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Master Suite Design & Renovation Progress on the Farm

Hello Fabulous Farmers! We’re “rocking” it!

Rock Haven Farm Earthwork

When I arrived at the farm at the end of the first week of ground work, it looked as though a bomb had gone off - and I loved it! This signaled to me that we were indeed beginning this home renovation dream, and experience tells me, for things to look better, they must first look worse.

Rock Haven Farm Earth Work

It looked as though the crews were in hazmat suits. It wasn’t because they unearthed some dangerous toxic dump site. It was because this property has far more than its share of poison oak.

In fact, we’ve gotten poison oak a number of times since buying this property. My husband had such a bad case of it a couple of months ago that in the middle of the worst of it he declared: “If I get it again, I’m leaving, I’m living somewhere else!" Why did he get it so bad, you ask? It had something to do with the idea that men can easily attend to their bodily functions while in nature. I don’t think I need to say more!

Today, I wanted to give you a sneak peek of our future:

Master Suite Addition

Just like one of my recent visitors to the farm, you may be wondering why we’re adding a new master suite, especially since we became empty nesters and down-sizing was on our minds.

Here are our top four reasons for adding a ground floor master suite.

1. A space for our grown kids.

This home currently has a total of three bedrooms, which are all upstairs. Our plan is to convert one into an office/creative space, which leaves only two bedrooms. In the future, it is really important to us that no matter where life’s adventures take our kids, that they always have a home to come back to. Whether a quick overnight stay or a summer long respite, home is definitely where the heart is; and for us, that is time with our kids - any future grandkids - and other family and guests.

Design Goal: Make it function for you AND the ones you love.

2. A home we can grow old in.

While this home’s beautiful grand staircase is one of our favorite features, the reality is, my favorite guy and me, we’re no Spring chickens. If we love living in this house as much as we think we will, we want to be able to stay here forever, and that means being able to enter a master bedroom without having to navigate a staircase.

Design Goal: Plan ahead and make it livable long term.

3. Resale value.

Down the road, if we need to sell this property for any reason, we’d want to get top dollar. That means making it attractive to a wide pool of buyers. Future homeowners looking to purchase their wine country estate property here in Northern California would expect a home that could easily accommodate their entire family and friends.

Design Goal: Design it with future buyers and resale in mind.

4. Lifestyle.

We’re creating our future dream home here, a space for us to embrace California style indoor/outdoor living. With that in mind, our desire has always been to have a master bedroom with French doors that open up to a beautiful pool and spa.

Design Goal: Design it for how you live, and allow it to embrace the environment it’s in.

Shortly after closing on this house, I set about envisioning how we would live in it. I knew immediately we would need to add a master wing, and I knew just where to join the old with the new.

Home renovation - future master suite entrance.

The immediate upside of placing the new wing here in the living room was that it would be easily accessible; however, it would also be private and serene and located in an area that is the furthest away from any vehicle noise on the driveway.

In order to accommodate this new addition, we needed to excavate the hillside for the installation of a new retaining wall.

Home renovation - retaining wall foundation.

Here is the footprint of the new wing.

Rock Haven Farm - new master suite addition.

My original architect and I each had our own ideas of how this wing should look. He thought it should be a simple rectangle with a flat roof; I wanted it to mirror the original architecture of the house as closely as possible. With this goal, I sketched it to mimic to an extent what was happening at the other end of the house where the garage meets the living spaces. Roof lines were key. Above is the final architectural elevation.

Rock Haven Farm - master suite addition.

Rock Haven Farm - master suite addition.

Here is the back facade that faces the beautiful, nature-infused hillside. When I first visualized this addition, one of my primary goals was to be able to soak in the bathtub with the windows open, experiencing all that this 37 acre property has to offer.