A modern California dwelling with surprising interior warmth

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This modern, yet warm residence was designed by Klopf Architecture in collaboration with Van Gelder Construction, located in Orangevale, Sacramento County, California. Encompassing 2,633 square feet of living space, this three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home was designed a couple of empty nesters. It was designed to replace an existing ranch home that was on the property. The homeowners had previously resided in a Streng home, which is similar to an Eichler home. This gave them a fond appreciation of clean lines, simple details and an indoor-outdoor connection.

“The homeowners were looking to create a space to relax outside of their jobs and ultimately retire. They are both very creative in their respective fields (he is a TV producer and she is a chef with her own restaurant). They brought their collaborative creativity to the design process for the design of this house,” states the architects. The primary goal for the design of this structure was to create a direct and indirect connection to the surrounding environment and the interior.

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The property reflects a tranquil, natural environment, perfect for creating a home with a strong indoor-outdoor connection. The architects maximized on this design concept by devising a wide footprint for the home. This enabled the main living areas, the bathrooms and master bedroom to open to the natural views at the back of the property. Expansive sliding doors were integrated along the rear of the master bedroom and the main living area to provide direct access to the outdoors.

“It was important for the house to sit lightly and keep a relatively low profile out of respect for neighboring houses and the natural feel of the area,” states the architects. This set the tone of the design, keeping it to just a single-story. In addition, the architects decided to slope the roof, where its lowest point would be at the front entryway and open up at the back of the property. “This was intended to create a more humble appearance from the front of the house while still engaging the rear of the side as much as possible,” states Klopf Architects.

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This area gets quite hot in the summer. In response, Klopf designed the house to feel comfortable and still be energy efficient year round and throughout the hot summer days. In the beginning of the day when the sun is low and direct in the front of the house, the couple can open their rear sliding glass doors or live outside on the rear decks.

In the middle of the day when the sun is more overhead from the south, the extra deep overhangs and shading devices in the rear patio allow these spaces to be used comfortably. At the end of the day, when the sun is blasting the rear of the house, there is a patio area in the front of the home that is in shade, but still bright because of openings in the roof. Despite the harsher sun and climate in the area, the outside environment can always be experienced comfortably.

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The design team employed a number of energy efficient strategies to make the interior environment comfortable and efficient. In addition to in-wall insulation, a continuous layer of rigid insulation was applied to the exterior walls of the house (and sealing house wrap and tape) to lower the heat gain. High performance and low solar heat gain glass at the main exposures of the house also reduce the potential heat.

A “cool roof” metal roof was used to reflect much of the direct sun and heat before it can heat up the house. The windows are all thermally broken aluminum (Fleetwood and Milgard), which are much more energy efficient than older aluminum windows. In addition to these defensive strategies, to save even more energy, the architects specified high efficiency heating and cooling units and almost all LED lighting.

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While natural wood siding looks great, it wouldn’t last long under the harsh sun conditions in the area. In response, the architects specified high recycled content composite siding (Tru-Grain) that maintains its look without maintenance much longer than wood possibly could, along with some smooth white stucco to visually separate the main living area. On the interior, the main living space has an exposed concrete floor with composite counters, and white oak cabinets.

The bedroom wing uses reclaimed white oak flooring from Blackwood Farm. The owners wanted a different feel between the main living area and the bedroom wing (the bedroom wing is more for rest while the living area is a lot more active), so Klopf varied the materials to some extent. That said, in order to preserve the feeling of flow, the architects kept most of the material connections between the two areas.

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People often ask about challenges during demolition and construction. The house project started as an option between tearing down and replacing the existing home and renovating it. The owners originally decided on a renovation, but during construction Sean van Gelder, the builder, discovered that the slab and foundation were too damaged to keep.

At that point everyone shifted gears and turned the project into a new house design. The climate (heat) that was certainly a challenge as well. The architects had to be extra cognizant of the sun angles and also had to carefully design the house for minimal heat gain in the envelope given the high level of openness desired.

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What We Love: This modern residence features a wonderful floorplan spread out over a single level with a fantastic indoor-outdoor connection. The expanse of glazing helps to illuminate the interiors with natural light. This also helps bring nature inside, creating a more serene living environment. Love the mix of materials the architects used in the design of this structure. It is not only visually eye-pleasing, but also adds warmth to an otherwise modern space… Readers, please share your thoughts on the overall design of this dwelling.

Note: Below we feature “Related” tags, which are a few of the popular home tours that we have showcased from the portfolio of Klopf Architects.

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RELATED: Renovation of a mid-century modern Eichler home in California

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RELATED: Eichler home remodel in California features radiant spaces

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RELATED: Eichler home in San Francisco gets bright and airy update

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Photos: ©2016 Mariko Reed

Note: The images and project description were sent to us courtesy of Klopf Architects. If you are interested in submitting an article, please visit our project submission form.

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