This stunning modern home overlooking the San Francisco Bay is actually more than meets the eye: It was designed to be a supremely energy-efficient as well as beautiful residence. Located on the Tiburon Peninsula in California, the house is situated on a bluff that is protected from the road and neighboring homes by the natural hillside. Inside the house, a natural palette of colors and materials link the structure to its natural surroundings.
Overlooking the bay and with sweeping views from most parts of its spacious interior, the home is the ideal place for relaxing as well as entertaining. In fact, that was the desire of the homeowners, who also wanted the house to have a close connection with the natural California landscape. Walker Warner Architects created for them this magnificent home, with its flowing floor plan, which walks a fine line of balance between the public spaces and private areas for family members. Moreover, it is an accessible home, designed for multiple-generation living.
On the exterior, the facade is clad in western red cedar that is used as vertical planks, accented by horizontal panels of zinc siding. The passive design uses elements such as large roof overhangs, high-performance glazing on the windows and automated window shades to control the light and heat entering the house. It’s also designed to take advantage of the natural ventilation that comes from being situated beside the bay. Because the site is steeply sloped, architects kept the home’s profile low-slung and terraced it into the hillside, connecting it to the land even more concretely.
The architects were inspired by the owner’s love of art and nature, which led them to create unexpected spaces that have an element of surprise. Bold architecture is paired with a natural palette of materials that ranges from the exterior cedar to the Aegean limestone and board-formed concrete on the interior. Combined with all the energy-efficient features, the residence blends the indoors with the outdoors in a harmonious and distinctive way.
Modern lines throughout the house are warmed and softened with plenty of wood features, such as the rift sawn white oak panels on the walls. The flooring in the house is engineered European oak. Accents in the home come from the owners’ art collection and from elements such as this dramatic pendant light fixture by Lindsey Adelman Studio.
In the den, stormy shades of blue and gray dominate. The wall below is crafted from Aegean limestone while above, a dramatic gray concrete wall is the dominant feature over the modernist fireplace. Decor accents throughout strike the right note of shine in contrast with the darker hues of the room, which was designed by Nicole Hollis Interiors.
The main public living space flows from one area to another, all unified by the windows and light, airy feeling. This living room is situated in the corner, with a marvelous view to the bay. Sticking to a neutral palette, the room allows the landscape to be the focus of the space and even the pending light has an artful yet unobtrusive design.
The large eat-in kitchen can easily handle the family and plenty of guests at the long, wooden table. Both chairs and banquettes make the space feel casual and comfortable. Whoever is doing the cooking is also included in the conversation because the space is all one open area. Below you can see the waterfall edge island that is composed of Aged Petite Granit. Bar stools from BDDW line the island and in the kitchen, appliances by Gaggenau and Thermador make it a cook’s dream. Unique wall cabinets with a vertical design pair well with the lantern-like fixtures of different sizes that are suspended over the table.
The dining room occupies the other corner facing the bay and the scenery outside makes an unparalleled backdrop for the modern table and chairs. The chandelier, also by Lindsey Adelman Studio, is light with clear glass globes that don’t detract from the view. Alongside the dining room, a massive two-ton cast bronze screen creates a structural anchor to the entryway and is a visual divider between the spaces that does not block the daylight. The interior designer commissioned the piece from artist Michele Oka Doner.
A serene master bedroom suite is on the upper level of the home, as is the second bedroom. The main level of the house includes an accessible in-law suite, while a segregated guest wing has two additional bedrooms. With a walnut bed by Holly Hunt as the centerpiece, the master bedroom has a clean and uncluttered design, with comfortable lounge chairs for relaxing or reading. The moving work of art on the wall is by artist Kibong Rhee.
The master bathroom also has clean lines and a modern feel, with just enough warmth from the custom teak cabinetry to make it welcoming. Unique wall sconces flank each mirror above the double vanity, which is composed of Aged Petit Granit. Wooden blinds on the window by the shower provide privacy but also can be opened to flood the space with natural light.
More colorful than any other space in the house, the teenage son’s bedroom features bright blue and green accents. An elevated bed incorporates a mini basketball hoop and is next to a climbing wall. There’s also a desk and, most importantly, plenty of floor space for play and relaxation.
Perhaps one of the most stylish laundry rooms ever, this one is light-filled and super functional. Double washers and dryers are stacked against the wall and have tall cabinets on each side as well as cabinets across the top for storing essentials. A separate sink and ample countertop for folding clothes round out the very pleasant space.
Perhaps the best feature of all is the expansive glass doors, which completely open to eliminate the boundary between interior and exterior spaces. Made for entertaining or just enjoying the weather, this living room has simple yet refined furnishings that are, above all, comfortable. The doors, sourced from Fleetwood Windows & Doors, allow people to circulate between the great room and the patio.
The outdoor terrace features a seating area with a gas firepit as well as a covered and partially glass-enclosed dining area. Teak furnishings are from James Perse and are made for comfort and relaxation. Underneath the furniture, honed basaltina pavers create a smooth and earthy surface. Throughout the property, SCDA and Strata Landscape Architecture installed a design comprised of drought-resistant plantings that are appropriate for the climate. A sensor-controlled drip irrigation system keeps the plantings healthy with a minimal amount of water.