A dramatically remodeled ranch home with large expanses of glass throughout

In an effort to maximize construction dollars while avoiding Portola Valley’s Design Review, our design leveraged the value of the existing ranch style home by making only modest changes to the building footprint and existing exterior walls. Avoiding Design Review further limited the additional floor area to 400 s.f. max, and more than 50% of the existing main house roofline had to be retained.

The “big” architectural moves were reserved for the relocated front entry and raising the ceiling and roofline in the living dining room and master suite. Where the main entry once was, a stunning kitchen window now looks out to an amazing view of a protected hillside open space.

Large expanses of glass are used throughout the house, to bring in the massive views while taking advantage of the wooded, private site. A frameless glass corner window at the new dining room blurs the line between inside and outside, while a cantilevered roof extension recalls an existing roofline at the garage, providing a column-free covered outdoor space for outdoor dining.

This whole house remodel features all new interior and exterior finishes and building systems.

Portola Valley Contemporary Ranch Remodel


  • Scope of Work: Whole house remodel with 400 s.f. addition
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Project Cost:  $500,001 – $750,000
  • Location: Portola Valley, CA


Photography by Mark Pinkerton, VI360 Photography


Contact us today to start designing the home of your dreams!




Eugene and Sean are amazing to work with. They have a strong sense of design but were also very responsive to our ideas and questions. Eugene gave us a few options for initial design concepts that helped us shape how and where we wanted to go with the remodel. They were extremely patient with our many many questions/ideas, and the iterative process with them was actually smooth and fun.

We were able to do much of the coordination over email and they were fast and clear with their responses. They shared all of their design files with us, which was great. We were able to learn and dabble with the design software ourselves (SketchUp), which allowed us to play with concepts at home. They were always transparent and upfront with time/cost expectations.

We can’t imagine having gone through the challenging remodel process with anyone else. They are awesome to work with and we couldn’t recommend them more highly!

Cameron Ring


We have had the pleasure of working with the team at Studio S Squared since 2012. They are a great team to work with. As structural engineers, it has always been our goal to engineer the architect’s intent. But as with any project, there is discordance between budget and dreams. Studio S Squared has been able to accommodate the structural need without compromising their original intent.

When an architect can be flexible with their design intent instead of having an “It’s my way or the highway” attitude, they help streamline the engineering process. They pay great attention to detail and provide good insight of structural knowledge that helps the collaborative effort run smoothly. They listen to ideas, and most of all, put their clients’ need first.

I see great effort in their work to involve and listen to the needs of their clients from inception to culmination of the project.

Element Structural Engineers, Inc.