Monday, June 24, 2013


Here's a very unusual addition to our Pre-Designed portfolio. And an interesting story behind how it was created. Forgive me as I wander a bit...

I often take a route home that sends me over a mountain...its a fun road for driving and, as the highest point in town, gives some great views in a few different directions. There is one spot along that road That offers an absolutely breathtaking vista of the skyline of the city, and long range views to the mountain range beyond. I've always thought "That would be an amazing place to put a house." Only problem, it appeared to be a cliff face. From the road at least, there didn't seem to be a way to access the property short of doing an elevated "bridge" (as had been done on a few residences along that road.) The other bridges scream maintenance headache to me, so I didn't see that as a real option. So when I noticed a "for sale" sign on the promontory, I looked into it.

Turns out, the property was slightly wider than I imagined, and behind the overgrowth along the road there was  a roughed-in semi-circular driveway that had TWO access points off the main road. The price was high, but not totally out of the question. I was smitten. And decided I would design a house for that lot to explore whether it might be our new home.

Despite the surprise driveway, just off the edge of the it the property was a cliff. Seriously, the lot drops over 200 feet from the front property line to the back. So I needed a small footprint and knew I'd have to go vertical with the house. And here is the result:

The garage, with sky lounge above, sits toward the front of the property, and keeps the house from looking too much like a firetower.

From the back, the house shows it's height. Four stories, clad in stone and composite siding, it's a decidedly contemporary house. On one level, off the kitchen and dining area, is a wrap around porch, supported from below by huge sweeping brackets.

From the side, the house reveals itself even more. The "tower" element is at the rear, with a sweeping roof that reached out to the view. The garage wing, set far forward of the main house, has additional living space above it, accessed by a light filled "bridge" that serves as a library.

At the top of the house, offering the most spectacular view, is the penthouse level. A large great room is wrapped in glass and features a stone fireplace and an arched vaulted ceiling. Bathed in light by day, and the twinkle of the city by night, this room is a showstopper. The fireplace also opens to an elevated bridge space...with built in bookcases below the windows, it would be the perfect place to display a collection of books. It leads to the sky lounge over the garage, another large gathering space that looks out over the courtyard and past the main "tower" to the view beyond. A cantilevered corner balcony gives a one of a kind vista, and a full bath not only takes care of that floor for entertaining, but allows the sky lounge to double as overflow guest sleeping.
This is the level the house is entered on. The garage is semi-attached and forms a courtyard with a spa that sits out over the edge of the view. The house is all about the view. Floor to ceiling glass wherever possible makes the most of the stunning views the property offers. The foyer is accented by stone wrapped columns, and the island kitchen has a vaulted ceiling and joins an open dining and sitting area. These spaces open to a covered porch and would certainly be the heart of the house.
One level down from the kitchen is the master suite. Again, the view is the focus. Even the shower looks out over the mountains and city, with glass walls to the view and also inward to the bedroom itself--making light move through this floor no matter the time of day.
The very lowest level is home to the guest quarters. Two nicely sized bedrooms share access to a patio and a hall bath. A large laundry room is also off the hallway.
Unfortunately, for me anyway, the cost to build Skyridge is out of my budget right now. So we are offering it as a pre-designed plan. Please contact us at if you'd like more information.

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