Photography: Sharon Risedorph

Upper Happy Valley
Extensive remodel reflects owners’ heritage and passions.

Our clients, a banker and a dancer with two children, wanted a house to fit their casual lifestyle. The rancher they bought had a beautiful site surrounded by mature redwood, but it was banal and suburban. They wanted something more dynamic and spirited (like a dance performance) while also referencing the wife’s Japanese heritage. To reflect their specific needs, we reorganized the floor plan to encapsulate an expansive great room with kitchen, a separate family room, a master suite with a zen garden bathroom view, two kids’ bedrooms with a play loft, a guest bedroom with a traditional tatami room, and a well-stocked craft / laundry room. Large sliding doors open to an extensive outdoor deck system, leading to a newly refurbished swimming pool.

Additions to the house are distinguished by the Japanese-inspired shou sugi ban cladding, which include a new curvaceous entryway, a place for shoe removal, the children’s play tower, and a new, dynamically placed, angular dining room. Within the house, bright punches of color and slatted screen walls recall the former mid-century rancher, but also speak to the clients’ love of energetic spaces.