I’ve known Matt Baran, the architect who designed the renovation of this house, since we were 11 years old. I’m not going to reveal my age and say how long ago that was. He’s talented, has completely different taste than myself, and one of my favorite people to argue with on design.
Of course, when we were 11 he was that hot skater who hung out at the donut shop every morning before class started and I was the geek forced to go with her much cooler friend who liked Matt’s friend. Did that make sense? If not – don’t worry about it. The point is, we’re still in touch and he’s an architect now – an architect who designed a pretty cool house.
Matt is into sustainability and green – but it’s not so easy to get all of these things in a home. The options are often too expensive and not worth the cost, so he’s created his version of a green house. Everything in this house has been considered to the nth degree (and I’m so not kidding when I say this – you should see what he’s written about this house – it’s like the whole thing is a PhD thesis or something).
As I’m no where near as deep as Matt I just said “Send me pretty pictures please.”
And he did, which was good.
He also sent me a construction document with information like this:
Caesarstone is made from Quartz, which is available in greater quantities than most stone. It is a waste product of other mining industries, therefore its use eliminates waste and creates no new mines. The process for manufacture is engineered to prevent air and water contamination, and any material waste is recycled. The final product is non-porous, naturally preventing the growth of surface mold and microbes, and does not require treatment with chemicals or sealers. The adhesives used are low or no VOC.
And that’s good too, because then I don’t have to think too much and I only have to cut and paste the information here. I’m kidding, of course. Kind of.
I can tell you that Ceasarstone is located in Caesaria, about 20 minutes from where I live (not because it’s far, but because it’s all through small cities driving.) I have Caesarstone in my own kitchen. Not so enamored with our choice – as I can’t put hot things on it – but I love the color I chose (charcoal gray) so I live with trivets.
I like how open the space is. I’m not going to comment on the decor because most of the furniture was taken from Matt’s house in San Francisco so that they could dress the house for the photos. Otherwise I would comment on how the dining area needs a rug to define the space and I’m not sure about all of the various colors and how they mix.
I will say – if I had a baby those stairs would scare the living daylights out of me.
I like the wood floors upstairs. I’m not sure about the gray ceiling. I think I would prefer a sky blue.
Again – ignore the furniture. This is just a staging for the photos.
More from that green construction doc:
Passive Site Strategies
The house is oriented on the site as it is for several reasons. The primary axis of the house is east west, allowing for maximum exposure to sunlight (which is controlled by overhangs as described above). The primary space faces south, and opens to a courtyard that is also south facing, allowing for maximum solar access. Prevailing breezes move from west to east, allowing maximum ventilation through casement windows that open toward the west.
On a completely different note – remember how I mentioned in the beginning of this post how Matt and I love to argue about design? Well, we had an idea if I ever move to California. We want to pitch a TV show where Matt designs my house. And then we argue. A lot. We wouldn’t even have to act. And it would be fun! (Anyone interested? I’d move to California for this…)
Another part of the house. I think this is the backyard. I didn’t actually get to tour the site in person, unfortunately. I didn’t have enough time, since I was in San Francisco for Abel Communications (my marketing consulting day job) and not for Tchochkes.
I’ll totally admit that I’m not as nuts about the modern backside of the house as I am about the cute, quaint Victorian front. I do think that they work though – in a plaid and stripes kind of way. I would put in extremely overstuffed and comfortable furniture, sit back, relax and enjoy the light and space.
Shira Abel is the CEO and founder of Hunter & Bard, an award-winning public relations and design agency that works with scale-ups and enterprises on building their brand, awareness and thought leadership.
As CEO of Hunter & Bard, Shira oversees a team that manages public relations, marketing, design, and brand development for clients across multiple industries. She develops strategies for organically growing companies through sincere digital engagement and the application of behavioral marketing.
Clients include JELD-WEN, Benchling, Sixth Continent, Totango, Folloze, Radix DLT, Axa Tech, Allianz, and many more. Shira is also a sought after corporate speaker and marketing mentor, and has spoken at events such as Confluence and Content Marketing World, and taught at institutions such as Kellogg School of Management and S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
Read more about Shira’s company Hunter & Bard at https://www.hunterandbard.com