Construction is a significant contributor to waste and climbing carbon levels. So when this 1960s house faced redesign options, Oakland, California-based Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design decided to salvage the old house by updating it from the outside in.
Located in Mill Valley, California, the midcentury home was transformed through the use of copious windows and neutral colors as primary interior design elements. The project, dubbed Ranch Dressing, is the result of a collaboration between Buttrick, Cuttle Construction, FTF Engineering, Les Baulines (Landscape), Gary Hutton Design (Interiors) and NRG (Energy Compliance).
For a striking update to the exterior, the team chose wood siding and installed it in a pillowed design to add texture. Strategically placed windows serve multiple purposes: helping with temperature control and providing natural lighting throughout. They also invite the outside in by visually connecting the spaces. High-performance aluminum windows by Blomberg were chosen to facilitate these goals.
The interior is cloaked in white, both to naturally brighten the space and to provide a backdrop for the clients’ expansive art collection. Throughout the home, the design team aimed to work with the existing architecture as much as possible for minimal site impact and reduction of required materials.
A Brise-soleil technique above the main living area acts to reduce heat gain by breaking up the sunlight as it hits the space. Mature and new landscaping in the surrounding yard offer natural shading as well as air filtration. A large stone patio is a space for the residents to further enjoy the natural elements. The entryway draws the eyes ahead with stone both outside and inside the threshold, which consists of a large door that moves out of the way to open up the home.
Throughout the Ranch Dressing house, the owners selected natural materials and durable options such as travertine countertops, white oak flooring and wood cabinetry. The primary bath features stone flooring, plants mounted to a cedar wall and a massive stainless steel soaking tub specially designed by the clients.
Photography by Joe Fletcher Photography via Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design