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Casa Mariposa

Project History and Client Goals

My client loved her Craftsman Style home, nestled in a wooded hillside site in San Anselmo, California, but she wanted to update and expand it to suit her lifestyle. The house was built in 1917 as a Craftsman Style home with Tudor influences, including gracious, formal living areas and meticulous detailing.

Maintaining the home's original charm and character was of utmost importance to my client. She knew she had a rare house of special beauty and wanted it to feel welcoming and comfortable to her guests after it was remodeled; any changes to it should feel as though they had always been part of the house.

Early in the project, she decided that the work should be done in two phases. The addition of the master suite and yoga room was the final phase. Also, she specifically asked me to introduce Asian-Indian influences into the design of the master suite.

Design Focus

I wanted to maintain the authenticity of the home’s architectural style, but I knew that I needed to complement and not overwhelm the existing house with the added spaces and details. At the forefront of every decision we made on this project was the preservation and reuse of existing materials and their reproduction, availability and cost.

Accomplishments

Phase 1

I expanded the original, design style while extensively renovating the existing areas, and I added a new wing with a large kitchen, family room and library on the upper level, and children-guest room areas on the lower level. I carefully blended details borrowed from the original design with the new floor plan, to bring the house up-to-date functionally while preserving the existing architectural style. The result is a house in which it is impossible to distinguish the old from the new.

The kitchen in the new addition is a blend of new and old coming together. Its layout and spaciousness are entirely contemporary, as are all of the appliances and conveniences. While the old world charm is preserved in the detailing on the cabinetry, the tile work, faucets and cabinet pulls.

The new family room is a more relaxed and intimate alternative to the original living room. Following the lines of the original living room's vaulted ceiling, I painted the woodwork white, which creates a fresh, intimate feeling. A doorway with an oversized transom opens out to the swimming pool deck and provides a casual view of the pool's waterfall.

Stepping into the two-story library is like stepping into the past. I designed the redwood cabinetry detailing to follow the lines of the living and dining room paneling. The clerestory windows allow for soft light throughout the day, while indirect lighting above the bookshelves lights the room in conjunction with an authentic mission-style ceiling lamp at night. A library ladder runs along the bookcases, and a custom desk and cabinetry provide ample and discreet spaces for all of my client's modern office equipment.

Phase 2

I expanded the existing master bedroom wing into a master suite and yoga room with a style that is unmistakably Craftsman with Tudor influence. The details continue to parallel the style of the original house, while introducing an interpretation of Asian-motif influence, primarily of Indian and Japanese origin. Both are represented in the beautiful Tansu-like cabinetry under the stairway as well as in the interlaced wood screens at the doorways to the dressing area and closets.

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