written by:
October 13, 2011

After Will Rosenzweig and Carla Fracchia bought this 100-year-old farmhouse in Healdsburg, California, they hired Arkin Tilt Architects and Earthtone Construction to make an eco-friendly example out of it. The house had good bones but it was "thermally challenged in both summer and winter," says architect Anni Tilt. Thanks to the addition of a new wrap of rigid insulation on the exterior, new windows throughout, a ventilated roof, and a new wing with shade overhangs, the house is transformed. "It now provides an entirely different level of comfort and performance—a quantum leap forward—which has transformed the way we use it," the owners report. Click through the slideshow to see how the architects and contractors turned the old and leaky structure into a model of energy-efficiency. All photos courtesy of Edward Caldwell (copyright 2011).

An exterior view of the renovated Healdsburg house, which the owners use as a weekend retreat. The dining room, located in the new white-painted wing, provides a counterpoint to the existing Victorian, with the entry reoriented between the two volumes.
An exterior view of the renovated Healdsburg house, which the owners use as a weekend retreat. The dining room, located in the new white-painted wing, provides a counterpoint to the existing Victorian, with the entry reoriented between the two volumes.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
1 / 13
Re-clad with rigid insulation and painted Hardie-board, and topped with a ventilated roof with deep overhangs, the old Victorian is many times more comfortable and energy-efficient than it used to be, while still retaining its original character.
Re-clad with rigid insulation and painted Hardie-board, and topped with a ventilated roof with deep overhangs, the old Victorian is many times more comfortable and energy-efficient than it used to be, while still retaining its original character.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
2 / 13
An arbor by artist Jordy Morgan marks the path to the house from the parking area.
An arbor by artist Jordy Morgan marks the path to the house from the parking area.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
3 / 13
The entry, mediating between the dominant volumes, is marked with red doors; the kitchen cupola is visible above.
The entry, mediating between the dominant volumes, is marked with red doors; the kitchen cupola is visible above.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
4 / 13
The new, open kitchen is the heart of the renovation, with views of the garden in every direction. The added kitchen and dining rooms feature ample south-facing windows along with carefully designed overhangs, awnings and porches that shade the high summe
The new, open kitchen is the heart of the renovation, with views of the garden in every direction. The added kitchen and dining rooms feature ample south-facing windows along with carefully designed overhangs, awnings and porches that shade the high summer and afternoon sun.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
5 / 13
The original rafters in the kitchen are exposed and topped with salvaged fir bleacher seating. The high ceilings allow the warmer air to stratify near the ceiling. A south-facing clerestory brings light deep into the space.
The original rafters in the kitchen are exposed and topped with salvaged fir bleacher seating. The high ceilings allow the warmer air to stratify near the ceiling. A south-facing clerestory brings light deep into the space.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
6 / 13
With exposed fir framing and clay plastered walls, the spacious dining room is the new social focus of the house. The custom dining table was created from salvaged bowling lanes. Connecting the home to the garden was a high priority, and a 14-foot-wide mu
With exposed fir framing and clay plastered walls, the spacious dining room is the new social focus of the house. The custom dining table was created from salvaged bowling lanes. Connecting the home to the garden was a high priority, and a 14-foot-wide multi-fold door completely opens the dining room to the outdoors, while shading the interior space from the western sun.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
7 / 13
Located off the dining room, the deep covered porch features an outdoor countertop and sink for washing vegetables on their way from the garden to the table.
Located off the dining room, the deep covered porch features an outdoor countertop and sink for washing vegetables on their way from the garden to the table.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
8 / 13
A live edge bench, harvested from the site, balances the carved door of the bathroom on the opposite end of the entry/mudroom.
A live edge bench, harvested from the site, balances the carved door of the bathroom on the opposite end of the entry/mudroom.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
9 / 13
The "Zen-inspired" lower bathroom is designed with rich colors and textures. Local craftsmen were engaged for the “tansu” tub (which overlooks the garden) and the carved bathroom door. Salvaged vertical grain Douglas Fir "stadium select"-grade bleacher se
The "Zen-inspired" lower bathroom is designed with rich colors and textures. Local craftsmen were engaged for the “tansu” tub (which overlooks the garden) and the carved bathroom door. Salvaged vertical grain Douglas Fir "stadium select"-grade bleacher seating was re-planed to create warm, textured ceilings.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
10 / 13
The upstairs bathroom was fitted with a skylight over the shower, adding light and spaciousness to the small room. Locally made Heath tiles line the new shower, and a marble slab salvaged from wainscot at Brooks Brothers in San Francisco now serves as the
The upstairs bathroom was fitted with a skylight over the shower, adding light and spaciousness to the small room. Locally made Heath tiles line the new shower, and a marble slab salvaged from wainscot at Brooks Brothers in San Francisco now serves as the vanity top. Bamboo light fixtures add warmth.
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
11 / 13
The older Victorian portion of the home features windows installed from the exterior, so the historic interior molding could be retained. The owners consider the renovation an unqualified success. "In the past, it would take literally 24 hours to heat the
The older Victorian portion of the home features windows installed from the exterior, so the historic interior molding could be retained. The owners consider the renovation an unqualified success. "In the past, it would take literally 24 hours to heat the interior to a comfortable level, using both the wood stove and the inefficient baseboard heating," they say. "Now the house maintains a comfortable temperature all day and night with little or no supplemental heating, and we can visit the house during the winter without having to wear our down coats and long underwear.”
Courtesy of 
2011 © Edward Caldwell
12 / 13
Here's a floor plan of the IdeaGarden house.<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dwell/id411793747?mt=8"><em><strong> FREE app from iTunes</strong></em></a><em><strong>,
Here's a floor plan of the IdeaGarden house.

Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

13 / 13
An exterior view of the renovated Healdsburg house, which the owners use as a weekend retreat. The dining room, located in the new white-painted wing, provides a counterpoint to the existing Victorian, with the entry reoriented between the two volumes.
An exterior view of the renovated Healdsburg house, which the owners use as a weekend retreat. The dining room, located in the new white-painted wing, provides a counterpoint to the existing Victorian, with the entry reoriented between the two volumes.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Modern Florida seaside home with corian island, dornbracht faucet, cees braakman combex chairs and marble knoll table in the kitchen
Read more about Knoll's impressive career here, but in the meantime, explore just a few of her works in these contemporary homes.
February 11, 2016
Modern small box home in Mexico
Letting the warm climate indoors is a common thread through these diverse dwellings.
February 11, 2016
Modern white cabinets under the stairs with skylight above
What could be better than a modest-sized house in a quaintly historic city?
February 11, 2016
dining room lighting
These renovations connect rustic, classic, and modern design in Italy.
February 10, 2016
12362509 211441865858796 1743381178 n1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 10, 2016
modern outdoor garden room plastic polycarbonate
From colorful living rooms to a backyard retreat, Belgian designers reimagine vernacular forms and materials for the modern world.
February 10, 2016
Tel Aviv kitchen with custom dining table and Smeg fridge
Would you go for an out-of-the-box palette for your major appliances? See how these kitchens tackle the trend.
February 10, 2016
Exhibition view, of Klaus Wittkugel works at P! gallery, New York
On view through February 21 at New York's P! gallery, a new show explores the politics of Cold War-era graphic design with a presentation of works by Klaus Wittkugel—East Germany's most prolific graphic designer. Curator Prem Krishnamurthy walks us through the highlights.
February 10, 2016
Reclaimed cedar and gray-stucco home outside San Francisco.
The new kid on the block in a predominantly Eichler neighborhood, this Menlo Park home breaks the mold and divides into three pavilions connected by breezeways.
February 10, 2016
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
From modern interiors hidden within historic structures to unabashedly modern dwellings, these seven renovations take totally different approaches to San Francisco's historic building stock.
February 10, 2016
Delphi sofa from Erik Jørgensen and gyrofocus fireplace in living room of Villa Le Trident in the French Riviera, renovated by 4a Architekten.
The Aegean's all-white architecture famously helped inspire Le Corbusier; these five dwellings continue in that proud modern tradition (though not all are as minimalist).
February 10, 2016
San Francisco dining room with chandelier and Eames shell chairs
Brooklyn-based RBW's work—from diminutive sconces to large floor lamps—shape these five interiors.
February 09, 2016
Glass-fronted converted garage in Washington
These garages go behind parking cars and storing your drum sets.
February 09, 2016
Modern Texas home office with sliding walls, behr black chalkboard paint, concrete walls, and white oak flooring
From appropriated nooks to glass-encased rooms, each of these modern offices works a unique angle.
February 09, 2016
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house
From chandeliers to pendants, these designs make the dining room the most entertaining space in the house.
February 09, 2016
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
February 09, 2016
Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016
Montigo gas-burning fireplace in spacious living room.
Built atop the foundation of a flood-damaged home, this 3,000-square-foot Maryland home features vibrant furniture placed in front of stunning views of a nearby estuary.
February 08, 2016
Studio addition in Seattle
An architect couple sets out to transform a run-down property.
February 08, 2016
West Elm coffee table, custom Joybird sofa, and matching Jens Risom chairs in living room of Westchester renovation by Khanna Shultz.
Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite fans and experts on Twitter to weigh in on trending topics in design.
February 08, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment living room vertical oak slats
For the modernists among us, these spare spaces are a dream come true.
February 08, 2016
The square fountain at the courtyard's center is a modern rendition of a very traditional feature in many Middle Eastern homes.
From a large gathering space for family or a tranquil sanctuary, these seven designs feature some very different takes on the ancient idea of a courtyard.
February 08, 2016
stdaluminum 021
Since windows and doors are such important aspects of your home, it’s always a good idea to take the time to evaluate how they fit within the lifestyle you want. Whether you’re in the middle of constructing a new home, or you’re considering replacing your current setup, there are multiple elements to consider when it comes time to make the final decisions. Milgard® Windows & Doors understands how vital these choices are to the well-being of your home and has developed ways to turn the process into a journey that can be just as enjoyable as it is fulfilling. Not sure where to start? We gathered some helpful insights from their team of experts to help us better understand what goes into the process of bringing your vision to life.
February 08, 2016
modern fire resistant green boulder loewen windows south facade triple planed low-e glass
These houses in Broncos Country prove modern design is alive in the Rocky Mountains.
February 08, 2016
french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016
senses taste products
Ambience is a key ingredient to any meal—materials, textures, and mood all impart a certain flavor.
February 07, 2016
senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016