Originally built in 1952, this split-level ranch style home was purchased in 2012 by its current owners. The home sits on a half-acre lot perched high above the street level, with expansive views of the surrounding urban forest. When the home was acquired, it had been severely neglected and was in dire need of improvement. The new owners, who own a designer-led design build group, saw a unique opportunity to transform the property with more attention to context and a mid-century modern aesthetic.

The existing structure and roof was completely removed with the exception of the garage/basement, but the design made full use of the existing foundation. A master suite was added and the formal living area extended to float above a calming reflective pool.

Careful consideration was taken to the surrounding landscape and mature canopy to create a home that, although exposed to the street, has a unique sense of privacy and intimacy. The approach engages your senses slowly. As you near the front entry, you begin to hear the sound of water trickling from the reflective pool. The glass “jewel box” is a focal point intended to frame the outside view and showcase the most public space of the home. Once inside the large cedar door, the view opens up to the main circulation. An open floor plan with wall-to-wall windows overlooks the expansive private garden, and light filters in from the windows and clerestory—from sunup to sundown.

Special attention was paid to the selection of materials. The owners looked to Eastern philosophy, specifically the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection, to guide selection and placement. The result is a journey of natural elements juxtaposed just so, in order to highlight the perfection of imperfection. The process was more than another collaborative project for the owners. This home holds a special place in their hearts, as it is an expression of their own personal journeys of growth and transformation.