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Modern Ranch House
Brentwood, CA


Mark Rios
Hauy Wee
Daniel Torres
Agnes Pierscieniak
Casey Nagel
Leslie Barrett
Danielle Langston


This Cliff May home sits on a hillside on a street zoned for owners with horses. When our client purchased the property, the house and grounds were in extreme disrepair. Our office was asked to renovate the house and landscape, but also maintain the spirit of a California modern ranch house while adding present-day amenities and improving the circulation both within the house and throughout the entire site.

The renovation kept to the original Cliff May material palette of concrete slump block, painted board, and batten siding. But in a modern twist, we left the slump block unpainted and replaced the wood shake roof with concrete “wood shake” for fire safety and durability. We widened the signature Cliff May ridge skylight and extended it throughout the entire length of the main house, increasing the amount of natural light in all the rooms.
We added a larger master suite to the main house and cut a separate sod-roofed office directly into the hillside below the house, bracketed by two existing massive oaks. The office’s new lawn rooftop provided an outdoor dining area off the kitchen, and gave the property another level area from which to view the surrounding canyon. We reconfigured the hallways in the main house to run along the outer walls and installed specially glazed windows to create indoor/outdoor “porches” to overlook the property.

Water features, handrails and balconies were clad in bronze and dark metals. Each of these elements cantilever into the hillside, maintaining Cliff May’s style of extending living areas into the California landscape. We tailored and re-planted the landscape with California native plantings to create an oak grove that encircles the house.