Residents Loretta Gargan and Catherine Wagner were drawn to the rustic 1930's cottage on a steep lot in Ross, California, but knew they'd need to bring in some professional help to renovate and expand the building. Enter Jonathan Feldman of Feldman Architecture, who frequently hired Gargan, a landscape architect, to design gardens for his residential projects. To bring the structure up to date, Feldman tore down walls, changed the floor plan, and added a kitchen to the historic building—then built a modern addition containing a master bedroom, bath, and a living room. Here's a view of the original building, which Wagner and Gargan affectionately call "the Shack."
Gargan handled the landscape design for the site, packing a bevy of distinctive hangout spots into the compact lot, including a lap pool, dining terrace, and sunny patio.
Feldman describes his approach to the modern addition as: "open air pavilion below, treehouse above." To that end, an open-plan living room has floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open onto the landscape. A custom steel staircase leads to the master bedroom upstairs.
Upstairs, carefully placed and strategically sandblasted windows reveal wooded mountain views while screening the surrounding houses. A TV raises from the top of custom dresser with the push of a remote control button.
A new kitchen in the old part of the building contrasts sleek dark wood millwork with the original vaulted ceilings, which Gargan and Wagner scrubbed and sanded themselves to reveal the old-growth redwood.
For a closer look at the landscape, designed by Loretta Gargan, see our story from the September 2013 issue.