Before and after: remodeling a country house.

Before starting to enjoy life in this secluded house, the new owners had to try hard and carry out work on remodeling the living space and improving the garden.

Your own house outside the city, a secluded place where you can forget about business and just relax… Kevin and Jenna, a young married couple from San Francisco, have long dreamed of a cozy house where they can escape from the bustle of the metropolis, at least for a weekend.

After a lengthy search and endless meetings with realtors, buyers finally found the ideal 80 acres with a house of 100 square meters in the Californian town of Cazadero.

The building, built in 1964, was decided to be slightly updated by the new owners. They turned to Boor Bridges Architecture for help, the company that was decorating their city apartment.

What was comfortable for living in the 60s, now, half a century later, required significant changes: the ceiling beams in the living room were poorly secured and were about to fall on the heads of the residents; the homemade piles on which the entire structure rests have long since rotted and become loose (leaving them would be reckless, to say the least, given that the house is located in one of the rainiest areas of California).

Initially, Kevin and Jenna wanted to significantly increase the space of the premises. But after weighing all the pros and cons, including the prices for repair work, we decided to complete only the veranda and change the layout of the house.

The designers remodeled the house while keeping the house within its original boundaries: the only reminders of the old building are now a guest bedroom and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The specialists also paid a lot of attention to landscape design and improvement of the local area: they planted shrubs, decorated the garden with picturesque boulders, updated the steps and replaced the wooden flooring.

Before starting the renovation, the owners hired a dendrologist to inspect the trees and shrubs around the house. 15 old and diseased plants had to be uprooted. And the remaining logs were used to strengthen the fence around the site. In addition, it turned out that the trees were blocking the beautiful view of the river and hills, which can now be admired from the terrace.

The interior partition was demolished, thus creating a single space for the kitchen, living room and dining room. Through the panoramic windows, a lot of daylight now enters the room, which helps save electricity.

Old cabinets from IKEA, which were previously collecting dust in the attic, have found their way into the kitchen. They only replaced the handles with new ones upholstered in leather. The countertop was installed galvanized – according to the designers, this unpretentious material suits this interior well.

They decided to replace the loose ceiling beams in the living room and raise the ceiling itself to visually increase the space of the room. A more durable roof was installed, with sound and heat insulation, so that the temperature in the house depended not on the weather, but on the wishes of the owners. Thanks to these changes, one wood-burning fireplace is now sufficient to heat the entire building.

After the renovation, large windows appeared in the living room. Now you can admire the landscape without leaving your home. And to ensure that the interior was in harmony with the view outside the window, the designers chose natural finishing materials: oak parquet was laid on the floor, and the ceiling was reinforced with cedar planks.

Kevin and Jenna are sociable people and love to invite friends over and have dinner with relatives. Often guests stay overnight. Therefore, one of the main conditions was the presence of a separate master bedroom. 

The rectangular bathroom, which is adjacent to the master bedroom, was divided into two parts; the second half also housed a bathroom, only for guests.

From the small hall you can see both bedrooms and the bathroom. On the wall adjacent to the guest room, the designers created a “life wall”: sweet photographs and postcards from friends and family were placed on a sheet of metal. On the right you can see the guest bedroom, which remains from the previous house, on the left – the master’s boudoir.

An outdoor shower was added to the bathroom. You can get here either from the master bedroom or from the backyard. Even though the shower is built into the wall, it has an additional long hose. It is especially convenient to use it after hiking, cycling, swimming and rock climbing. By the way, the porch on which the shower is installed is used as an emergency entrance in case of rain. Here you can park your car and immediately find yourself under a canopy without getting wet.
The designers approached the work comprehensively and tried to take into account every little detail both inside the house and in the surrounding area. There is a barbecue area, a wooden deck with a jacuzzi, a covered picnic tent in wet weather, and of course, its own drainage system. Rainwater flows down the roof and then through gutters into the irrigation system.
The washer and dryer found a place in the free-standing laundry room, which is nestled against the fence.
The landscape dictates its conditions: since the house is on a hill, the garden slopes down in terraces. The yard is located on four levels: a garden, gravel walking paths, a jacuzzi and a wooden deck.
Kevin and Jenna now have a cozy dream home. Did you like it?
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