The architects from Aidlin Darling Design introduce the setting for this California project as a 1960s suburban neighborhood, in which they've constructed a modest – yet stunningly modern – family home. This modest structure operates as a dynamic middle ground between the immediate domestic landscape of houses and sidewalks, and the surrounding wild landscape of the Bay Area foothills. As you tour this home, you'll notice that the apparent geometrical, abstract, and mathematical design of the home is balanced with natural and wild elements, revealing how the environment has come into careful consideration in both the exterior and interior design of the home.
The home immediately commands attention, however unimposing and modest it may be. The flat roof is an especially noteworthy design as it extends energetically beyond the boundaries of the structure, providing a generous awning for the balcony, patio, and front yard below. The L-shaped layout of the home is designed to cradle the existing majestic ash tree and create a protected rear garden for play and repose, conforming to the character and shape of the natural landscape.
This garden path capitalizes on a sharp contrast between crisp, rectangular shapes and the scratchy shrubs that grow in the garden, with wide separations between the stepping stones allowing nature to intervene where it sees fit.
One dominant characteristic of this home's style is the abundance of grids, intersecting planes, and parallel lines. This design uses the repetition of lines to give energy and movement to the surfaces of the home, providing a vision full of complex layers, like the view through these grid-like window panes.
An important element of the home is its connection to the outdoors, manifested in this beautiful wooden patio and the large second-floor balcony above. With the roof offering shelter from far above, and the fold of the home offering wind protection, this patio enjoys the freedom of an open design devoid of railings, with only a singular thin column acting as a support.
The upper floor houses the main common rooms, while the lower floor houses the more private rooms. Here, a bedroom enjoys a strong sense of connection to the backyard through a complex design of window frames and vertical blinds, which allow the inhabitants to bask in this beautifully golden morning light.
The creation of interlocking planes and intersecting lines creates a complex display of light and shadow in this home, as evidenced in this bedroom. As the day goes on, the interior of the house seems to shift and morph according to the angle of the sun, casting ever-changing shadows on the walls.
Another linear design, this streamlined bathroom is a simple, narrow space with a strong sense of movement. The counter, tub, and mirror, and panelling on the wall all point towards the window, placing an extra emphasis on its importance in the overall design.
The upper floor houses the common areas such as the kitchen, dining room, and living room. This interior space is clearly driven by the warmth of wood, complimented by sharp accents in white and silver. A combination of bamboo, cherry wood, and cedar have been integrated into the design, with a focus on how their natural properties will affect their use in the space. Once again, the linear layout of the room points towards the windows, directing your gaze to the lovely ash canopy.
This living room looks like a tree house resting in the canopies, with floor to ceiling windows providing crystal clear views, and a generous balcony offering easy access to fresh air! All around, neutral tones dominate the space in a modest statement that lets the landscape take center stage.
Looking for more nature-inspired homes? Try this ideabook tour of a home inspired by the majestic beauty of the Pyrenees mountains!