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Modern Beauty: A Jewel Box in the Sky Makes the Perfect Perch

April Gargiulo and her daughter lounge in their Catherine Kwong-designed living room, which features a custom tufted ottoman, a Room & Board sectional, and a pair of paintings from Eric Cahan’s “Sky Series.”

Photography by Joe Fletcher.

Two years ago, with a winery to manage and a baby on the way, April Gargiulo didn’t have time to walk a designer through the reimagining of her high-rise apartment in SoMa.

In interiors darling Catherine Kwong, Gargiulo found someone who was able to intuit her needs. “It was as if she had stolen my file of tear sheets of vintage case goods and postmodern lamps,” Gargiulo says. Co-owner of Gargiulo Vineyards in Napa, she craved a refined urban feel in her city home: “I wanted a space where I could envision Yves Saint Laurent and Yoko Ono having a conversation.” One enlightening phone call and a quick visit to the space, and Kwong was off and running, vision boards inspired by Parisian salons and swanky ’70s lounges in tow.

A walnut sideboard, circa 1940s and purchased at Flair in New York City, is used to display a collection of apothecary bottles

It took the designer less than six months to source the vintage furniture and bold artwork (at such San Francisco favorites as the Almond Hartzog Gallery, Coup d’Etat, and Dolby Chadwick Gallery) that would turn the Gargiulo family condo into a stylish retreat 34 stories in the sky, allowing the winemaker time to prepare for the birth of her first child.

The bedroom’s rug originally belonged to Gargiulo’s grandmother, and the custom bed was a wedding gift from St. Helena-based designer Erin Martin

And that’s when the idea for a beauty line emerged. “I wanted to make sure that everything I was putting into and onto my body was natural,” Gargiulo says. “But many of the beauty products labeled ‘natural’ contain chemicals that I wouldn’t use on the grapes at my family’s vineyard, so I didn’t want to use them on my face.” After extensive research, Gargiulo and her team have launched Vintner’s Daughter—a name inspired by her now 20-month-old daughter, Kate—with a daily serum that is 100 percent natural and available exclusively online.

The brass and lacquered parchment media cabinet from LA’s Scala Luxury is reminiscent of work by French modernist Jean Prouvé.

With Vintner’s Daughter launching this October, Gargiulo’s plate is still full, but thanks to the mind-melding powers of Kwong, she now has the perfect Gio Ponti dining table to place it on. Although celebrities have yet to come for dinner, this is clearly a space that will inspire thoughtful discussion. 

The dining area includes a Gio Ponti table, cantilevered chairs found at a vintage shop in Laguna Beach, and a Pavel Tynell brass chandelier from SF’s Almond Hartzog

This article was published in 7x7's October issue. Click here to subscribe.