Linked In
Project information

Italian Villa

The original 1970's Ranch Style home, located on a breathtaking ridge top in the Santa Cruz Mountains, was in need of a design that was fitting to the surrounding natural environment. The owners wished to work with an architect who was capable of creating a design that embodied their memories of Tuscany and paid tribute to the owner's late father, who lived in Rome.

The primary challenge was to create a design that would meet the complex Santa Cruz County Geologic requirements, as the parcel is located in a Geologic Hazard Zone. In order to meet the strict Geologic requirements, changes were limited to
less than fifty percent of the existing exterior walls and five percent of the existing building footprint.

The architect, through careful study of the ordinance, made certain that the limitations set by code did not restrict the extent to which the home could be transformed architecturally into a building from a different era.

In the final design, strong Italian design elements are woven throughout the home. Stone walls, tile niches, wrought iron gates and rails, travertine pathways, Spanish tile roofing, and exposed rafter tails, beams, lintels and custom-made shutters built from recycled timber help to create the old-world feel of an Italian Villa. Lighting features were selected with care, while simple yet richly detailed cabinetry adds authenticity. The owners' and architect's attention to detail is revealed in the tile artwork on the backsplash behind the oven/range unit that was commissioned to show the home of the owner's late father.

In the newly redesigned home, changes to the interior walls at the lower level include modifications to the kitchen, great room, TV room, office, guest bathroom and laundry room. The existing master suite remains intact. The second floor addition includes a gym, media area, bathroom, wet bar and library. An outdoor deck is accessible off both the upper level rooms. The deck, like the veranda below, looks over the same extraordinary view and landscape that is the essence of this unique property.