Nestled between oak trees, pine, cedar, birch and walnut trees, on a flag lot in Atherton, California, this contemporary residence offers privacy and an aesthetically pleasing environment for family life. The new family estate is protected by 20-foot-tall hedges that offer a private, relaxing outdoor habitat and the possibility of drawing sunshine deep inside the home. Known as the ARA Residence, this family property was designed by Swatt | Miers Architects as a private heaven surrounded by refreshing greenery.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the elegant indoors, creating an ever-changing light dynamic. Spacious and welcoming, the living room boasts a glass wall fireplace and looks outwards to the forest edge beyond. Architects share some insight into the design of the modern Californian family estate:

The earliest design strategy involved setting the building on an angle, roughly 30 degrees, off of the orthogonal grid of the lot, creating diagonal, vanishing vistas from each major space-increasing the sense of space surrounding the home. The trapezoid-shaped exterior spaces have been transformed into landscaped outdoor rooms for family living, with extensive private gardens, terraces, and a swimming pool. The house is approached from the west side from a long private driveway that skirts the edge of the property. A linear entry walkway, covered by a low cantilevered roof overhang, leads to the main entry.

Russell Abraham took the photos showcasing the home cleverly hidden from neighboring houses. Are you wondering, like us, how the inside of this house feels?