Sitting with Nature

With enough rainfall, Estero Americano drains to the sea, becoming seasonally tidal My favorite chair, by far, is an ocean kayak. To unwind after an intense week of new projects, I spent a quiet afternoon idly paddling down Estero Americano, my favorite local slough, now flooded to the coast. The marshy, seasonally tidal estuary is […]

Touching the Wood

My projects always begin with sorting the pile, touching the wood Like cooking, working with wood engages all of the senses in symphony. Touch plays a major role in the early stages of a project, especially at the scale of fitting out the interior of a new building, like the Guest House that now requires […]

My Grandfather’s Tackle Box

I was lucky enough to grow up with things made by both of my grandfathers- some simple furnishings, a fishing tackle box, fly rod and cribbage board. Neither of my grandfathers earned their livings as carpenters, but they did share a generational disposition towards frugality and were clearly raised with more than a layman’s facility […]


Study of Clouds over the Sea, Brighton, oil on canvas by John Constable, 1822 Like my distant relative, the English landscape painter John Constable, I find myself increasingly looking skyward. Along the Sonoma Coast, the sky is alternately either clear blue or opaque gray for most of the year. But as winter approaches and the […]

The Week in Bloom

Hachiya persimmon are ripening early this year The raccoons have commenced their furtive nighttime raids on the persimmon tree, whose fruits are prematurely ripe by a few weeks. We’re still trying to figure out how best to use the hundreds of Hachiya persimmon produced by our single tree each winter, and have been picking and […]

Russ Dotter Designs Houses with Gusto

recently framed Guest House in Marin County, designed by Russ Dotter My friend Russ Dotter designs houses that both anchor and enliven a site, as though the house and its surroundings grew up together through generations of mindful co-habitation. He has a gift for combining contemporary construction methods and a California modus vivendi with the […]

Ene’s Winter Garden

Most people know Ene, my wife and wowhaus partner, as one of the sunniest people they’ve met, and rightfully so. Our wowhaus compound has been blessed by her love of planting, harvesting and saving seeds, as she eagerly scouts out patches of sun throughout the year, populating them with seasonal flowers and vegetable gardens, battling […]