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California Cape Cod


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									           California Cape Cod
           Tiburon	family	creates	East	Coast	aesthetic	on	dream	lot
            story P. J. Bremier photos BarBara ries

                                                                      “My husband had the vision,” says Kari Cusack of the tiburon property now graced by
                                                                      their recently completed 3,900-square-foot home. she points to a home uphill from hers and
                                                                      recalls the day he picked up their daughter from a playdate there and asked her friend’s father
                                                                      about the property below.
                                                                         “it was an overgrown lot with an old abandoned house that had been on and off the
                                                                      market for years,” Jeff Cusack says. and while the spectacular views were not immediately
                                                                      apparent, it did look like it was a flat lot that could accommodate a yard. “typically, in this
                                                                      area if you want a view you can’t have a yard and if you want a yard you can’t have a view,”
                                                                      he says. the Cusacks wanted both.

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                                  architect steve Wisenbaker of Corte Madera created the floor plan          inside, these same rooms open airily to each other along a central
                               and sited the house. he found the ideal vantage point by walking the       hallway and yet, through the unimposing use of separating walls, each
                               property with a blanket and asking the Cusacks where they would            has its own well-defined space. the floor plan, furniture placement,
                               choose to picnic. he then declared that place as the “sweet spot” and      and lowered-patio elevation in all of the rooms work together to re-
                               future outdoor living room, Kari recalls.                                  spect the views.
                                  the Cusacks called in holscher architecture of tiburon to complete         With its soaring ceiling and two sets of French doors opening onto a styl-
                               the project. “i like the way the house just wraps around the site,” says   ish pillared veranda, the living room dramatically frames the san Francisco
                               david holscher, who worked with the couple using photographs they had      skyline and bay as well as the tip of belvedere and tiburon’s Main street.
                               taken of houses and architectural details during a vacation on nantucket      the room is an instant destination for arriving guests, who can ad-
                               and Martha’s vineyard. “it’s a modern plan in traditional clothes.”        mire the vintage telescope, the antique english pond yacht atop the
                                  both Kari, a design consultant (her company is Kari Cusack designs      mantel or the exotic zebra-skin rug here before mixing a cocktail at the
                               of tiburon), and Jeff desired the traditional Cape Cod look but needed     built-in wet bar. From there, they can step outside to take in the view
                               it to reflect their lifestyle. “We wanted to build the house the way we    or gather around the fireplace during super bowl and oscar parties to
                               lived—indoors and outdoors,” she says, “and for entertaining.”             watch the flat-screen tv that rises sleekly from a marble countertop.
                                  the result is a shingled house that curves gracefully around a step-       standing on the hand-cut squares of Connecticut bluestone that
                               down garden where a soothing lawn, simple carefree beds of bou-            form the veranda floor, Kari gestures toward the water. “this house is
                               gainvillea, landscape roses and azaleas, and boxwood hedges meet a
                               sparkling blue pool and spa.                                               Photo on page 110: view from front patio overlooking Tiburon and the
                                  From there, an exciting display of rooflines—straight, gambrel,         San Francisco Bay beyond, teak furniture with orange cushions from
                                                                                                          Terra Teak. Opposite page: upper; pool house chairs from Ralph Lau-
                               pitched, and even an eyebrow window—on the house add an illusion of
                                                                                                          ren, antique light fixtures and portholes contribute to a nautical theme;
                               height and unexpected complexity to the design. Just below them, the
                                                                                                          lower, view from poolhouse with Terra Teak furniture in foreground; this
                               kitchen and living and dining rooms, symmetrically presented through       page, above; porch outside living room provides shaded seating area to
                               windows and French doors, offer a balanced counterpoint.                   enjoy the view of downtown Tiburon.

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more about bay appeal than curb appeal,” she says. “it’s fun. We get to              “i love color,” says Kari, “but this house called for white. i only
see Jeff come [home] and go to work on the ferry, and right out there             used color whenever impact was needed, and a touch of blue is in ev-
is where the Friday night sailboat races start.”                                  ery room.” With the exception of two bedrooms, the flooring is dark
       the kitchen is the couple’s favorite room. the old-fashioned charm         stained brazilian cherrywood throughout.
of white painted beadboard on both the walls and the ceiling, along                  For the family room, Kari chose robin’s egg blue accented with tan-
with the light-reflecting, beveled-glass-fronted cabinetry and shiny sub-         gerine. there, another flat-screen television is flanked by individual
way tiles, holds it own against the whimsy of the tower-shaped break-             homework stations for their two daughters. When not in use, the sta-
fast nook and its clerestory windows.                                             tions hide neatly behind floor-to-ceiling cabinets inset with raffia wall-
       suspended over the custom breakfast table and window seat is a             paper that subtly suggests beach sand.
wheel-shaped chrome chandelier. over the distressed indigo-blue island
                                                                                  Photo above: Wolf Range is focal point in the kitchen with Sub-Zero re-
is a slab of Carerra marble chosen for its whiteness.
                                                                                  frigerator and Miele dishwashers. Center island is flanked by McGuire
       a pair of custom-paneled Miele dishwashers, a six-burner Wolf range        barstools. Opposite page: furniture details in living room, white walls
with a pot-filler, a built-in hutch and a walk-in pantry to store colorful sets   and dark-stained wood flooring create dramatic environment for place-
of dishes serve as useful conveniences.                                           ment and use of accent color.

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       nearby, the laundry room and Kari’s crisply designed office (with         twin loft beds, accessible only by built-in ladders and outfitted with
a secret vertical gift-wrap drawer), adjoin each other. Jeff’s office, ad-    authentic boating lifelines for railings, accommodate clusters of young
jacent to the living room, is dark, quiet and masculine, with a desk          slumber party guests. a pullout sofa, more hospitable for adult guests,
placed to take full advantage of the water views.                             is available below. a working pair of old ship lanterns throws green and
       the master suite downstairs was planned as a restful retreat with a    red light from above, and antique porthole windows mark the doors to a
color scheme of pale aqua and gold and French doors leading to a seclud-      bathroom where there’s faucetry in the shape of a ship’s wheel and to a
ed garden. in the bath, an antique chandelier and twin crystal sconces        storage room where boat cleats are used as hooks.
add glimmer and glamour to the mosaic-and-marble floor and walls. a              “i always dreamed of having a house like this,” says Jeff, “but this
custom furniture-style cherry vanity is decked out with crystal doorknobs,    one has exceeded my wildest dreams. it’s such a warm, open, friendly
a feature common to many doors throughout the house.                          and inviting home that i love being here.”
       the girls’ bedrooms offer different takes on pink. a blush shade is       he credits Kari for pulling it off. “i’m so lucky to have a wife with
paired with soft yellow for six-year-old devon’s perfect-for-a-princess       such an incredible sense of color and texture,” he says. “she’s amaz-
room, while nine-year-old hailey’s room takes its hot pink and lime           ingly talented. i just get out of the way.”
green cue from a pillow covered with a lively Manuel Canovas fabric.
                                                                              Above: dining room and adjacent living room both enjoy spectacular
       the nautical motif is carefully restrained in the main house, but it   views to downtown Tiburon and the San Francisco Bay; right: media
goes full-speed ahead in the pool house, where a nanaWall folds back          room provides space for family to gather; walls are painted robin’s egg
completely to open the room to the outside.                                   blue with orange accent Hermes painting by local artist.

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