When two readers looking for a quiet retreat decided to commission Cathy Schwabe Architecture, they were right on the mark. The stunning 840-square-foot cottage Schwabe designed for them barely classifies as a tiny house, but it is small enough for me to feature on our site. Plus, it is so gorgeous I just couldn’t resist.
One of the requests made by the pair who commissioned the house was that it feel like an outdoor porch. Constructed on a sloping lot, it stands in a location which offers a couple of advantages: lovely views of the surrounding woods, and privacy from the homes located nearby. A retaining wall directs seasonal rainwater clear of the house and down the slope into the forest.
All of the interior spaces of the home share some common design elements: a sloping ceiling, and large windows comprising much of the wall space.
The effect created by these repeating architectural elements is similar to the feeling of being inside a tree house.
The house has many green features incorporated into its design. The way it is situated allows for natural ventilation and plenty of daylight. This reduces the need for artificial lighting and ventilation.
Other green features include dimmers for all lights, low-use water fixtures, a high-efficiency direct-vent furnace, locally harvested cedar siding, a built-in recycling center, and a set of Energy Star appliances.
Here is a shot which really captures the best of what this home has to offer. That window spans most of the wall with a low bookshelf below. The view outside is startling.
A wide patio provides plenty of space to relax and entertain guests surrounded by the beauty of the verdant trees.
Seen from the other side, this house is less dramatic, but still grabs the eye with its distinctive contemporary design.
Speaking on the design choices used, Cathy Schwabe writes, “I enjoy distilling a design down to the essential pieces — often starting big and messy and then gradually, in an iterative manner, working towards the simplest design solution that, once “there,” touches an essential part of each of us.”
I am sure that this beautiful woodland retreat is essential to its lucky owners, offering an indispensable haven from everyday life.
Want to learn more about the Mendocino County House? Visit the official site here http://www.cathyschwabearchitecture.com/projects/mendocino-county.html.