Taking its name from the Latin word for “heavenly” or “of the sky,” the one-of-a-kind estate known as Celestia Sonoma—a 5,749-square-foot residence and its distinctive observatory cum guesthouse—occupies some 37 secluded acres in the rarefied hills outside Sonoma.
Award-winning Darryl Roberson, founder of the internationally acclaimed Studios Architecture, designed this home as his personal residence. Roberson remained at the forefront of commercial architecture for most of his career, helping to establish interiors as a vital form of architecture. He led the movement to create more flexible professional environments, creating innovative interiors for Fortune 500 companies, technology firms, and institutions of higher learning. The interiors of his own home reflect his vision, his exceptional attention to detail, and his goal of creating spaces both functional and fashionable.
Throughout the property, organic materials help the crisp contemporary lines and spaces feel grounded. Rooms flow seamlessly, from a living area with warm wood paneling, a sleek fireplace, rock accent walls, and intricate steel and wood ceiling beams that emphasize the play of light and shadow to a serene minimalist dining room with a series of glass doors and a view of green and golden hills. Window walls blur the lines between indoors and out, creating a virtual harmony between the two—a rapport that often becomes actual, as when the entertaining spaces give way effortlessly to a dining and lounging deck with a fire pit. Wood elements and a sweeping vista dominate in the kitchen, which is outfitted with stainless-steel appliances and a glass-topped oval island. The owner’s bedroom includes its own balcony and is wrapped in glass walls revealing a postcard-worthy pastoral outlook. In the airy lower-level library, three floor-to-ceiling windows provide generous light and views. The residence easily accommodates both serene private moments and festive celebrations with its yoga studio and a wine room.
Outdoors, a series of terraced spaces linked by lighted steps offers a refreshing swimming pool, a grassy lawn, a sunny patio, and a spa. When not diverted by celestial objects or local scenery, visitors will appreciate the quintessentially contemporary guesthouse, which features a glass-walled living area, a fireplace, and built-ins for books and media; a kitchen with counter seating; and a bedroom with a bank of built-ins, tall windows with an idyllic view, and a bath with large glass-walled skylit shower.
Further afield, a stream cascades over rocks through groves of trees that create a soothing curtain of green. A panorama unfolds all the way across the valley, although here, one’s attention is more often intentionally directed upward, toward the sparkling night sky. The allures of San Francisco and the numerous urbane attractions of the Bay Area can be enjoyed within an hour’s drive, yet resolutely and perennially, Celestia Sonoma—in keeping with its name—feels worlds away.