A Sinuous Silicon Valley Retreat Is a Portal to the Outdoors

With the help of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney (EYRC) Architects, a couple with three children build a home that pays homage to its pastoral setting.
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This home tour is presented by Chicory, who partnered with Dwell to launch a U.S.-made, eco-friendly, and modular outdoor furniture collection.
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Samantha Wang and her husband, Christophe, spent two years searching for the perfect parcel of land in Silicon Valley. They had been living in Menlo Park but ached for more space and privacy—without having to lose a sense of community with the surrounding neighborhood. They found just that with a three-acre site in Portola Valley, a quiet enclave less than an hour’s drive from San Francisco, close to miles of trails and open space preserves.

The entry courtyard, protected by a corrugated concrete wall, is spacious enough to be turned into a hosting space. "The finely detailed courtyard with its hand-laid rows of cobblestone was drawn and executed like any other room in the house to further blur the boundary between inside and outside," says principal Bryn Garrett of EYRC Architects. Samantha chose the Dwell x Chicory collection to outfit the outdoor lounge, its teak frame complementing the home’s ipe wood siding.  

The entry courtyard, protected by a corrugated concrete wall, is spacious enough to be turned into a hosting space. "The finely detailed courtyard with its hand-laid rows of cobblestone was drawn and executed like any other room in the house to further blur the boundary between inside and outside," says principal Bryn Garrett of EYRC Architects. Samantha chose the Dwell x Chicory collection to outfit the outdoor lounge, its teak frame complementing the home’s ipe wood siding.  

"Christophe grew up spending his summers at his grandparents’ farm in France, so we valued building our home somewhere that felt rural with the magic of the countryside, while at the same time being extremely accessible to Silicon Valley and San Francisco," says Samantha, who is a venture capitalist and an investor in outdoor living company Chicory.

With a dream home in mind, the couple tore down the property’s existing residence and partnered with EYRC Architects to design a low-slung house with big, open spaces that would encourage their three children to play, facilitate family time, and bring their friends together. Just as important, the 6,039-square-foot Westridge Residence takes full advantage of its natural setting, which includes meadows, trees, a creek, and foraging deer.

Ipe wood siding, smooth trowel stucco, performance glazing, and steel plate metal accents are featured in the home’s robust material palette, which is nestled by the natural surroundings. "The design of the landscape areas, in collaboration with Terremoto, was carefully considered to encourage different forms of outdoor entertaining and support future farmstead ambitions," says Garrett.  

Ipe wood siding, smooth trowel stucco, performance glazing, and steel plate metal accents are featured in the home’s robust material palette, which is nestled by the natural surroundings. "The design of the landscape areas, in collaboration with Terremoto, was carefully considered to encourage different forms of outdoor entertaining and support future farmstead ambitions," says Garrett.  

"The owners were very deliberate in the site they chose, characterized by south-facing slopes and heritage oak trees," says principal Bryn Garrett of EYRC Architects, "which were celebrated in the final design with framed views from many interior rooms, and provided natural shading and screening of the private areas."

"We spent a lot of time on the kitchen because we love to cook and entertain," says Samantha.

"We spent a lot of time on the kitchen because we love to cook and entertain," says Samantha.

The great room features floor-to-ceiling glazing to frame views of rolling hills, and opens to amphitheater steps that lead down the grassy slope. 

The great room features floor-to-ceiling glazing to frame views of rolling hills, and opens to amphitheater steps that lead down the grassy slope. 

Having lived in a multi-story residence, Samantha and Christophe were also deliberate in specifying that Westridge be mostly on one level to create a deeper sense of ease and help the family feel connected to each other. As a result, the glass, wood, and concrete volume "stretches in a sinuous band across the natural ridge of the property," says Garrett. "This not only minimized excavations and unnecessary earthwork, but it was effective in offering the best views of the rural landscape from every room in the house."

The bedrooms and its private areas of the home were designed to "nestle up to the woodland for privacy and protection," says Garrett.  

The bedrooms and its private areas of the home were designed to "nestle up to the woodland for privacy and protection," says Garrett.  

A bedroom is bathed in light while enjoying the seclusion of the tree-filled setting. Wide-plank oak floors contrast with the large format tiles covering the public spaces. 

A bedroom is bathed in light while enjoying the seclusion of the tree-filled setting. Wide-plank oak floors contrast with the large format tiles covering the public spaces. 

An entry courtyard can double as an outdoor entertainment space and features hand-laid rows of cobblestones "meant to be reminiscent of the French countryside, where Christophe spent some of his youth," says Takashi Yanai, partner at EYRC Architects. Near the entry, an ADU with its own living room welcomes guests to stay.

A slatted wood partition allows light to filter through the great room’s living space to the stairwell behind. A small lower level holds a wine cellar, media room, and office that leads outside. 

A slatted wood partition allows light to filter through the great room’s living space to the stairwell behind. A small lower level holds a wine cellar, media room, and office that leads outside. 

The courtyard offers sightlines that continue across the main living space and through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors to the expansive view beyond. Connected to the great room, the bedroom wing curves toward the wooded banks of the creek, creating a more intimate relationship with the landscape; it holds three bedrooms, including the primary suite, and a playroom. A small lower level holds an office, a media room, and a wine cellar.

"I love the modularity of the sectional," says Samantha. "It gives me the flexibility to rearrange the seats based on how I’m feeling or if I’m hosting guests that day. The performance fabrics are great for this reason—they are liquid-repellent and soil- and water-resistant so my family can be carefree and not worry about getting it dirty. Lastly, I love that all Chicory products are sustainably made with FSC-certified wood and foam made from upcycled plastic bottles."

"I love the modularity of the sectional," says Samantha. "It gives me the flexibility to rearrange the seats based on how I’m feeling or if I’m hosting guests that day. The performance fabrics are great for this reason—they are liquid-repellent and soil- and water-resistant so my family can be carefree and not worry about getting it dirty. Lastly, I love that all Chicory products are sustainably made with FSC-certified wood and foam made from upcycled plastic bottles."

Shop the Look
Chicory Modular Teak Outdoor 4-Seater L-Sectional and Storage Coffee Table
The Modular Dwell™ Outdoor Living Collection is thoughtfully designed to be modular and weatherproof for convenient, comfortable outdoor living.  Grade A Teak Wood Stain-resistant, Fade-proof, Liquid Repellent Upholstery  Pillows: 100% recycled synthetic down  Cushions: Low Density,...
Chicory Modular Teak Outdoor Ottoman and Side Table
The Modular Dwell™ Outdoor Living Collection is thoughtfully designed to be modular and weatherproof for convenient, comfortable outdoor living.  Grade A Teak Wood  Stain-resistant, Fade-proof, Liquid Repellent Upholstery  Pillows: 100% recycled synthetic down  Cushions: Low...
Chicory Modular Teak Outdoor Loveseat Sectional
The Modular Dwell™ Outdoor Living Collection is thoughtfully designed to be modular and weatherproof for convenient, comfortable outdoor living.  Grade A Teak WoodStain-resistant, Fade-proof, Liquid Repellent Upholstery  Pillows: 100% recycled synthetic down  Cushions: Low Density,...

"The house provides everything that was ‘required’ but is also a stage that lets life unfold in ways that are magical and beyond what could have been imagined," says Yanai. "It’s a real sanctuary."

Find the ultimate in flexibility and form at chicoryhome.com.

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Sink Into a New Outdoor Furniture Line Designed for Superior Comfort

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