We've known Tim and Flin for a very long time. Tim is the President of Centric Construction, and he has built many of the Napa Valley houses we have designed. This is the second residence we designed for them, and it is a remodel of a really simple ranch house in Angwin. Honestly, the original structure was incredibly plain – low eight-foot ceilings, one level, and almost no connection to the outdoors.
So we tried to change all of that. We gutted it, went to cathedral ceilings, a completely glazed-end façade, and we dropped the floor level in the living area. We put in a Finnish soapstone stove in the center for heat; steel trusses and windows to add some visual detail; and a trellis on the front to add depth and texture to what was otherwise a very plain façade. It may be our best transformation to date – taking what was a dark box and transforming it into an open, light-filled space that connects to the landscape outside. We owe a big debt to Flin’s green thumb, but it really is a triumph of a clever use of a limited budget, and it is absolutely one of the most comfortable houses we have ever designed.