As a man who spent decades in high-ranking executive positions at Delta, Virgin America, and Lufthansa airlines, Fred Reid obviously has a bit of cash to throw around when it comes to country homes. However, as a man with an aversion to wasted living space and a deep, abiding love of the outdoors (trees, in particular), a big old empty house just wouldn't cut it.
And so, Reid, a San Francisco native who grew up in Ethiopia and now serves as vice chairman of the board at the Sonoma Land Trust, has created quite the lovely compound — a "little sanctuary," nestled on a secluded orchard in West Sonoma, Calif. that was once owned by his aunt. The property is composed of three small-sized dwellings: a petite and appropriately rustic cottage (a remodel/expansion of an existing structure on the property that Reid describes as a "ramshackle hut"), a prefab guest cabin with one hell of a fold-out sofa bed, and a stunning tree house (more of an elevated cabin, really) nestled amongst a thick grove of second-growth redwoods that you may recognize. Explains Reid: "The feature here is the land and the trees. Not the houses. And when you're in a small house like this, nature is bigger and nature is more important."
There's a lot to admire about Reid's triad of modestly-sized, well-appointed outbuildings including the bathroom in the "main house." The space may unnerve anyone who prefers to use the loo behind thick layers of privacy, but heavenly for those excited by the idea of semi-outdoor showering. "Whether you're in the bathtub, or using the toilet, or in the shower, you're constantly outdoors. Except your not. You are and you aren't."
Related stories on MNN:
- EcoPERCH: A ground level treehouse retreat
- An old toolshed converted into a closet-free crash pad [Video]
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.