The central courtyard is an outdoor living room, complete with fireplace and sitting area.
Inspired by the modern California ranch houses of San Francisco architects William Wurster, Joseph Esherick, and William Turnbull, this design lives larger than it is because it opens to the lot in a variety of ways. The L-shaped plan wraps around two sides of a courtyard, turning it into a private outdoor living room. Sheltered breezeways for lounging -- like the "corredors" in early California ranchos -- face the courtyard; there's even an outdoor sitting area -- complete with fireplace -- beside the living room. Off the master suite is a private outdoor shower. A home office/study tucks between the kitchen and the master suite. The detached garage forms the third wall of the courtyard, for extra privacy.