Cathy Schwabe Architecture
Architects & Designers
Russian River Studio contemporary-landscape

Russian River Studio

South view from lower terrace. Photograph by David Wakely

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September 15, 2013
Lightlink Lighting wrote:
Hi, what is that small stone structure on the lower grade, Storage?
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Cathy Schwabe Architecture
Yes - and also doubles as a wine/food cellar - pantry.
Thanks for the question --
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Lightlink Lighting    September 16, 2013 at 8:29AM
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Lightlink Lighting
Great idea. Thank you.
    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:25AM
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May 28, 2012
Refine Design wrote:
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Cathy Schwabe Architecture
Hi -
The building SF is 864 SF. The plan is essentially a large rectangle -- 24' x 36' with a bite taken out for the covered entry porch which is 12' x 5' - 4'. The spine along the back which is 7' - 6" wide ( 6' - 6" of usable width) contains a bath/laundry combo (8' -4" long inside dimension) and then a space that is 15' - 6" long ( inside dimension) which is used for a study + darkroom and will become a kitchen workroom at some point. Then the last piece of the spine is the alcove in the main room which is 10'-2" long ( ID). The bath + study/darkroom sit under a storage loft. I have had very preliminary conversations with other folks who were considering this as the starting point for a small cottage. We talked about making the work space behind the yellow doors the kitchen and conceiving of the study/darkroom space as a small bedroom --- I think it seems quite doable but would depend on the site -- and how you dealt with the at grade situation and how outdoor space was provided -- for one way of addressing something similar look at the Mendocino House on my site which is on a sloped lot and has a partial basement (840 SF, 2 BR) where a deck (which increases the footprint) is incorporated as well as and a front terrace. Interesting idea to think about -- where is your site?
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Cathy Schwabe Architecture
Hi again - so I was thinking about this some more -- if I were going to make this into a dwelling unit rather than what is currently more of a work/live space - I would make use of the loft -- incorporate a stair and or ladder ( stair seems more comfortable) at the end of the study/dark room near the open alcove. By lowering the ceiling in the spaces under the loft one could get a pretty comfortable space that would be a sleeping space. Build in some storage for clothes... the bath/laundry seems fine as it is -- lower ceiling would be ok here if the sleeping loft continued over this space. The kitchen could go in what was left in the space behind the green door - leaving the space behind the yellow door as a small study if that were desirable and or as I suggested previously and then the balance of the under loft space could be a small guest room, a study, pantry/storage... I would also look at increasing the width of the building by at least 12" and give it to the spine rooms so that they are wider. Another idea is to build in a platform seat/bed in the alcove and sleep there -- during the day it is a daybed/sofa and at night the sleeping place -- and or a murphy bed idea... lots of options to consider. More food for thought.
Feel free to email me -- if you want to have a more direct conversation. Thanks, Cathy
3 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:23AM
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

The couple has been working on the entire property for some time; this curved retaining wall creates a terrace between the cabin and the studio.
9. Carve out a private spot with a stone retaining wall. A single stone retaining wall is another option for those with a hill to contend. This works best with a gently sloping hillside; use a terraced-garden approach (such as the one in the previous photo) on steep hillsides instead.See more of this inviting studio

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Stone steps
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on Monday
Green cutout wall
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on Sunday
stone wall
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on Sunday
I just like this, fire pit area maybe, the rustic steps up it just comes together well for me
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on Sunday
Pavers on slppe
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January 20, 2015
Firepit, retaining wall, natural landscape
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horseshoe-shaped retaining wall on the slope
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parking area, maybe knock hole in structure for door???
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Stone footpath
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great small house with glass
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Fire pit area
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like wall and steps
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cradled sitting area
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Gravel and stone grotto
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building and sitting area
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Fire pit
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December 23, 2014
casual steps and that the fire pit is carved out in a nook into the hill. Ours would be much shallower, but I like the semicircle definition of space.
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curved stone walls
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sloped backyard
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Great landscaping.
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Table in front of rock wall
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Fire pit and cobblestone wall
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simple, modern silhouette
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Space below hill
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sloped lot terrace below house
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Not sure
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Tiny studio steps
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Patio on steep slope
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separation between front seating area and background
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retaining wall
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seating area nestled against retaining wall
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Outdoor patio
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alcove incorporation
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I would add fire pit...
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terrace rock wall
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Patio, stairs
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Curved wall for around propane tank
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House on the ridge, steps to the lower landscape
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Retaining wall
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Firepit area
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cozy nook
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Seating area
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like the patio
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Candle shelf
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The rock wall and seating area
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September 26, 2014
Seating area with candle shelf
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September 24, 2014
It is a charming detail tha chairs and the table
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September 23, 2014
nice use of terrace to creat cozy sitting area
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Small version of what I want in the backyard.
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akmens trepes
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stone retaining wall
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Le mur de pierre
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rock pathway
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Black windows stepping stones & roof
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retaining wall for fire pit
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candle ledge on wall for third level
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stone wall with candle shelf.
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Stone wall in hill. Stone walkway up the hill.
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stone shed
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fire pit at the bottom
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the wall and house
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August 31, 2014
Yard with a slope and a nice garden patio at the bottom.
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curved wall
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nice footpath
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love all of it
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backyard cookout idea
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natural integration
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Land scape
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Steps and patio for granny driveway
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Retaining wall
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Cutout in slope for a patio table
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Stone wall
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Little patio
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Mountain retreat
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rock wall by fire pit
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stone steps, stone patio, stacked stone retaining wall lower with gravel
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slope retain boma
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Fire pit
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retaining wall
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Stone stairs with retaining wall
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Sloped yard ideas
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Landscaping and layers
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retaining wall w/ steps
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Maison architecte
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interesting shed
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retaining wall add garden flower bed at base
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Firepit retaining wall!
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Sunken patio
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For mountain cabin
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muro bajo el cerro
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Gravel seating area created out of retaining wall
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Tree on right side and idea on slope
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I love the way the stairs look casual
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fire pit idea
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flagstone small patio
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Stepping stones for lower level
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Fire pit wall
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native stone steps from west side ramp
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front yard, carved out area
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July 20, 2014
Curved wall Shelve for candle
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The alcove
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Slope to fire pit
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walkway from deck to front corner by birch tree
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Retaining wall
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Hill patio area
Charlie Douthwaite added this to FIREpit
July 18, 2014
slab stairs an parially terraced sunken fire pit
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Sitting area or BBQ area
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fire pit, retaining walls
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outdoor ideas
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Clever Change in level idea
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July 10, 2014
Front of house stone retaining wall with crushed stone (pea stone) sitting area.
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Patio area with retaining wall
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Table and chairs
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Shed and natural
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Guest House Idea
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like this one a lot
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slope yard
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Hidden seating area
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Мой вариант
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Split level river garden?
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.........schöne Ecke........
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Wall garden patio
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The retaining wall.
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these steps!
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Rock wall
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curved retaining wall
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June 21, 2014
really cool all around
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June 20, 2014
Carve out a private spot on a hill...good thought for the front yard!
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June 19, 2014
Interesting that the height changes.
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rock wall "carved' into slope, creating a sitting area
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June 16, 2014
good design; outdoor and hse
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bbq place
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Garden steps
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Small house
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Retaining wall curved seating area
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gradini esterni
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Fire pit nook?
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Stepping stones (native rock?) in slope . . . .
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area for sitting
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Bistro set
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bottom level
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Lake house
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Elevation usage
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Cabin fire pit
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