When we first visited our client's property, a gently rolling, eight-acre parcel in a coastal region of Northern California, we were inspired by its pastoral beauty. Dotted with stately oaks, and nestled against a backdrop of verdant mountainside, the site and the locale reminded us of the hills of rural Tuscany. Thus the vision for the design was born. Inspiration was drawn from Badia a Coltibuono, a 15th Century Benedictine abbey northeast of Siena, which rises solemnly against the foothills of the Chianti Mountains.
Approaching the villa along the winding entrance road, visitors cross a field of lavender, and enter the enclave through a rough-hewn wooden gateway, emerging into the central entrance court. Like a rural monastery, the house is designed around this motorcourt, which gives a sense of enclosure for the entrance to the estate.
The main residence is planned in grand rural Tuscan style. The house is entirely clad in a blend of warm, rustic American limestone, with richly-stained wood, and cast stone accents. Organized around the long, vaulted arcade, which graciously connects the far corners of the residence, the house affords many outdoor spaces, all spacious and unique, providing a variety of opportunities for living and dining al fresco. From the long, spacious loggia at the rear of the house, your eye is drawn up the lushly planted terraced landscape by a classical water cascade. Nearby, tucked into the hillside, under the broad canopy of a 100 year oak tree, the Oak Court beckons us to relax next to the fireplace and enjoy a meal, or a glass of fine local wine.