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Santa Lucia Preserve 5, a contemporary take on an English cottage near Carmel by the Sea designed by Richard Beard Architects with Susan Williams

Project name:
Santa Lucia Preserve 5
Architecture firm:
Richard Beard Architects
Carmel Valley, California, USA
Paul Dyer
Principal architect:
Design team:
Interior design:
Susan Williams Interior Design
Built area:
6,500 ft²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
ZFA Structural Engineers
Environmental & MEP:
Arterra Landscape Architects
Banks Landl Lighting Design
Tools used:
Vucina Construction
Brick, concrete, glass, wood, stone
Residential › Cottage

Richard Beard Architects: Near Carmel by the Sea, discreetly nestled in an oak grove at the edge of a meadow in the 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve, this lovely contemporary take on a rural English cottage is sited to harmonize with the landscape’s wild beauty and maximize the residents’ enjoyment of living fully immersed in nature. The house’s classic, courtyard layout jogs around trees while stone-terraced gardens ramble through the property’s biodiverse terrain, fulfilling the client’s request for a home with the character of an English cottage.

A natural palette of wood, stone, and copper enhances this timeless feel, blending the 6,500-square-foot structure into its setting and making it a camouflaged retreat for viewing wildlife. Three main volumes define the two-level residence: A central gallery of shared living spaces is anchored by a traditional stair tower and flanked by two opposing wings for the private spaces. Because the husband and wife both work from home, his-and-her offices reside at either end of the courtyard arms where hallways open into light-filled spaces featuring contemplative, garden-facing views.

The home’s neutral interior scheme, abundant glass walls, and network of inspired outdoor rooms combine to draw attention outward and further open the home to the native California landscape, as does the couple’s inviting primary suite on the second floor, which, perched amid the branches with eye-level views of nesting birds, evokes the sensation of sleeping in a treehouse. Generous bay windows in the all-day breakfast room facilitate prime viewing of fox, coyote, wild boar, bobcats, and every manner of fowl during the couple’s lunch-time meetups and happy-hour debriefs. The detached guest house, a simple, scaled-down version of the main home, delights visiting friends and family with its secluded spot and lovely western-facing views. At the tallest part of property, a short stroll away, a stone firepit beckons the couple in the evening, when they sit with their backs turned to the house and nothing but nature in sight.

By Liliana Alvarez

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