This article is part of our newest Style and design unique segment, about spaces inspired by nature.
When Ben and Rebekah Shaffer commenced seeking for a second dwelling that would come to feel like a world away from their every day reality in Silicon Valley, they weren’t positive about which way to just take.
At to start with, “we had been thinking we could come across a little something in the forest somewhere,” reported Mr. Shaffer, 44, an industrial designer at Apple. Then they began musing about a position around Lake Tahoe, which is roughly four hrs northeast of their principal residence, a home in San Jose, Calif., that was built by Joseph Eichler.
But with a few young children — Brooklyn, now 15 Liam, 12 and Naomi, 11 — who would have to sit through the prolonged motor vehicle journey, that did not appear possible.
The few recalibrated their search and seemed for a dwelling on the coastline that was within just an hour of their most important house. At very first, the intention seemed like a pipe dream. But then, Mr. Shaffer claimed, “we uncovered this wonderful community called Pajaro Dunes,” a resort in Watsonville, Calif., about an hour south, exactly where dozens of independently owned, quirky midcentury fashionable residences are pressed up against the ocean.
Right after touring a couple of residences, they identified what they required: a 1,500-sq.-foot household with an angular roof, hunkered down in the grassy dunes, just a skipping stone’s throw away from the surf. “It appeared actually entertaining: just this odd wooden pyramid,” Mr. Shaffer reported.
The Shaffers acquired it in September 2017 for $1.55 million and began scheduling an in depth renovation. The dwelling, which was designed in 1968 by George Cody, an architect, had received an award from the regional chapter of the American Institute of Architects when it was developed. But additional than 50 a long time later on, the inside was outdated, and worse, stepping inside just about felt like moving into a tree trunk.
With partitions lined in cedar shingles and additional wood paneling covering the ceilings, “it was so dark,” stated Ms. Shaffer, 45, an interior designer.
Regardless of the house’s probable for open sightlines to the water, the roof on the side struggling with the ocean also terminated about five feet off the sand, obscuring a lot of the view.
Looking for help, the couple talked to Daniel Gomez, a husband or wife at Fuse Architects in the vicinity of Santa Cruz. “Inside, you had to duck down or sit seriously lower just to see this small peek of ocean,” Mr. Gomez said. “In chatting with Ben and Rebekah, the concern was, How do we have interaction that view improved with out completely altering the scale of the job and how it suits within the natural environment?”
About the adhering to months, they prepared an overhaul with the construction corporation Hagen Colbert that retained the primary footprint of the house but designed essential architectural changes to open it up.
Most considerably, the group modified the roofline where by the home faces the ocean to allow for taller photo windows. Now the glass box containing the eating space appears to protrude into the sand and pops up better than the major roof, capturing unfettered views of h2o and sky. The renovation also included far more windows, underneath shorter eaves, to the dwelling area and principal bed room, so these spaces virtually seem to be to spill out into the dunes.
The workforce replaced the weathered cedar shingles on the exterior of the dwelling with a black standing-seam metal roof and black-stained vertical cedar siding. “We almost manufactured it Darth Vader’s Pizza Hut,” Mr. Shaffer said, noting with a laugh that he required the dwelling to glimpse a little something like a bunker.
When people solution the property, having said that, a cutaway reveals an entrance lined in warmer, natural cedar. And when they stage inside of, they enter a dazzling, white house flooded with gentle from the enlarged home windows and a skylight positioned exactly where the ceiling soars to its pyramidal peak earlier mentioned the kitchen area.
“It’s that entire journey of experience,” Mr. Shaffer claimed. Designing the dwelling was “very very similar to my operate at Apple,” he added, “and considering about how persons strategy and interact with merchandise.”
Much like a smartphone, the household crams a good deal into a tiny package. “We adjusted walls listed here and there to be really intelligent and efficient about the area we had to work with,” Mr. Shaffer said. “We experienced to consider about what we essential for our family of 5, as effectively as the capacity to have other family members remain with us.”
That eyesight resulted in three compact bedrooms and two bogs, including just one that doubles as a laundry room. Wasted space in the kitchen area was rehabilitated by building a hidden storage cabinet inside the island and a nook for shoes.
On best of white-oak flooring, the few put spartan preparations of home furnishings, which include parts by the designers Kieran Kinsella and Stephen Kenn, who are their buddies, and a handful of objects Mr. Shaffer designed and experienced made (aspect tables for the major bed room and a residing home coffee table).
Considering that the home was completed last summer season, it has flaunted its capability to welcome a group. “A couple weeks ago, I experienced the style and design staff from Apple out there for an offsite,” when about 20 persons descended on the residence, Mr. Shaffer said.
And, as the Shaffers have confirmed, when your house is correct on the beach, inside proportions are less critical than what is outside.
“We needed the organic environment to be the target,” Ms. Shaffer reported. “With the sand dunes, the grasses and the ocean beyond, it is just mesmerizing.”