Compound Addition

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May 13, 2009
Originally published in Think Smaller
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  • 
  The Arnolds’ architecture studio—right next door to their new home—occupies a 1941 structure by Cliff May.
    The Arnolds’ architecture studio—right next door to their new home—occupies a 1941 structure by Cliff May.
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  A wall of burnished concrete block protectively isolates their indoor and outdoor living areas from the busy road.
    A wall of burnished concrete block protectively isolates their indoor and outdoor living areas from the busy road.
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  Flanking the concrete wall is a carport and an entrance leading past a small, cedar-clad ancillary building for art projects and laundry.
    Flanking the concrete wall is a carport and an entrance leading past a small, cedar-clad ancillary building for art projects and laundry.
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  With exposed industrial materials for finishes, the interior includes hand-troweled, waxed concrete floors, Douglas fir beams, and sealed-plywood ceilings.
    With exposed industrial materials for finishes, the interior includes hand-troweled, waxed concrete floors, Douglas fir beams, and sealed-plywood ceilings.
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  The open kitchen’s island, topped with soapstone, doubles as a bookcase for the living room.
    The open kitchen’s island, topped with soapstone, doubles as a bookcase for the living room.
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  Separated only by large expanses of glass, the interior and exterior landscape flow together.
    Separated only by large expanses of glass, the interior and exterior landscape flow together.
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  The courtyard acts like an outdoor living room, where the Arnolds’ daughter, Josie, plays freely, safe from nearby traffic. The family dines here most of the year at the custom-designed wood-and-steel table. The picnic table set reappropriates the century-old eucalyptus tree that once grew on the site.
    The courtyard acts like an outdoor living room, where the Arnolds’ daughter, Josie, plays freely, safe from nearby traffic. The family dines here most of the year at the custom-designed wood-and-steel table. The picnic table set reappropriates the century-old eucalyptus tree that once grew on the site.
  • 
  The steep canyon wall rises directly behind the house.
    The steep canyon wall rises directly behind the house.
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  Josie’s tepee playhouse stands on a platform, where she and her friends erect sets for their theatrical productions.
    Josie’s tepee playhouse stands on a platform, where she and her friends erect sets for their theatrical productions.
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  From their bedroom, Hadley and Peter can gaze out at the canyon wall or up through a skylight at the clouds and stars.
    From their bedroom, Hadley and Peter can gaze out at the canyon wall or up through a skylight at the clouds and stars.
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  The Arnolds consider Francis and Paschal the patron saints of their home, representing moderation or austerity tempered by generous hospitality.
    The Arnolds consider Francis and Paschal the patron saints of their home, representing moderation or austerity tempered by generous hospitality.
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  In the master bedroom, a removable window provides egress, as required by code.
    In the master bedroom, a removable window provides egress, as required by code.
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