Who doesn't like to tour a house and discover interesting ideas, designs and features? Sunset's 2018 Idea House looks like a traditional craftsman, but with a modern interpretation. On the main level, it's difficult to distinguish the outdoors from the inside because of folding glass doors in the living room and in the great room where an outdoor eating area and yard seem to be a natural extension of the house.
Even the staircase lets light through. Builder Mark De Mattei, president of San Jose based De Mattei Construction, explained, "What a craftsman house would typically have is the picket rail, and here we have a house that has a glass rail, so it allows us to see through the house."
Porch pillars also take on a new look, cut from cedar without a taper that most craftsman houses would have. The house is 2,900 square feet. There are three bedrooms, plus a study.
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"I think it lives more like a 4,000 square foot house because of no dead-end rooms, you flow straight through, you can see straight through," noted De Mattei. The lack of walls creates an open floor plan so people can congregate in the kitchen area, the family room, and even walk out into a covered dining area through folding window walls. Two chairs sitting opposite a sofa in the family room can be easily turned to face the outdoor dining area to enjoy the yard view.
The 1,000 square foot basement includes a guest room and guest bathroom and a large media room with a built-in bar. It's not the typical dark basement. It's filled with light because of light wells and a staircase that leads to the yard. Fresh air is available through another wall of folding glass doors.
There's plenty of technology, too, including whole-house lighting controls by Noon Home.
"If you're cooking the lights will be a bit brighter," explained Chantal Lamers, Sunset's home editor. "If you're entertaining, you can set it to entertaining mode, and they'll be a little bit dimmer, more intimate."
The bedrooms are cozy and not grand in size.
"I think that smaller bedrooms and larger communal living spaces are sort of what people are after right now," said editor Lamers.
Ticketed tours over six weekends will provide people with plenty of ideas for remodeling or new construction. It took 13 months to build this house from the ground up. Builder De Mattei said he expects the house will have a price tag of $3.6 million when put up for sale.
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Project partners included Lexus, Lauren Nelson Deisgns, tamura Landscapes and De Mattei Construction. Sponsors include AZEK Building Products, Belgard, LaCantina Doors, Lamps Plus, Noon Home, Sunset Western Garden Collection and VELUX Skylights.
This is the sixth Sunset Idea House for De Mattei Construction, which has done hundreds of residential and commercial projects in Silicon Valley over the past 33 years.
Tickets cost $20 to tour the Sunset Idea House and are available online. Tours are Saturdays and Sundays, starting this weekend, running through September. The Idea House will also be featured in the November issue of Sunset.
You can buy tickets to tour the house here.
For a more detailed tour of the Sunset Idea House, check out David Louie's 20-minute Facebook Live here.
Take a look at more stories and videos about housing here.