Thanks to a prefab in-law unit, an octogenarian modernist lives independently on a peaceful, verdant site in Northern California.
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A 1,600-square-foot in-law unit in Sonoma, California, has two bedrooms and two baths for its 87-year-old resident, whose daughter lives nearby. “The layout is well-suited for older clients,” says Jared Levy of Connect:Homes. “It feels generous and open.”
Though the daughter didn’t want all-glass walls, natural light and airflow were key. Levy and Connect:Homes fellow cofounder Gordon Stott used an LED system to offset light from windows and doors. Says Stott, “It’s about 150 watts to light the whole house.”
Stott and Levy used Teragren bamboo flooring and Milgard sliding glass doors. “Universal design isn’t just for older people,” the daughter says about the single-story layout and zero-step entries. “If you don’t need steps, don’t have them.”
The kitchen, which sits at the center of the house, features recycled glass countertops, Ikea cabinets, and carbonized bamboo floors. “We had Thanksgiving dinner there,” says the daughter. “There’s no sense of the house as small. It feels like a house.”
In the living room, interior designer Meredith Rebolledo of Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley paired pieces like Philippe Starck’s Eros chairs for Kartell and two 1960s Swedish chairs with the client’s Oushak rug.
The deck offers views and a quiet spot for outdoor dining. The Western red cedar vertical siding is naturally resistant to rot and decay, making it a hardy choice for the exterior. The bronze wolf sculpture is by Sharon Loper.
David Rowland stacking chairs join a 1970s Italian glass-and-steel table in the dining room. The daughter loves being able to stop in to visit. “I’m over there ten times a day. It’s brought me such peace.”