Weathered beach house retreat overlooking the Pacific Ocean

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This carefree beach house retreat was designed by Butler Armsden Architects along with interior studio Scavullo Design, located in Stinson Beach, Marin County, California. The architect of this project, Lewis W. Butler currently owns this property, inherited from his grandparents. His grandmother had originally purchased the two adjacent 60-foot wide lots back in 1950—costing just $3,000 each!

However, it wasn’t until 30 years later that they began to plan a house for three generations. Not only were the architects presented with the natural challenges of the coastal environment, but the homeowner also wished to infuse the spirit of a William Wuster designed home. This architect had also constructed a home for the same family in Santa Cruz back in 1935. This home was well-known as his only courtyard style home, as well as having an expansive outdoor living room, unusual for this time period.

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The architects devised an H-shape plan that involves the living room at the core of the home, while wings form outdoor spaces that showcase views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastal range. Instead of creating an outdoor living room, a traditional living room was designed with expansive sliding glass doors that mimics adjoining windows to create an outdoor feeling. When the weather conditions are ideal, the doors can be opened to either the ocean, mountains or both. This offers the homeowners  excellent flexibility to enjoy both indoor and outdoor living.

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The interior framing was left exposed, referencing construction techniques used in early California beach homes, where temperatures do not fluctuate the same way as it does in the valleys. The architects insulated the outside of the framing for the walls and ceiling instead of interior wall cavity. Vertical grain fir wainscot was constructed three feet high, designed to conceal wires and pipes. This material was also repeated on the flooring. Additional materials incorporated into the design includes: red cedar shingles, aluminum double pane windows, bluestone used at the courtyard paving, fireplace and countertops. Alaskan yellow cedar clads the wood terrace on the ocean facing side of the house.

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What We Love: This fabulous beach house retreat features smaller bedroom wings with larger courtyards to give a feeling of open space. The architect maximized site lines to the ocean, creating a relaxing and comfortable place to visit with family and friends. High ceilings creates a open and airy feel to this home, while clean lines and simple furnishings offers an overall inviting aesthetic… Readers, what do you think of this home, would this be your idea of the perfect family vacation home?

Note: Have a look below for the “Related” tags for more inspiring home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of Butler Armsden Architects.

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RELATED: Extraordinary contemporary estate with lavish details in California

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RELATED: Contemporary courtyard house in Portola Valley provides exceptional living

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Photos: Matthew Millman

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2 years ago

Absolutely lovely!

Michael J. Long
6 years ago

What’s with the lighting on the walls? would love to see it lit up.