Faulkner is a details man, and the Emersons were willing to spend more per square foot to get the character they wanted. The wooden countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms are from reclaimed flooring of old railway cars. The cabinetry throughout the house is made from discarded wine barrels, with unique and irregular edging in places.
The wood paneling throughout the interiors, as well as the shingling on the outside and all the doors, is gorgeous old-growth redwood. “You can see the tight grain,” says Jenny. The wood is from a single, ancient tree that was growing too close to the home of a Mendocino family. The tree had to come down, and the Emersons bought it. “It was heartbreaking, but it was coming down anyway,” Jenny says. “It adds a level of warmth to the wood that you won’t find these days.”
Iron, a recurring detail in Faulkner’s work, is everywhere: railings roughly welded together, sliding doors on iron tracks, iron backsplash tiles along the kitchen counters. There is also iron detailing the corners outside the house—all modern elements that counter the earthy warmth of the wood. “He had an idea of iron shingles for the whole roof,” says Jenny. “That would have been cool, but we ended up going more traditional.”
With repeating patterns and materials, the home echoes the philosophies of Frank Lloyd Wright. It also embodies his idea of authenticity, with exposed steel plates, bolts, supporting beams and concrete on the outside wall. “We wanted the structure to be honest,” says Richard
The end result is rustic, yet elegant. Small enough to bring people together, yet with room enough to entertain.
Jenny and Richard’s friends tell them the house looks like it’s been there forever. In a community as guarded as Sugar Bowl, that’s a huge compliment. The Emersons’ hope is that their kids will create memories and want to return for years. “The sense of community here is overwhelming,” said Richard. “It’s far more magical than we had imagined.”