Pool house is an understatement

This pool-side retreat takes facilities next level – guest bedroom, office, yoga room, wet bar, bathroom and sheltered outdoor living all feature

Designed by Amy A Alper, Architect

From the architect:

With a large circle of family and friends, a San Francisco couple commissioned a guesthouse to double as a pool house for their wine country home. 

They envisioned both extra accommodation and a social and functional destination for outdoor living by the pool, just steps away. 

The guest house was conceived to be a resort-like cabana, a bright, white destination in contrast to the existing main house and accessory dwelling, which are single storey and dark in tone.

Paired wings reach out to draw visitors into a covered courtyard while paired baton roofs extend the reach of each wing. 

The underside of the courtyard roof reaches up to contrast with existing and new flat rooflines.

 It is further delineated with a warm cedar-lined finish that drops back behind the doors at the back of the courtyard, blurring the lines between indoor and out.

Gathering areas are designed for flexibility.  

The group seating area orients away from the pool to capture the hillside panorama; it also faces the yoga room in order to enjoy, glare-free, a pivoting television that retracts into the ceiling.  

The second seating area, designed for two, takes in the pool and garden. 

Dining is set within the courtyard, adjacent to the wet bar.

Circulation was also planned for flexibility.

 All rooms can be accessed from the exterior or along the cedar-backed hallway. 

The guest room and storage doors were detailed with an added layer of cedar, virtually hidden except for recessed doorknobs.  

The yoga room and bath interiors, designed for spa-like appeal and simplicity, offer flexibility too. 

The yoga room provides views into nature but also allows participants to engage with an instructor when the television is pivoted toward the room. 

The bath, with its glass doors, brings the garden into the vanity space, already infused with greenery. 

Colour and texture in the water-hued shower tile references its purpose while harmonising with the greenery outdoors. 

With its door open, bathing becomes a resort-influenced outdoor shower experience, augmented by a large skylight above. 

When closed, the shower becomes a private space that still enjoys views above strategically placed opaque film.

The guesthouse also speaks to flexibility regarding the definition of sustainability: energy (including the choice of pre- and post-consumer recycling considerations), fire, and covid.  

Fenestration and insulation exceed minimums, architectural choices ensure sun-shading, and a solar array addresses heating, including for the pool.  

Wildland Urban Interface regulations are met and augmented. 

Solar-fed batteries supply generators needed during increasingly frequent power shutoffs. 

And design in the age of Covid calls for flexible indoor-outdoor spaces that allow for distancing. 

The guesthouse provides sanctuary, destination, lodging and entertainment – multiple programs that coalesce in this unique wine country retreat.

Credit list

Robinwood Construction, Healdsburg
Landscape architects
Western WIndow Systems Wood

Designed by: Amy A. Alper, Architect

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Adam Potts Photography

23 Apr, 2023

We know the Specialists

Related Book

TRENDS MINI COVER outdoor living 1 -

Get ready to relax on beautiful outdoor furniture on your deck, patio or around your new swimming pool. We’ll show you h...

Read More

Similar Stories