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Fabulous entertainment barn in Portola Valley melds into the landscape

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This fabulous entertainment barn was designed by Walker Warner Architects, located in beautiful Portola Valley, a town in San Mateo County, California. The owners desired a separate structure from their main residence for large-scale entertaining as well as a place for relaxation. 

Reminiscent of the tin-roofed, weathered rural vernacular of the picturesque surroundings, the compound comprises three primary structures—a spacious home office, a home theater and a luxurious guest suite—connected by interstitial entryways containing a kitchen and powder room.

Project Team: Architecture: Walker Warner Architects | Interiors: Selby House Ltd. | Landscape: Janell Denler Hobart Gardens | Builder: Gentry Construction, Inc.

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The exterior of the main structures are composed of weathered materials intended to blend into their surroundings. In contrast, the contemporary interior features crisply detailed white walls, polished surfaces, and dramatic lighting.

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Built on a four-acre property, the 5,200-square-foot barn complex houses guest quarters, an office, and spaces for entertaining and relaxing. The design pays homage to its Portola Valley roots with a present-day twist, interpreting vernacular structures through metals and woods.

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For exterior walls, the team used reclaimed oak from Kentucky barns, along with ebonized mahogany. The structures feature gabled forms that stretch across a clearing in a grove of trees. Standing-seam metal—painted to resemble zinc—was used for the roof.

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“Our clients reside next door to this project, but love their existing home and didn’t want to make substantial changes that would disrupt their current lifestyle,” explains Greg Warner of Walker Warner Architects. “They were able to acquire the adjacent property with the vision to design an annex of sorts, to accommodate this program without impacting their lifestyle. We intentionally pulled the complex apart to feature three distinct barn-like-pieces, each associated with the primary programmatic elements.”

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Rooms feature white walls and polished surfaces. The design team took special care to make the interiors neutral and contemporary. The artwork was purposefully chosen to blend in with the furniture, rather than stand out. “We didn’t want a lot of bold colors in the art to distract from the views,” says Elizabeth Hill of Selby House Ltd.

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Expansive walls of glazing offers a strong connection to the scenic terrain. At the center of the composition is a great room, which the family uses for entertaining, charity events and watching Giants games. The room’s focal point is a large, 13-foot-wide television.

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What We Love: This fabulous entertainment barn offers the owners a space to entertain family and friends in a beautiful setting. Large windows frame views of the scenic terrain while also filling this structure with natural light. We are loving this multi-use space, to not only host intimate gatherings but to offer guests a private overnight retreat and provide the owners with a separate office space away from their main residence. 

Tell Us: What are your thoughts on the concept of this entertainment barn? Would this be your idea of the ultimate party pad? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other fabulous home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, Walker Warner Architects: Gorgeous contemporary farmhouse offers indoor/outdoor California living and Serene woodsy setting inspires a stylish family home in Northern California.

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The kitchen features Caesarstone counters, Wood-Mode cabinets and backsplash tiles from Ann Sacks. Appliances include Gaggenau ovens, a Thermador cooktop and a Perlick wine refrigerator.

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The recreation room contains a pool table, European furniture and a painting by artist Pete Reilly. The sleek master bedroom is outfitted in fresh whites and tonal grays, giving the rustic space a modern feel.

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The landscape was designed by Walker Warner Architects in collaboration with Janell Denler Hobart. Plantings include California lilacs, coffee berry and strawberry trees.

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Photos: Matthew Millman

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