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Mid Century Revival: from Claustrophobic Cottage to a Bright and Airy Family Home

Cloud Street House began life as a dingy 900-square-foot  cottage, which has since infused with 500-square-feet of additional space thanks to flexible indoor and outdoor spaces. Designed by Ana Williamson Architect, the house in Menlo Park, California is now flooded with natural light, features sustainable building materials, and has a seamless connection to the outdoors. Keep reading to find out how architects made every inch of space work twice as hard to get the final result.

Everything in the redesigned home is organized along a vaulted central spine, which serves to separate the public and private spaces. To make the dining room feel more open, and allow for better circulation through all the rooms, large glazed bi-fold doors were installed to connect the dining room with the patio. This connection to the outdoors also creates easy access for the children, and helps to create the sense of “another room outside” on the patio.

The roofline was an essential part of opening up the house, which has been entirely reworked to vault the ceilings and allow for clerestory windows, which also help to keep the house warm in the winter. Seeing as the homeowners are both designers by training, they also made their own sustainable mark on the house. The front and rear decks are constructed with acetylated wood, which minimizes water absorption, while the kitchen cabinets are faced with a high performance fiber composite veneer, developed to be a timber free alternative.

On the outside, the remodelled cottage features a bold colors, and sharp geometric lines to give it a unique identity. Even though this makes it much more modern than the other buildings in the neighborhood, it also attracts the interest of passersby, who the family are often more than happy to have a conversation with.


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Cloud Street House by Ana Williamson Architecture | Gallery