Lining Up with the View
Houseplans.com’s architect Nicholas Lee recently gave me a tour of his most recent design, a contemporary 4 bedroom ranch house built on a 2+ acre site in Sonoma, California. As you can see, the single story house is long and
linear and offers views east to the Mayacamas Range and west to Sonoma Mountain. The newly planted rows of saplings and sweet peas reinforce the farmhouse/ranch house esthetic. Huge picture windows flanking the fireplace
above the long living room hearth seating area — inspired by the hearth in London architect John Pawson’s house — put the near and distant landscapes vividly on display, while the deep porches on the east and west
sides of the house add generous sheltered outdoor space for alfresco dining and relaxing. I’m there — please hand me a thirst quencher! The lap pool parallels the
house and helps define the main entertaining patio. The house design is based on
Nick’s Plan 888-7 shown here, only flipped so the master suite is at the northernmost end and the hall and the galley kitchen — which is shown below —
are along the back, away from pool side. The galley kitchen, dining area, and living room are all in one space at the center of the plan (the unusual table,
by Stephen Williamson, is two thick planks milled from a eucalyptus tree that was felled on the property). A big sliding barn door closes off the master suite
wing for privacy for privacy. Every bedroom opens to one of the long
porches. The bathrooms include elegant floating vanities and showers with floors made of ipe decking (water drains into a shower pan beneath it), for a summery outdoor vibe. The rest of the flooring throughout the house is white oak hardwood (over a concrete slab), which complements the white walls and adds visual warmth. The updated ranch house esthetic and easy indoor-outdoor flow make for a very appealing way to celebrate spring and the arrival of warmer weather. See Nick’s other ranch house plans here. Bravo Nick! (photos courtesy Donald Van de Mark).
A new product that would work well at this house is the new line of firepits developed by Eco Smart Fire and patio furniture manufacturer Brown Jordan. Here’s their sleek cauldron-shaped Urth, made of weather-resistant fiber
cement. Measuring 15.9 inches high by 33.3 inches across, it contains an ethanol burner at the center surrounded by stones or other decorative material of your choosing. Various burner sizes are available. The
Equinox is a larger unit — 13 inches high by 65 inches long by 39.4 inches deep — that combines vessel or fire well and coffee table (also in fiber cement). The artful geometric shape creates a strong focal point for any outdoor space. Time to fire one up and give spring a boost.
To read an interview with architect Nick Lee visit Time To Build blog.