When my brother and I bought land in remote coastal Northern California in the ’70s, our parents, Bob and Jean Anderson, jumped at the opportunity to build a small home on our place.Bob was a retired filmmaker, and Jean a travel agent, so they had seen a lot of the world from which to get ideas for building. “I saw it more as set design than architecture,” Bob said about the 665-square-foot house. Built with standard stud-wall framing and locally milled wood, he added a half-timbered facade on the exterior, complete with stucco peeling away to expose brick. My mom and dad were both meticulous about trying to make the place look instantly old, in a European way. Interior posts and beams were cut and peeled on-site (by Jean, using a draw knife). In order not to have too boxy a feeling and to add variation, there are several bay windows and entrance nooks. There are two decks; one reached by a bridge over a small stream and wrapped around a large fir tree, the other shaded by a vine-covered ramada of fir poles. An 8-foot slab of a tree was split in half to form a three-inch-thick, built-in dining table/bar. All the windows and doors are made of recycled materials. Upstairs, there is a small, covered porch where you can sit and contemplate the canyon below. A couple of steps away is the bathhouse, with a bottle wall in the shower. The overall feeling here is off-the-grid contemplative peacefulness; no Internet, no cell reception, just a snug, half-timbered cottage overlooking the ocean and forest.
Floor Area: 665 sq. ft. / 62 m2
From: Small Homes
Builder: Tony Anderson