Magazine article Sunset

Out of the Box

Magazine article Sunset

Out of the Box

Article excerpt

The next generation of our iconic Breezehouse prefab offers private retreats, gathering spaces, and green innovations-all under a soaring roof.

Built into a slope in Sonoma County wine country, the house and guest pod (left) share a 2,490-square-foot back deck, right The home's front, with its own deck and curving driveway

OUR LATEST IDEA HOUSE rolled into Healdsburg, California, on a truck, all folded up like a piece of steel origami. With a foundation waiting to bolt it into place, each ready-made section of the home was lifted into position and its walls flipped up.

The new Sunset Breezehouse is the next generation of the design-sawy prefab we debuted in 2005, offering the benefits of an architect-designed custom home with the efficiency of prefab construction. The best elements ofour original blueprint remain: soaring, light-filled spaces that blur the line between indoors and out; thoughtful storage; and eco-friendly, energy-efficient construction.

Blu Homes made this architectural icon even more green (all models are LEED certifiable) and technologically advanced - a solar-thermal water heater, radiant-heated floors. It's also easier to build: Framed with recycled steel, each room is assembled in a state-of-the-art factory before it's buttoned up and trucked to the building site.

The 3,000-square-foot home and guesthouse took just two months from delivery to completion. It combines everything we love about Western living - elegant and eco-conscious design, tech innovations, and indoor-outdoor access - in a relaxed and welcoming package.

Heart of the home

The central "Breezespace" unites the living and dining rooms and is the signature of the Breezehouse. The 14-foot ceilings, distinctive butterfly roof, and the open concept's flow into the kitchen and outdoor living spaces are hallmarks of architect Michelle Kaufmann's original design. (1) Next to the gas fireplace, interior designer Sharon Portnoy added a bench for built-in storage and extra seating in a room made for entertaining. (2) The open kitchen sits between the pantry/laundry room (which can be hidden behind a sliding barn door) and the dining room with access to the outdoor kitchen and lounge area. (3) Finishes and appliances are included and shipped installed. Design options allow personalization.

THE FLOOR PLAN Our two-story home customizes the single-story standard Breezehouse (from $515,000) and is perfect for a steep lot. The main floor (shown below) contains an open living space, three bedrooms - we use one as a den/guest room - three baths, laundry room, and walk-in pantry. A two-car garage, wine room, office, and storage area are downstairs. …

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