2021 Design Awards: Indoor/Outdoor Design by Wade Design Architects


Architects like Luke and Ani Wade of Wade Design Architects laugh as they recall their clients’ reaction to the initial scheme for their San Geronimo home. “They said it wasn’t interesting enough, which is very rare to get that sort of feedback,” Luke shares. “It’s a wonderful moment to realize that the clients want to push you.” Rather than a long bar of a building, Wade ultimately devised a pinwheel-shaped compound that perfectly suits the homeowners’ indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

The breezeway living space— flanked by the pool and a courtyard—includes custom sofas from California Sofa and antique Indonesian plantation chairs purchased in Singapore, along with a painting acquired in Thailand and antiques from Vietnam. Photos by Eric Rorer.

“There’s this unfolding that happens as you make your way through the project,” says Wade. “With each new space you move into, from the main bedroom to the living room through to the kitchen/dining area, there’s a new view and relationship to the outdoors that emerges.” The exterior materials used— stained cedar, shingled roofing—are subdued, so that “the building is really just a frame for the landscape.”

The gym, which features a large rolling garage door, offers views to the north.
Photos by Eric Rorer.

The orientation of the 3,500-square-foot residence was guided by the views, emphasizing the scenery to the west and south. The home boasts 17 exterior doors, 45 windows and 14 skylights. Wade and his team made frequent visits to the site and even installed a weather station to monitor sun, wind and fog conditions that would inform their design.

The client, who is an artist and served as the interior designer for the project, had the idea to center a window on the vanity wall; the art is by Anne Whitney. Photos by Eric Rorer.
In the main bathroom, floating elements—like the shower bench and vanity—are a recurring theme; the shower is appointed with Newport Brass fixtures from Ferguson.
Photos by Eric Rorer.

When the homeowners spoke about their time living in Asia—including Bali—a lightbulb went off for Wade, resulting in a centrally located breezeway living space flanked by 15-feet-wide fully pocketing doors that allow access to a courtyard on one side and the pool area on the other. “There are people who say they want the doors and walls to go away, but then don’t necessarily live that way,” Wade explains. “Once I realized, They’re really going to throw this thing open; they’re really going to be in the courtyard and the pool—that made me find another gear.”

Photos by Eric Rorer.
Photos by Eric Rorer.