Oliva Villaluz: premier Hollywood designer with a vision of modern, Zen-infused, casual elegance


We recently attended the opening of Brick Barn Wine Estate in Buellton, California, a lovely 50 acre winery in the midst of a former 1,100 acre former horse and cattle ranch. Its vineyards possess changing textures and diverse soils in a sustainable farmed estate. This combined with the unique micro-climate of its location, just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, allows the winery to create elegant, aromatic wines from nine distinct varietals. We tasted their Albarino, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Vermentino, and Viognier–wines with depth, character, and above all, texture. We came away happy and delighted to recommend these wines.

But what struck us as much as the quality of the wines was the striking manner in which the winery was designed and decorated. Digging a bit deeper, we found out that the talented and charismatic Oliva Villaluz was the genius behind it all. We knew all about Oliva’s uniquely global aesthetic design credentials from her exciting work at the Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas in West Hollywood, The Bear & Star Restaurant in Los Olivos, the Crescent Hotel in Beverly Hills, and the Fess Parker Wine Tasting Experience in Santa Barbara.

Born in Manila and educated in the U.S., Ms. Villaluz is a formidable talent in the worlds of hospitality, commercial, residential design. Her trademarks are vibrant colors and rich textures, the most luxurious leathers, deepest and plushest furniture, softest silks, lushest velvet and silk mohair fabrics, shimmering glass tiles, dark wenge wood and zebrawood. And she is known to go as far as Shanghai and Beijing in China to source out textiles, metals and furnishings. Lighting fixture shades are often made of silk and silk rugs frequently cover the floors of her rooms. She is bold and fearless as a designer, not afraid to take risks.

What we encountered at Brick Barn Wine Estate was both exciting and nurturing, a tough design balance to achieve. Villaluz’s rooms explode with warm, rich colors, soften with clever lighting, elevate with finely-crafted custom furniture, welcome with good art and thoughtful details. She invites the outside in, her rooms are filled with light. Brick Bar is alive with twinkling chandeliers, a massive bar, colorful tiles, long refectory tables, soft upholstered chairs, dazzling pillows and a cozy patio with fire pits overlooking the vineyards. We cannot imagine a better atmosphere in which to enjoy excellent wines.

Oliva Villaluz is one of Hollywood’s premier designer with a singular vision of modern, Zen-infused, casual elegance. Contact Oliva Villaluz Design, (310) 261-9588, oliva.design@gmail.com

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