ISSUE 8  |  Water Crisis

Steal This Look: A Seaside Beauty in Marin

February 25, 2014 2:30 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

If we had a seaside vacation home, we’d want ours to be architecturally refined, eco-friendly, and ultimately casual, just like the Seadrift House by San Francisco-based CCS Architecture. Located a half-hour’s drive north of San Francisco, the 1,900-square-foot second home suits a three-generation Bay Area family. All energy for the house–including electricity, hot water, and heating and cooling–is generated via photovoltaic cells that actually send power back to the local grid. The house accommodates abundant entertaining, with variably sized lounging areas spread across several decks and patios. Here are some ideas for recreating the look:

N.B.: See more of Cass Calder Smith’s architecture in his new monograph, Eat Live Work.

Project photography by Matthew Millman.

Above: A Mediterranean planting anchors the courtyard of the Seadrift House, located in a gated vacation community at the tip of Stinson Beach in Marin County. Neighboring homes include designs by California architectural greats Joseph Esherick and William Wurster. (See a Wurster design in The Cult of the Courtyard: 10 Homes with Amazing Interior Light.)

Above: In anticipation of rising sea levels, local code requires any new construction to be at least three feet above grade. So CCS designed the house as a “pier,” building decks that step down toward the water. Outdoor furniture is by American designer Richard Schultz, who designed the collection in 1966 to meet Florence Knoll’s need for weatherproof outdoor furniture.

Above: CCS used vertical cedar siding on the house with a bleaching oil finish in gray. Photograph via Bear Creek Lumber.

Above: The 1966 Dining Arm Chair by Richard Schultz is $1,193 from Knoll.

Above: The 1966 Dining Table Rectangle; $2,499 from Knoll.

Above: The 1966 Adjustable Chaise; $2,713 from Knoll.

Above: A little less pricey, the Montego Chaise with Cushion from Room & Board is $1,579 for the combination shown here: stainless steel and cement Sunbrella canvas.

Above: The 1966 20-by-32-Inch End Table in Silver and Marine Blue by Richard Schultz; $1,231 at YLiving. 


Above: The house has a water-level dock for swimming and boating; for a similar ladder, consider the Three Step Stainless Steel Dock Ladder; $545 from 

Above: Cape Rush, or Chondropetalum tectorum, is a good choice for seaside vacation homes; it tolerates drought, excessive watering, and everything in between.

Above: For directional outdoor lighting, the AWL.46 Wall Light is $348 from YLighting. 

Above: For a less pricey modern outdoor lantern, try the Incandescent 1 Light Outdoor Wall Lantern by Progress Lighting; $38.79 from Wayfair.

Keep exploring waterside design in 10 Easy Perennials for the Seaside GardenA Seaside Landscape in Northern France, and A Historic Farm, Ocean Views Included