Rustic modern cottage in California: The Shack

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Lovingly coined ‘the Shack,” this rustic modern cottage designed by Feldman Architecture is an escape from City life for a busy San Francisco couple in Ross, California.  The existing home was composed of low ceilings and partition walls creating dark spaces.  However, the home held the potential for beautiful mountain views and if one looked carefully, hints of character and charm emerged. Rare old growth redwood siding of the original home and a Sonoma stone fireplace were both maintained as prominent features of the renovation.

During phase one, the original Douglas Fir ceilings were revealed as the sloped roof was opened up and inspired the use of reclaimed, local woods for the mantel, floors and interior doors.  These woods warm the interiors and compliment the views to the gardens and Mount Baldy beyond.  The kitchen and living room were opened up to an outdoor seating and dining area.  Given the limited space and the open views from the living room, the kitchen cabinets were planned down to the details, much like a ship’s galley.  The bathroom was brightened with a large translucent window and light porcelain tiles.

SIZE OF HOME: Phase 1 – 706sf / Phase 2 addition – 657sf + 260sf garage

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Shortly after the first phase finished, design and construction began on phase two, including a two story addition, garage with green roof and stepped terraces with a swimming pool.  The addition extends the area of living room and adds a second floor master suite with sweeping views of Mount Baldy.  The addition and garage are primarily made of materials similar to the original house with board and batten siding in a natural stain.

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Photos: Phil Bond

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Carin Galletta Oliver
9 years ago

Mt. Baldy is in San Bernardino County, no where near Ross. The correct mountain is Mount Tamalpais.

9 years ago

Hi Carin,

Thanks for pointing this out. The information that you are pointing to is in quotation marks, which means it is a description of the project given to us from the architect themselves. Now that you point it out, it does seem a little far away!

10 years ago

It’s strange : picture 5 and 16, there is the same framed photo ! I would never put twice the same thing on my walls.

And I wonder why there is this kind of stage (is it the good word ?) at the bottom of the metallic stair. What for ? It must not be practical (one must fell), and because of that the high of the first stair step seems higher than the others. I wonder if it is something to keep the stairs in place. Wish we could know…