Five years after commissioning Framestudio to remodel their previous home, their clients contacted the studio about a dramatic hillside midcentury home with commanding views of Mount Diablo. The 1958 home had suffered from unsympathetic alterations over the years, not the least of which: falling victim to decades of decorating trends.
The house called Ridgewood is located in Alamo, a suburb 20 miles east of San Francisco, and was completed in 1959 by Bay Area architect Hill. Featuring two glazed wings that open up to views of San Ramon Valley and Mount Diablo, and an irregularly shaped swimming pool. Framestudio expanded on the good original elements and discarded the bad. The studio sought to create timeless interiors as if Henry Hill himself had envisioned them. They preserved the few original interior elements that remained and added more windows to the two wings of the house – which feature the bedrooms in one, the lounge, kitchen, dining room, and den in the other.
A secondary bedroom received a new glass wall modelled on an existing one in the main bedroom, while the kitchen’s original small windows were merged into one.
The den, which was added to the property in the 1970s but had few openings, was also updated with large expanses of glazing, and a new fireplace that referenced the existing brickwork fireplaces in the house. Other changes include reconfiguring the layouts of the guest and main bedroom bathrooms, a new wine room and the addition of floor to ceiling wood closets in the hallways. Ceilings in the hallway were also lowered to introduce a new air duct system for heating and cooling the bedrooms. All the original single paned glazing was also replaced with double glazing.
The interior decor was updated to follow the style of lesser-known international midcentury modern designers, according to the studio, with references to the work of Swiss designer Pierre Jeanneret, and Cuban designer Clara Porset. Details include white marble and pale wood in the kitchen, and wooden cabinetry and dark-pained wooden wall panelling in the bathrooms.