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Healdsburg, California – Arkin Tilt Architects

Completion year:     2011

Victorian houses have a definite charm, but many have small, poorly ventilated rooms. That has resulted in most undergoing multiple renovations over the generations – not always sympathetic to the original design.  This 100 year-old Victorian farmhouse clearly had good bones, but over the years, it too had had its share of  unfortunate alterations and additions. The result was a lifeless and thermally challenged house. The new owners determined to bring it back to a warm and welcoming home.

Bright warm white lights, including the LED strips installed in the steps illuminate this house at night.
Bright warm white lights, including the LED strips installed in the steps illuminate this house at night.


The original house received a facelift and insulation to make it more efficient and suitable for its environment. A new wing, mirroring the roofline of the old,  contains the kitchen area and dining room, With a large wrap-around deck and high vaulted ceilings, the addition opens the home to the outside in a way that Victorians never considered appropriate!

The new addition relies on recycled materials for ambience. These include a vanity made from a marble slab taken from the Brooks Brothers store in San Francisco, Douglas fir bleacher seats that were rethicknessed and used to  create the warm, textured ceilings and even the dining table and pot rack which are made from reclaimed bowling lane timber.

Architects Notes:

“Improving the home’s energy efficiency was a given, and we sought to model appropriate technologies and innovative solutions. The old house received a complete insulation and air-tightness wrap, while the new addition includes both passive and active solar features. The minimal heating needs are easily met by a solar-assisted domestic hot water and space-heating system.”

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If you liked this, you will also enjoy viewing this 1880’s Adelaide Renovation