Richardson Pribuss Architects reimagines a 1951 Sausalito Hills home with stunning results.
The living room, which boasts spectacular views, features a new fireplace, Hans Wegner shell chairs and a Warren Platner coffee table.
The owners of a gorgeous midcentury home in Sausalito Hills needed to renovate their property because of a carport fire, which caused significant smoke and water damage throughout the 1,900-square-foot interior.
The couple, who are artists, chose Mill Valley-based Richardson Pribuss Architects (rp-architects.com), or RPA, to reimagine the space. “Our approach to all clients is to be good listeners and create our design to respond to their desired program,” says Andrew Pribuss, a principal and architect at the firm. “We pride ourselves on giving the client what they want versus what we want. And Heidi Richardson, our founder, already knew one of the clients from photography classes, so they both respected each other’s skills and talents.”
The kitchen, which was gutted, now has a more streamlined flow.
While Pribuss notes the home has exceptional bones and is optimally sited, fi re damage prompted a rethinking of its floor plan. “Our client’s goals were to gain a real primary suite without sacrificing any other rooms,” says Pribuss. “They also wanted to connect the house with the side and back yards and to improve the indoor-outdoor flow with a more natural entry from the driveway.”
Natural light hits almost every space in the home.
The team first approached the fire-damaged carport, which was removed and replaced with a primary suite. They also flipped the house entry from the rear yard to the street side to create more of a standard entry with a foyer and access to the main-level kitchen-dining room.
“Within the new primary suite, we added a glass door entry to the back walkway area, allowing our clients to directly access the rear yard and provide easy access for their dog,” says Pribuss. “We were also asked to add another bedroom, which they needed for visiting family, and a home gym. The new entry is accessed from the driveway and provides a more modern flow into the kitchen and dining room on the main level. Previously, the house entry was on the lower level directly into the living room, which was an awkward roundabout way to enter the house through the garden.”
A Platner table and a Herman Miller bubble pendant grace the dining room.
“The existing house was odd, in that the kitchen, dining and living areas were very elegant and had a real and legible design identity,” says Pribuss. “But the other half of the home—where the fire occurred—almost seemed like a different house: It was dark and like an afterthought. Our main move was bringing that whole wing into alignment with the existing part and channeling that design identity throughout the rest of the house.”
THE LIVING AREAS AND PRIMARY SUITE
The living room, which boasts spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, now has a revitalized fireplace. The furniture, with an assist from the RPA team, reflects the homeowner’s style, especially with a CH07 shell chair by Hans Wegner via Carl Hansen & Son (carlhansen.com) and a Warren Platner coffee table.
The home blends perfectly with the lot’s lovely flora.
The dining room features another Platner table, along with violin chairs from Design Within Reach (dwr.com) and a Herman Miller (hermanmiller.com) Nelson bubble pendant light. “The original design of this space incorporated a lot of expressed structural elements, which created a closed-in feel,” says Pribuss. “We took out a beam to open up the room, which brought in more light to make the space less busy.” The kitchen was gutted, and the design team streamlined the flow of the space and added a larger window that overlooks a new patio to the rear entry.
The owner’s suite is brand new. “The client’s goal was to keep the midcentury aesthetic while providing an outdoor connection and views overlooking the garden and bay,” says Pribuss.
A soaking tub awaits in the owner’s suite, which is a new space created where the carport once stood.
HOW THE HOME IS LIVING
“The couple loves it—and appreciates the outdoor access and the garden,” says Pribuss, who also notes his clients adore the home’s new entries from the street and from the primary suite. The entire project is proof that exceptional design, coupled with an unwavering desire to revive a beloved home, can deliver beauty in every room.
Richardson Pribuss Architects
Carl Hansen & Son
Hans Wegner shell chair, living room
Design Within Reach
Chairs, dining room
Pendant, dining room
Photography by: THIBAULT CARTIER