Five years in the making, this 1940’s West Marin ranch house has been completely overhauled with a “slow foods” approach. 

Just after work began on the design of this project, the owners became very involved in Slow Foods International.  This project reflects that careful approach to food—celebrating the unique and local talent this region has to offer and providing the time to allow these talented people to express their skills.  
The impetus for the remodel was to improve the energy performance, modernize the floor plan and increase the connection with the site.  With precise strategic moves the home was completely transformed while only adding 140 square feet.  The manner in which this was achieved was notable for its attention to detail and inclusion of a remarkable array of local craftspeople. 

Some of the exemplary craftsmanship includes: hand-built stone fireplaces, patios and pathways, custom wood columns and carefully crafted woodwork at the entry and in the bay windows, an organically curving stair, playful book shelves that line the stairs, hand-plastered clay walls throughout, and mosaics inlayed at the entrances.  The attention to detail in the interior is matched only by the landscape designer’s work, both on the living roofs and in the gardens. The landscape is constantly complementing and enhancing the architecture it surrounds throughout the seasons. 

This project was accomplished with a careful eye to “green” design. All of the windows were changed out for double pane.  Insulation was added everywhere. A living roof and photovoltaic panels were added.  The owners upgraded to new energy efficient appliances and heaters. A high-efficiency fireplace was inserted in the old firebox.  The remodel includes only minimal additional square footage.  Most of the new wood was salvaged or FSC certified.  Much of the exterior siding is simply the old siding reversed and refinished. The walls are American clay plaster and much of the woodwork is finished with natural linseed oil based finish.  The floors are salvaged wood, stone or cork.  The cabinets are all bamboo.

Construction by Rich Anstey

Photographs by Emily Hagopian and Leger Wanaselja Architecture