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A Bay Area Home Ideal for Lockdown

  • January 26, 2021

To transform the exterior, Butler Armsden replaced existing pale gray board-and-batten siding with rustic wood boards, and added a standing-seam metal roof. They eliminated a series of small windows, installing larger expanses of glass. And they did away with a towering, two-story canopy topped by a curved roof at the main entrance, replacing it with a simpler, suspended steel one.

While all of that was happening, Rousseau Landscape Architecture redesigned the grounds, a project that included replacing an amoeba-shaped pool with a larger rectangular one and an expanded pool deck.

Ms. Dornbusch found an interior designer when she visited the tasting room at Sinegal Estate Winery, a space that felt as comfortable and interesting as the home of a jet-setting friend. “It was just beautiful,” she said. “So I asked them who did it.” It was Katie Martinez, a designer based in San Francisco.

As Butler Armsden performed surgery on the interior — combining smaller rooms into larger ones, adding pocket doors nearly as large as sliding walls and converting three bays of the six-car garage into the gym and au pair suite — Ms. Martinez helped finalize the material palette. Now the house has weathered white-oak floors, concrete tiles, leather-wrapped handrails and blackened-steel door hardware, all intended to feel pleasing under feet and fingertips.

“The scale of the house is quite grand, so I was trying to find strong materials that are also tactile and warm, so it doesn’t feel cold and echoey,” Ms. Martinez said.

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