Creekside retreat surrounded by a grove of California redwoods


Originally constructed in 1954, this creekside retreat has been completely transformed by Richardson Architects, located in Mill Valley, a city in Marin County, California. The residence is nestled in a redwood grove, on a gently upsloping property that is bordered by a creek. The site features a distinctive old wooden bridge that crosses over the creek, while walls of rock carve pathways through the site. The homeowners, a family of four, wished to maintain the original historic character of the dwelling; at the same time renovating it to today’s modern living standards. The home also needed to be updated to the latest code requirements. The transformation involved increasing natural light into the space through the use of expansive windows and skylights. Additionally, a partial second story needed to be added onto the home for a master bedroom suite.


“Maintaining the wood exterior and mullion patterns of the existing windows settles the addition into the landscape as an example of a very light effect to a sensitive site,” states the architects.

Above: The beautiful flooring on the front porch is reclaimed redwood from the exterior of the original house. There was no stain applied to the wood, just a sealer.


What We Love: This charming creekside retreat features bright and airy interiors that are illuminated by expansive windows and skylights. A neutral color palette is highlighted by pops of color in the furnishings, artwork and decor. We especially love the great room with its soaring ceilings and beautiful mix of furnishings. The outdoor landscape is rugged and beautiful and is really captured throughout this home, blurring the indoor-outdoor lines.

Readers, what are your thoughts on this home? Does it inspire you to create your dream home immersed in nature?


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Above: The spacious chef’s kitchen features soaring ceilings and luminosity thanks to expansive floor-to-ceiling glass doors that provides a seamless indoor-outdoor connection. Suspended pendant light fixtures over the kitchen island are called “Moooi Random Suspension lamp”.



Above: The great room showcases soaring double volume ceilings with clerestory windows. With this design and the inclusion of windows wrapped around the perimeter of the room, the space feels bright and airy. The fireplace is the focal point to the room, with a comfortable furnishings arranged around it. Window seats on either side of the fireplace provides additional seating when entertaining guests. White oak flooring adds warmth, while a textured area rug in the living area helps to delineate the space.



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Photos: Jeff Zaruba