underfoot: Floors of stone and oiled wood. “I have a 75-pound dog,” Alice says. “I want things to look good not just the minute we move in, but for years after.”

fire place sticks

Functioning art: Mike Mack (Sterling Ironworks, Roseville) created stainless-steel “sticks” to disperse fireplace flames. Steven Tiller (Reclamation Art + Furniture, Sacramento) made the dining room table from the lumber of a harvested California black walnut tree. Eddie Stein fabricated the metal legs. 

Dreamboat: The master bathtub is marble through and through. A crane lowered it through the skylight onto the reinforced floor. While perhaps not chosen for practicality, “in retrospect, it was well worth it,” Rick says. “It makes that bathroom complete.”

marble bathroom