California Dreaming: A Coastal Retreat

We’re combatting the February doldrums with some pure California eye candy. This month, we’re bringing you four projects by San Francisco-based Malcolm Davis Architecture. The firm is committed to sustainable practices, and its design sensibilities are unquestionably rooted in the Northern California climate and its coastal, redwood-strewn ecology. Key to MDA’s signature approach is a deep appreciation for natural light and the manner in which it can be sculpted to inform interior spaces. From the reinvigoration of historic structures to new builds, paramount to MDA’s modern, airy portfolio is the bright sunlight of the Pacific coast.

Last week we brought you Camp Baird, a contemporary take on a traditional dogtrot dwelling. The weekend getaway spot, with its solar-powered lap pool and views of the surrounding rolling hills, left us hungry for more. Ready to trade your own snowy views for a visual escape to the west? Read on for a look at the Sea Ranch residence, a 2,000 square foot home perched near the ocean.

Coastal Retreat

This streamlined, modern getaway was designed as juxtaposing pod-like structures, all connected by an inviting entryway that is positively dripping with light. As always, MDA approached the build with the region’s distinctive style in mind; the vernacular barn-like structures found throughout Sea Ranch, a community in Sonoma County, were particularly influential. Each volume of the structure pays homage to this distinctive style.

As with Camp Baird, corrugated Corten steel was chosen as a material for the exterior of the home; here it clads the bright entryway that connects the different wings of the house, themselves clad in a beautiful cedar wood.

The living room is a cavernous space filled with integrated shelving for books and treasures. A natural wood grain on the wall catches the light, filling the space with a soothing, natural warmth. Wall-mounted lighting was chosen to lend an industrial touch while ensuring that the beautiful wood continues to shine long after the sun has set. Bright furniture keeps the room feeling youthful and contemporary.

The kitchen is mere steps from the living room, making the home ideal for entertaining. Vertical grain fir cabinets continue the motif of natural materials. Like the wall-mounted lights in the living room, the hardware in the kitchen is sleek and industrial, offering a playful juxtaposition between two worlds. We love the tall, vertical window that offers views of the tree line. Another beautiful detail is the way in which the shelving is uninterrupted by the window, running across it between the hood range and wall; it’s another clever instance of playing with light, as when glass is placed on these shelves, the natural backlighting sets it sparkling.

Many minimalist Scandinavian design sensibilities are employed throughout the home; finishing details are sensible, streamlined, and low maintenance, forgoing a great deal of decorative elements in favour of a serene and sparse environment. This is exemplified in one of the home’s bathrooms, which features durable and low-fuss materials.

There’s a lot to love in this gorgeous Sea Ranch home, but perhaps our favourite detail is this reading nook in the master bedroom. A large window offers views of the blue skies and sparkling Pacific, making this the kind of place we’d love to curl up and relax on a February afternoon. And since this is, after all, Valentine’s Day, we wouldn’t mind spending the afternoon being cozy here with someone special.

Join us next week for a look at MDA’s Portola Valley Residence, a dynamic renovation project that transformed a steep hillside home.


Photos via v2com
Photographer: Joe Fletcher Photography