- Project Name
- Valley Club Historic Restoration
- DD Ford Construction
- Project Types
- Single Family
- Project Scope
- 5,950 sq. feet
- Year Completed
Landscape Architect: Rob Maday Landscape Architecture,Other: Brown Design Group
- Project Status
2017 Remodeling Design Awards
Historic Restoration: Project of the Year
Sitting on 3 acres of land, this 5,950-square-foot single-family home was originally destined to be transformed into a contemporary steel-and-concrete monolith. But, after investigating the home’s history, the team opted to preserve it. The now 60-year-old structure was designed by Lutah Maria Riggs, the first licensed female architect in Santa Barbara, Calif. Riggs designed homes and buildings in both Santa Barbara and Montecito, Calif., for much of the 20th century.
“There was a period of time where she followed more of a Japanese architectural vernacular, and this is one of the homes … that was influenced significantly by that design period of her career,” says Ryan Prahm, partner at DD Ford Construction.
Working with Brown Design Group, DD Ford brought this Riggs original into the 21st century. Multiple rooms had left the home unnaturally segmented, and it lacked a central thoroughfare. To get from one part of the house to another, someone would have to walk through other rooms –including bedrooms. To eliminate awkward traverses and to open up the living spaces, the team removed many interior walls. A central corridor now allows the homeowners to pass through the different spaces in their home without needing to walk through bedroom after bedroom.
The homeowners’ chief desire was to have space to entertain, Diego Monchamp, principal designer at Brown Design Group, says. The enlarged kitchen footprint incorporates two separate islands for food prep and entertaining guests. Custom cabinetry throughout gives the homeowners plenty of storage space. Windows across from the islands and large sliding pocket doors at the end of the kitchen let in lots of light.
The volume of windows made indoor/outdoor living key to meeting the homeowners’ desire and to staying “true to the original intent” of the home, says Monchamp. Trendy dark bronze window frames from Fleetwood provide spectacular landscape “snapshots” the homeowners can see from any window in the home. On the other hand, Monchamp says the amount of glass created a design challenge because all that glass made it difficult to maintain privacy in each room and be sure “you’ve got intimate moments off of each area.”
Rob Maday, the project’s landscape architect, adds that the garden was designed to “come right up to the house and envelop it.” It is an extension of the living space, not only because it reflects the home’s architecture but also because the homeowners wanted a garden that would allow their children to explore and play as they grew up, Maday says. Additional outdoor living features include a pool, several decks, a grill area, and a table and bench set built out of pine trees torn down on the property. The fence surrounding the property also was built from pine trees that used to be on the land.
The team maintained the home’s original post-and-beam structure, which was made of rough-hewn, painted Douglas fir. This “organic” element in the home, Monchamp says, led the design team to incorporate other earthy materials, such as onyx marble in the powder room, which are well-matched to the mid-century modern décor.
"Both Japanese and mid-century design have an authenticity of materials with minimal finishing techniques used,” Monchamp says. “It’s not like today when many things have an artificial finish to them. We wanted to highlight the organic elements of the house.”
Though it took nearly two years to complete the project, the construction phase took just nine months, Prahm says. The homeowners were expecting their first child and wanted to have the home complete by the time they were ready to bring home their new baby girl. The team worked diligently and quickly (they shortened the production schedule by about three months) to ensure the homeowners’ dream was realized.
Judges were enamored with this project, immediately awed by its design and craftsmanship. “[The design team] remained true to what the home was and made these incredible improvements to both the interior and the exterior,” one said. Another added, “There were a number of places we judged that were really nice spaces, but I couldn’t imagine wanting to live there. This one, I did.”
FROM THE FIRM:
The entrance through a central corridor leads to a series of transitional spaces, every room in the home has access to spectacular views over acres of newly landscaped contemporary grounds. New pocketing exterior sliders beneath cantilevered eaves have transformed the use of this home into a blend of architectural brilliance and well-designed living. The white interior walls serve as a blank canvas for the furnishings and fixtures to draw attention to the new ‘retro-chic’ design. All details of the new furnishings, fixtures, and finishes keep any home enthusiast guessing around every corner of the home. From wide plank flooring, spectacular cabinetry, to walls clad in tile and stone slab work, no detail was left untouched! When all was said and done, the homeowners’ dream of carrying their baby girl into their newly remodeled home was realized. They could not be more thrilled as the completion marked a new beginning for their growing family--in fact, they recently just welcomed their second child! The solid team effort of designers, trade contractors, and fantastic clients made this one of our most enjoyable renovations to date. While building new affords its luxuries, restoring a piece of history is truly a welcomed pleasure in our building industry.