When Lisa and John Leeb designed their Sonoma home they did it in a way that encourages togetherness. In contrast to most home renovations, the couple decided to make their new home smaller to better suit their needs. They then worked with local Apache Builders to bring their design ideas to fruition. The result — a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath farmhouse-style home with an expansive great room, lush garden and an animal sanctuary — recently sold for $7.15 million.
Gathering is a through line in this home’s design. The great room, for example, offers several areas for activities that bring people together: piano playing, lounging, cocktail hour at the bar and meals by the dining table. Upstairs, there’s more space for lounging and playing games and music. The spacious bedrooms also are upstairs, as well as bathrooms, one of which has a tiled shower with a door opening toward the yard, which has an additional shower outdoors.
The home has Sonoma’s signature tranquil-white aesthetic but it has been livened up with colorful artwork and vintage pieces. Contrast is a well-used design tactic throughout the home: A graphic black-and-beige rug offers a weighty counterpoint to an ornamental chandelier in the main bathroom. Modern lamps contrast with moldings and trims in other rooms.
An extra dwelling on the property is just as pretty as the main home, with built-in bunk beds, bathroom and a kitchen. Accents bring the space to life, such as textured fabrics and petrified beehive pendant lamps in the bathroom.
The Sonoma home is set on 1 acre. The garden has a manicured look and consists mostly of geometrically trimmed boxwoods and privets, vines of table grapes and a row of privacy-keeping redwoods. The limited use of plant varieties gives the property a clean look. A trellis, stone fire pit and wood furniture accented with white cushions add to the elegant outdoor scene.
Beyond the manicured garden, things get a little more rustic. There are ten gardening beds, a chicken coop and mini barn, where the Leebs have been housing rescued animals — two miniature horses, a goat and some chickens.
The animals have been an added source of togetherness in the close-knit Sonoma neighborhood. Neighbors have gathered for “Mailbox Fridays” to chat, sip wine, nibble on appetizers (laid out at the mailbox) and check out the animals at the sanctuary. While the animals will move with the Leebs to their next home, the couple hopes the Mailbox Fridays tradition will continue.
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