This custom home sits on a slope overlooking Folsom Lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California, and offers views of the lake and the Sacramento Valley beyond. The owners wanted a home that draws influence from a resort they visit in Mexico, with the relaxed floor plan of a vacation home. With the views as the focal point, rooms on all three levels were arranged to capture the views, including the attached and detached garages.

Situated on a 60 percent slope, the challenge became how to locate the great room, dining room, and kitchen one floor below the street level, which was half-buried into the hillside, without feeling like they are in a dark basement. The swimming pool also needed to be adjacent to the great room, which sits more than 20 ft. above grade. With the west-facing views, the challenge was how to create abundant windows and openings to enjoy the views and sunset without the heat and glare of the afternoon sun.

The solutions involved keeping the depth of the home as slender as possible across the steep slope. It also included exposing the open entry area to the vaulted great room and views beyond, while at the same time using the entry balcony as a screen to maintain some privacy in the great room. Using a stainless steel swimming pool reduced the weight of the pool enough to allow it to be placed on the wood structure of the deck. Using deep overhangs on the west, as well as automated roll down shade screens, provided views in the afternoon, without the heat and glare.


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