Cardinal Coordinates

Intentions:  A creative, forward-thinking couple approached 3 Lights Design with the desire to remodel their boxy, unremarkable, ranch style home. Through our initial conversations, we came up with an exciting program, including the desire to feel more connected to the outdoors and the surrounding area while simultaneously having cozy places to nest, having a roof top deck to take in the sweeping views on all sides, and, in general to create an open, light-filled floor plan.

Functional Results: Adding additional square footage to both the front and the back, we were able to enlarge two bedrooms and an office, cluster storage areas around the center of the house (so as not to obstruct views), and enlarge the kitchen. We created an upper deck above a new sunroom where the husband, an avid adventurer and outdoor enthusiast, could take in views of East Bay Hills, the San Pablo Bay to north, and the Golden Gate Bridge to the west as well as a cozy media center where the wife could watch movies.

Aesthetic Results:  During our early designs, the owners expressed interest in adding solar panels. Being in a subdivision, the home was oriented at an odd angle and not one conducive for gathering the rays of the sun, Furthermore, tall trees to the south cast shade over the home for much of the day. Still, in drawing out the lines of an ideal orientation for solar electricity, the owners fell in love with the cardinal coordinates—north, south, east, and west—running through their home. So that’s what the 3 Lights Design team did, create a balance between the existing layout and the new elements reflecting cardinal coordinates. In this way, the new structure becomes like a sacred compass, orienting visitors to the 4 direction of the world.

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