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A short stroll down the driveway takes you through dawn redwoods and native oaks on this densely wooded, sloping, three-acre lot. In the clearing ahead, across Indian Creek, you come upon a striking modern house clad in vertical western red cedar and full-height windows. A sculptured stone lion greets you as you walk across the chipped granite walkway to the front door of the house. Step through the front door and you are immediately drawn into the wide open spaces of this 8,000-square-foot home.

The four wings of the house radiate from the double-height central dining space, crowned by its large clerestory windows. The warm floors beneath your feet are white fumed bamboo. On the main wall beneath the clerestories hangs a tapestry that was fabricated by Milanese artist Luisa Cevese, who produced a creative reclamation of an old silk Chinese bedspread, fusing its delicate remains to resin squares affixed to a backing of Belgian linen. Your

 

eye is drawn upwards to the vintage Chinese lanterns draped with white silk from WW II parachutes. Beneath these lamps is a striking dining table of stained cerused oak flanked by linen-upholstered Art Moderne dining chairs. Where the dining room meets the living room, a French tree bark sculpture stands next to a French 1940s wrought-iron chair. These are just two examples of the many interesting art pieces and antiques highlighted in this home. In the immediately adjoining living room, custom wool-upholstered sofas and wooden chairs with Moorish detailing provide seating around the soapstone fireplace. The soft grayish lavender walls and windows on either side of the fireplace create an embracing, cozy space.

As you leave the living and dining rooms, a short flight of stairs takes you to the first of the four symmetrical bedrooms that comprise the north wing, complete with Eero Saarinen chairs, lacquered bedside tables, and slate-gray accent walls. Each of the lower bedrooms is uniquely styled for a family member, whether a child or a teenager. Continue up the central stairs and stop at the landing to observe how the living, dining, and family rooms below flow from one another.

At the top of the stairs, turn right to find an office in contemporary style. The three exterior walls are a series of full-height windows that look out into the surrounding tree canopies. A trio of sateen velvet upholstered 1960s armchairs invites you to relax and

enjoy these wonderful views of the property. On the interior wall, custom cabinets and shelves provide ample storage. As you return to the hallway, you will come upon the upper pair of matching bedrooms that express the serenity and minimalist nature of this amazing house. From the bedroom on the left you can enjoy the view to the “Doll House,” a treasured artifact from the original property. The bathrooms attached to all four bedrooms of this north wind are identical – white Corian vanity, Heath tiles in the shower, and separate WC. Take a glimpse into the shower to see a window to the outside, complete with a frosted glass “privacy door” over the full-height window.
In the west wing, opposite the office, is the junior suite. You enter through a comfortable sitting room with subdued colors, wrap-around seating and exotic cushions and pillows – an inviting place to curl up with a good book. The vintage 1960s lights and olive-colored walls add to the peacefulness of this space. The adjacent bedroom is bathed in light from its full-height windows in the north and south walls as well as clerestory windows. As throughout the house, built-in cabinetry by Mueller Nicholls provides ample storage, here housing the 40” flat-screen television as well as sundries. The custom chairs and antique Chinese floor lamp in front of the south-facing window invite you to sit down and enjoy the view of the rear lawn below with its sculpture by Rachel Miller surrounded by lush fescue grasses. The bathroom is similar to the others with a white Corian vanity and sage green Heath tiles, but it is more spacious and has its own bathtub and three full-height windows that create a bright space and offer a view into the rear garden.

Continue back down the central stairs to the hallway that leads to the master bedroom suite, passing beautifully arranged objets d’art, including a bronze Buddha’s hand on a pedestal, as you go. This home is filled with art, and these are pieces that the homeowner has collected over the years. Peek down the hall into the final south wing that holds the master bedroom suite and take a moment to reflect upon the Chinese prayer niche.

The family room’s pillow-strewn, U-shaped sectional upholstered in midnight-blue linen provides comfortable seating for all family members. The 50” flat-screen television and surround sound can offer hours of entertainment. This dazzling lounging area flows directly into the casual family dining area, with its circular, olive-lacquered table that seats ten, set below a chandelier of bent

rattan designed by Tomoto Mizu. It is easy to picture the lazy Susan in the middle of the table filled with food and ready to serve a large family gathering.

Both of these family areas look out into the rear patio and garden. Step outside to the patio and take a moment to gaze at the rear lawn sculpture seen earlier from above. Be sure to notice the Chinese seat made from stones from an old bridge and the bell mounted on the wall. The patio surface is the same chipped granite set on end that was used in the front entry.

Back inside, the dining area continues, flowing into a kitchen of stainless steel. The main kitchen with its sleek appliances, precisely detailed counters, and custom cabinets are inviting to any cook. The DCS stove, two Bosch dishwashers, Viking refrigerator, and Sub Zero refrigerator drawers make food preparation and clean-up a breeze. The custom maple kitchen island is a perfect place to watch gourmet meals being prepared. Notice that the entire west wall is in fact a series of built-in cabinets surrounding a large accent window that provides a focal point for

flowers or art. The adjacent caterer’s kitchen, with a commercial Viking wok and Thermador oven, can be sealed off from the kitchen via a pocket door.

After exiting through the caterer’s kitchen, you will again stroll down the driveway, away from this exquisite, urban retreat in the woods. Pause to reflect how son and designer, Calvin Tsao of Tsao-McKown, with his collaborators, David Finn and Brian Laczko of Finn-Laczko Architects and contractor Creative Spaces, created a family home that will be cherished for generations.

Home Coordinator: Heidi Monical