Sonoma County is famous for its rolling hills, breathtaking views and spectacular wineries. Little wonder that a family of Midwest and Eastern transplants was attracted to its farmhouse architecture. This attraction led to design inspiration when the family undertook an extensive renovation of their Mill Valley home. Their goal? To recreate the feeling of being on vacation year round.
They enlisted Richardson Architects to complete the transformation of a small ranch house into their forever home that fit their informal lifestyle. Principal Heidi Richardson describes the magnitude of the project:
“In this renovation we nearly doubled the existing square footage of the home and added a second story. The addition dwarfed the existing courtyard; a feature which emphasized the family’s desire to have a relationship with the outdoors. As a result, we had to enlarge the interior courtyard in order to retain the pleasing proportions and appropriate scale.
“In an effort to capture a more relaxed living style, we flipped the lower floor plan to have the ‘great room’ at the the rear and more formal and entry spaces in the front.”
The relaxed aesthetic of the home starts with its unique exterior, highlighted with two paint colors, traditional eaves and wood door accents, and is carried throughout its rustic yet surprisingly contemporary interior spaces.
“The main design centers the two-story home around a central courtyard that is easily accessed by swinging carriage doors.”
Wall Color: Kitty Gray by Benjamin Moore
In the entry, reclaimed white oak floors provide a balance for the moody gray wall color.
“Relying on quiet tones of grays and neutrals, set against a backdrop of light wood floors, we added scale and intimacy to this now 4,000 square foot residence.”
Just off the entry, the library is a cozy place to curl up with a good book.
“The great room maximizes natural light with its generous vaulted ceilings. The dining and living room pieces were in the family, so we selected other items that would complement the existing pieces.”
Backsplash Tile: Waterworks
“We collaborated with the clients to use as many natural materials as possible. A lot of the wood is recycled and the rustic wood floors work well with the gray tones.”
Door Paint: Yellow Hibiscus by Benjamin Moore
“A sunny yellow split horse door connects the laundry and mudroom. “
This bathroom reveals unexpected textures of weathered wood cabinets and mini chevron floor tiles.
We pride ourselves on our ability to clearly define design objectives based upon the clients’ individual tastes and style. We then rely upon our expertise in terms of design and technology to find the best solutions. Heidi Richardson
Tile: Ann Sacks
The arch over the master bathtub is an unexpected touch of drama that also provides for ample storage of bath toys and toiletries.
“The clients’ goal was to create a space that allows them to have an indoor/outdoor lifestyle and lots of entertaining and for the overall feel to be calm, comfortable and relaxed, yet refined.”
Taking on a renovation of this size is not something that every homeowner has the vision or patience for. Working with a skilled architect is a must and this lucky family’s partnership with Heidi and her team helped them create a home that suits their lifestyle and dream of relaxed vacation comfort year round.