OME PEOPLE ARE wired to like a challenge. Take, for instance, the owners of this modern home in the Kent
Woodlands hills. They met through their work in San Francisco’s tech industry in 2011 and decided to move in
together in 2013. She already owned a quaint Victorian in San Francisco and he owned a house on the Peninsula.
But instead of testing the waters by moving into a rental together, they crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, bought this house
and undertook a massive renovation.
We bought this home to start our ‘we life’ together,” he says, “but the remodel was a huge test of our relationship.” She’s
more of pragmatist and he’s more of an idealist. So there was occasional friction as they spent weekends visiting tile stores,
examining countertop materials and selecting hardwood floors.
Yet the yin/yang of the relationship yielded beautiful results: a warm and arresting modern home that celebrates the
landscape upon which it sits.
The house was not always that way. “It was a midcentury modern,” she says, “but not the cool midcentury modern. It had
wings that were added over time, and it looked very plain.” The layout “looked like t wo shipping containers,” he says. When
the couple first saw the home, it had a board-and-batten wood exterior of a drab olive color. A huge asphalt parking area consumed the front yard, and although you could see Mount Diablo and the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge through floor-to-ceiling
windows on the southeast side, the house did not take advantage of its 360-degree views.
This page: The Zen
garden can be seen
from the midcentury-style living room.
Opposite: The lava
rock and sapele
divider separates the
family room from the