15 years ago we finished building the only home we started from scratch at the coast in a lovely little town called Manzanita. We have always restored homes that seemed in need of TLC and as we couldn’t find this sort of home in a very heated property market in 2002. So we found a lovely lot tucked away from the bustle of town and ended up working with a local revered eco architect named Tom Bender. We had some ecological goals for this home:
- to use all salvaged and reclaimed wood for most of the finish woodwork and flooring and ceilings
- to create a space that had only as much space as was needed to provide three bedrooms and a couple bathrooms, 1500 sq feet was where we landed
- we tried earthen floors downstairs where we had the bedrooms
- decks were designed off of each room so there was a strong connection between inside and outside
- as we were on a hill, we created a pond where all the rain, a lot out here, would flow into
We loved what we created and enjoyed and shared the place with friends for almost ten years before we were moving back to England for an extended period and decided to sell. We sold the place fully furnished and the couple who bought it seemed to really love the place. We came back from the UK seven years later and met the current owner and even spent a lovely weekend at our old place at his invitation. We realized how nice it would be to have some space back at the coast as it felt like such a special spot in the world.
There was a place that came on the market not far from our old place and we negotiated with the sellers but couldn’t quite agree on a price. The day we walked away from that the owner of our former home got in touch and said he was thinking about selling and couldn’t imagine it going to anyone else beside us. To make longish story a bit shorter we ended up buying our home back again. It still had all our things which included art, rugs we had gotten on our honeymoon in Morocco, and all the other furnishings.
This all felt surreal, in someways it felt like we had never left. And the only way we could say yes was to see if we could find a way to make it new for us. Our aesthetic from 15 plus years ago had evolved from very eco to more contemporary, kind of the best of new and old. So we set out to recreate the home we initially designed, to renew the place so it could feel like a fresh chapter.