After Penelope Barnes lost her custom-built home to the 2017 Tubbs fire, she approached the rebuild with the aim of modernizing her property.
For Barnes, modernizing meant a more open floor plan, a covered patio, solar power and seamless indoor/outdoor living areas — design elements featured on many homebuyers’ wishlists these days. While these elements are indeed contemporary, the style of this new build is unapologetically traditional.
“I didn’t want anything that would become faddish,” says Barnes.
The 4000-square-foot home — designed to Barnes’ tastes by Farrell Faber and Associates architectural firm in Santa Rosa — sits high on a hill in the Skyfarm area of Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood. It is currently listed for $3,200,000.
A hand-stamped concrete driveway leads to a courtyard-like entrance that frames a single arched wooden front door. Select areas of stone siding add more storybook-like charm to the exterior of the home.
Inside, there’s plenty of open space. The kitchen connects to the dining area and the living room. Barnes, whose former home had separate kitchen, dining and living areas, prefers the spaciousness of this layout. She believes the home has retained its elegance but with a more relaxed atmosphere. “I call it a comfortable elegance,” she says.
A pair of quartz-topped kitchen islands are attractive spots for food preparation on one side, and staging and dining on the other. Floor-to-ceiling windows that pocket into the walls capitalize on the views of this top-of-the-hill lot. Barnes credits architect Farrell Faber for positioning the home so skillfully that views are accessible from every room.
Recessed ceilings add architectural interest, and details like chandeliers cap off the look in every room. Even the main bathroom’s bathtub has an overhead chandelier — a witty choice in brass with a modern drum mesh shade surrounding the ornate fixture. The traditional design has just enough contemporary elements, such as clean-lined trims and select modern furniture pieces, to keep it fresh
The palate is tranquil but not in the ubiquitous white-on-white way. Beiges and taupes add sure but subtle warmth — a request from Barnes translated skillfully by Marin interior designer Kimberly Oxford. “If I want to add color I could just add pillows,” says Barnes.
The landscape is water-wise and fire-wise with “islands” of vegetation — a layout designed to give breaks in ignition materials. Plants include lavender, salvia and Mexican sage, as well as lush magnolia and olive trees that dot the yard.
This home at 3938 Saint Andrews Drive is listed with Dena Clover-Vargas of Keller Williams Realty. For more information, call 707-495-7113. findahomesonomacounty.com