Interior Design: Mansfield + O’Neil
Lighting: Scott Dumas
Photography: Paul Dyer
California Home + Design
Reorganizing a dysfunctional layout.
This extensive remodel took a dysfunctional ranch-style house and reorganized it, creating an open plan to suit the needs of this active family of six (four boys!) and a large dog. The most substantial architectural move was relocating the main entry to the ground floor next to the garage, providing clarity to a previously confusing pathway that either forced guests to enter through the garage, or to a non-intuitive garden staircase leading to a hidden oblique front yard. The new glass entry hall graciously welcomes guests with an open-air pergola and connects to an existing mudroom, allowing the kids to drop sports equipment and backpacks from the adjacent two-car garage.
Walls separating the formal living room and dining area from the kitchen and family room were removed to create a cohesive living space. A small skylit addition creates space for a large kitchen that opens to the enlarged family room. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the house with light and give unimpeded views of Mount Tamalpais. Two separate studies were created; with the husband working just off the living room while the wife has a convenient small nook off the kitchen which doubles as a workstation for the kids. The formal dining was re-centered on the “knuckle” of the house, justifying the bend in this otherwise rectilinear house; telescoping sliding doors and a raised ceiling emphasizes the spectacular axial view from this room. The newly expanded deck beyond allows outdoor dining, while the former front yard has become the active play area for the kids.
The master suite was completely reorganized, with a large wet-room shower that has spectacular views. The remaining spaces (kids bedrooms and recreation room) were thoughtfully reorganized with the intent, due to budgetary reasons, on saving walls where possible. The exterior architectural styling matches the original ranch style in keeping with the client’s desire to keep a quiet exterior (in deference to the budget), which fits the classic Marin County vibe.