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Yosemite Waterfall House: A Vacation Home Becomes a Full-Time Residence for a Nature-Loving Couple

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Located on the edge of Yosemite National Park and situated on a cliff just above a waterfall, it was supposed to have been a rental vacation home. But after San Francisco-based Red Dot Studio transformed it into a breathtaking property—both inside and out—owners Emily Tharpe and Christopher Gebo decided to scrap their original plan and move there permanently.

Who could blame them? Aside from the jaw-dropping site and views, the home—once a warren of dark and cramped rooms with faux oak paneling and a mishmash of carpet and other flooring—now has open and bright interiors for easy living. The overall look is simple and streamlined.

That said, achieving it was challenging. There was the matter of the building’s irregular, multi-angled silhouette. There was the decrepit deck that needed to be replaced and secured to the boulder-strewn precipice. And there was the less-than-ideal budget. “Our clients have amazing taste but a limited budget,” says Camille Peignet, the lead designer on the project. “So they opted to do much of the finish work of the house themselves. They were amazing to work with as owner/builders.”

Join us for a tour of their pandemic getaway turned permanent home.

Photography by Henry Gao, unless otherwise noted.

Above Both the biggest challenge and biggest feature was the site perched at the edge of a waterfall on boulders Placing the replacement deck on the boulderstook a bit of finesse says Camille Photograph by Christopher Gebo

the kitchen was reconfigured so that it now has access to the deck. a total of  10
Above The kitchen was reconfigured so that it now has access to the deck A total of 13 closets were removed in order to open up the space The Walid Pendant Light is from Lulu Georgia<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 868 class=ezoic adpicker ad style=displayblockimportantfloatnoneline height0margin bottom15pximportantmargin left0importantmargin right0importantmargin top15pximportantmax width100importantmin height60pxmin width468pxpadding top15pximportanttext aligncenterimportant>
the couple chose ikea cabinets to keep costs down but did splurge on a terrazzo 11
Above The couple chose Ikea cabinets to keep costs down but did splurge on a terrazzo countertop from Concrete Collaborative and Smeg appliances The flooring is engineered wide plank European oak from the Costa Collection Overall the materials we chose are a little rugged able to handle snow and sun dirt and fun Apart from one or two splurges like the terrazzo counter everything was value priced says Camille<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 870 class=ezoic adpicker ad>
a second set of sliding doors in the living area offer another access to the wr 12
Above A second set of sliding doors in the living area offer another access to the wraparound deck
the main bedroom. every wall in the home is painted simply white by benjamin mo 13
Above The main bedroom Every wall in the home is painted Simply White by Benjamin Moore<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 874 class=ezoic adpicker ad>
windows offer ample views. most of the windows in the home were enlarged during 14
Above Picture windows offer ample views Most of the windows in the home were enlarged during the remodel to allow in more natural light
the guest bath, with tiles by daltile. 15
Above The guest bath with tiles by Daltile<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 876 class=ezoic adpicker ad style=displayblockimportantfloatnoneline height0margin bottom15pximportantmargin left0importantmargin right0importantmargin top15pximportantmax width100importantmin height90pxmin width728pxpadding top15pximportanttext aligncenterimportant>
pilot (who
Above Pilot whos since gone to doggie heaven snoozes in a narrow space thats now the study The decking is from Thermory<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 877 class=ezoic adpicker ad>
the view from the study. 17
Above The view from the study<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 878 class=ezoic adpicker ad style=displayblockimportantfloatnoneline height0margin bottom15pximportantmargin left0importantmargin right0importantmargin top15pximportantmax width100importantmin height90pxmin width728pxpadding top15pximportanttext aligncenterimportant>
the couple enjoy their outdoor fire bowl in the step down sitting area of the d 18
Above The couple enjoy their outdoor fire bowl in the step down sitting area of the deck<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 879 class=ezoic adpicker ad>
Above We designed to limit waste on the existing home Sometimes this meant reusing features rather than overhauling and replacing says Camille For instance the corrugated roof and exterior siding were already in place before the remodel and because they were both in good shape the decision was made to keep them as is other than a fresh coat of paint<span id=ezoic pub ad placeholder 880 class=ezoic adpicker ad style=displayblockimportantfloatnoneline height0margin bottom15pximportantmargin left0importantmargin right0importantmargin top15pximportantmax width100importantmin height90pxmin width728pxpadding0text aligncenterimportant>

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