hen designer Nancy Evars and her husband, Scott, first set eyes on this Atherton, California, property, there was only one thing wrong: The front yard was huge and the backyard was practically nonexistent. The lot ticked off all other boxes for the couple–quiet neighborhood, kids playing outside, walking distance to good schools, friendly area with other young families nearby.
“This is not the Atherton with huge homes hidden behind gates where you don’t see your neighbors,” Nancy says.
So they did what any seasoned homeowners would do: They hired the architect and builder who worked on their former residence to flip the lot configuration and build a new house with a giant backyard.
“The original house was set in the middle of a triangular lot with a small backyard,” says architect Larry Kahle. “It made sense to push the house to the front building setback limit for more rear yard space.”
While the front of the home is more traditional and East Coast in style (formal dining room, living room, butler’s pantry), the whole back half of the house speaks to the indoor-outdoor living spaces common throughout California. The family room, kitchen and breakfast area feature an open floor plan, with large French doors leading out to the back patio, which boasts a fireplace, covered lounge with cozy seating and barbecue area.
“We spend almost every day out there,” says Nancy. They even installed custom pocket windows over the sink in the kitchen that are perfect for passing ingredients out to the barbecue area when cooking out–which in this house is a regular affair.
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