After Penelope Barnes lost her custom-built home in the Tubbs fire in 2017, she tackled reconstruction with the aim of modernizing her property.
For Barnes, modernization meant a more open floor plan, covered patio, solar power, and seamless indoor/outdoor living spaces – design elements on the wish lists of many buyers these days. Although these elements are indeed contemporary, the style of this new construction is decidedly traditional.
“I didn’t want anything that would become fashionable,” Barnes says.
The 4,000-square-foot home — designed to Barnes’ taste by architectural firm Farrell Faber and Associates 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-shaped entrance that frames a single arched wooden front door. Some areas of stone facing add more storybook charm to the exterior of the home.
Inside there is a lot of open space. The kitchen connects to the dining room and the living room. Barnes, whose former home had a separate kitchen, dining room and living room, prefers the space of this layout. She thinks the house has retained its elegance but with a more relaxed atmosphere. “I call it comfortable elegance,” she says.
A pair of quartz-clad kitchen islands are attractive spots for food prep on one side, and staging and dining on the other. Floor-to-ceiling windows recessed into the walls take advantage of the views from this hilltop plot. Barnes credits architect Farrell Faber with positioning the house so skillfully that views are accessible from every room.
Recessed ceilings add architectural interest, and details like chandeliers complete the look of every room. Even the master bath tub has a hanging chandelier – a witty choice in brass with a modern drum mesh shade surrounding the ornate light fixture. The traditional design has just enough contemporary elements, such as clean-lined trim and curated modern furniture, to keep it fresh.
The palate is tranquil but not in the ubiquitous white-on-white sense. Beiges and taupes add safe yet subtle warmth – a Barnes request ably translated by interior designer Marin Kimberly Oxford. “If I want to add color, I can just add pillows,” says Barnes.
The landscape is water and fire with “islands” of vegetation – a layout designed to give breaks in ignition materials. Plants include lavender, salvia, and Mexican sage, as well as lush magnolias and olive trees that dot the courtyard.
This home at 3938 Saint Andrews Drive is listed with Dena Clover-Vargas of Keller Williams Realty. For more information contact 707-495-7113. findahomesonomacounty.com