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Begun during the early days of the pandemic, this project presented unique requirements to integrate new living space into an existing finished garage and landscaping anchored by an 1890s shingle home in Piedmont. Inspiration for the interior came from the client’s childhood at Stinson Beach, including sourcing the terracotta tiles that welcomed her back from the beach as a child (and stood up to all the sand over the years).

Piedmont ADU


Design: Tim Wooster
Kitchen Design: Martin Gunst

The centerpiece of the renovation is the existing garage that was converted into a kitchen. The lofted storage space and a family member’s ladder informed the remaining design decisions while leaving opportunities for careful integration of laundry facilities and a pullout liquor shelf in the form of the bedroom door. While this could have easily been a broom closet or filled in with another inventive trim detail, the beachhouse vibe called for a hidden liquor cabinet in the extra 6″.

Whether at the beach or further inland, everyone deserves good indoor air quality. During design, the clients choose an induction range and a high quality exhaust hood to extract cooking vapors. Removing gas from the kitchen also saved on plumbing costs and the extra work required to extend a methane gas line from the street.

Leaving the kitchen for the primary bedroom, guests discover the bathroom is not a separate space but is actually integrated into the hallway. If someone needs a quick rinse-off, they can do so without occupying the toilet room and vice versa. If more privacy is needed, they slide the door/bar into place.

Removing methane gas from cooking and heating was a key goal of the design process and an increasing priority for regulators and efficiency advocates. In this case, two heat pumps were installed to meat all of the system needs. The first was a typical high-wall unit and the second, for heating domestic hot water, is a Japanese unit renowned for its efficiency and long life compared to the rest of the domestic heat pump water heater market.

The SANCO2 has some significant improvements over traditional heat pump water heaters and achieves EPA Uniform efficiency factor ratings in excess of 2.5 thanks to its independent (large) compressor and careful use of DC motors and fans for highly tunable operation. It is also the more environmentally friendly option because of the much lower global warming potential of the CO2 it uses as refrigerant compared to more potent R410 used in competitor’s units.

During the coming years, units like this will allow grid connected consumers to maximize their use of their own PV production and reduce the strain on the grid without limiting their consumption of hot water. Go ahead. Take a bath!

This Zellige tile is the perfect mix of handmade imperfection and craftsmanship. The irregular thicknesses created a unique challenge for our tile masons as they integrated with the fixtures and trim pieces.

This shower could be upgraded to steam shower with an additional layer of tile on the ceiling and a glass door for an in-home spa experience.

The bedroom, along with built-in closets and storage for the homeowner, was built with both guests and aging-in-place in mind. The lofted area will become a play space for grandchildren, once they’re old enough and a railing is added.

During design, the closets were slated to receive doors; however, we assessed the space during drywall and realized drywall returns and open closets better reflected the client’s goals and maximized the function and aesthetic better.

Frequent check-ins during the build meant that the design was updated to match the client’s requirements as it came to life.

You are invited from the bedroom into the outdoors in the new construction portion of the ADU. A new deck, landscaping, and outdoor lighting were integrated with the old during the close-out of the project.

Like the rest of the ADU, all trim has been completed with Vertical Grain Doug Fir, common in mid-century homes. By selecting specific mature fir boards, we were able to more closely match the grain spacing seen when the Stinson Beach cottage was built.

With fewer trees alive now, matching grain width can be a challenge.

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Working with Wes and David and their team at Lookfar Builders on our ADU was a pleasure from the start. Their ability to implement the design with creative expertise as well as to unflappably navigate unforeseen issues, lead to a beautiful outcome! Most importantly, they have great communication skills and post-construction follow through.
I highly recommend this company!”

~Laurie, 2021