Looking Good for Over 70 Years: This Cozy Joseph Esherick Home is Amazingly Well-Preserved

A 1940 house designed by the modernist architect for his family in Ross, California.
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The acclaimed Bay Area architect Joseph Esherick, along with his wife, Rebecca, designed a house for their family in Marin County, California only a few years after the couple had graduated from college at Penn. The home is still in great condition today. Joseph and Rebecca's children, Lisa and Joe, spent their early years in the house, and shared a few memories from their time there. They say that their parents would let them jump off the upper balcony onto chaise lounges on the lower balcony, and that Joe, when only 7 or 8 years old, occupied a room below the house with a separate entrance, where his parents also had a drafting room. Here, we take a tour of the house, which is suspended in the trees in the town of Ross and features views of Mt. Tamalpais. 

The two-story house is wrapped in redwood. Its box-like form would become one of the architect's signature design moves. A large double-height window in the living room provides views of the surrounding foliage.

Read more about the house here. The photos in this story were taken by Seth Smoot and styled by Kendra Smoot.

The cozy interior is wrapped in hemlock wood, which Esherick also used in the house he designed following this one in the Kent Woodlands area. A Thonet chair joins a Ben Soleimani rug for Restoration Hardware in the seating area.


Original built-in cabinetry is retained throughout the house. Planner Group side chairs by Paul McCobb surround the dining table.

The rooms, featuring sloped ceilings, feel small and intimate. In the guest bedroom, there is a custom bed and a Swedish school desk found on eBay.

A George Nelson cabinet for Herman Miller, a Paul McCobb chair, and a Gilbert Watrous table lamp for Heifetz adorn another bedroom.

The living room is the one room in the house that feels particularly spacious thanks to its soaring ceiling. The original fireplace still works. A sofa designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, two Knoll stools, and a Ben Soleimani rug help furnish the space. Four doors in the house that lead to the outdoors create a strong connection to the environment.

An L-shaped deck wraps around the house's ground level, creating a place for entertaining and taking in the scenery.


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