In 2013, Robert Zeller commissioned zero ten design to build a home for him and his wife, Inge, on the edge of Downtown Napa, CA.  The property has an interesting history starting with its purchase by Robert’s parents, Hugo and Virginia Zeller, in 1934. Young Robert and his family lived in the house next door and this new addition primarily became the neighborhood playground. During WWII, Hugo and Virginia turned it into a Victory Garden where neighbors grew and shared produce.  After the War, the Zellers used it as the family garden for a time until reverting it back to a dirt lot.


To fit into the existing traditional neighborhood, we felt it was important to embrace Napa’s agrarian history with some modern design elements.  An existing structure with a gambrel roof on the back of the lot known as the ‘Dog House’, built by Hugo in 1946 as a retirement office, provided the spring point for the style and massing of the new house.  The ‘Dog House’ was carefully incorporated into the overall site plan and connected to the new residence via a covered walkway adjacent to a private garden and patio.

The main body of the house exterior consists of horizontal wood plank siding, while the dormers and shed roof elements are adorned with board and batten siding.  Traditionally, this style of home would have very distinct and separate main rooms, but we designed one big ‘Great Room’ on the ground floor, from front to back, that incorporates the living, kitchen, and dining areas.  This open plan creates a large, communal space where Robert and Inge’s large family can comfortably interact and entertain, a goal that was very important from the beginning of the design phase.

Zero ten design provided full architectural and design services on the 3,338 square foot, two story house, from conceptual design all the way through construction, including interior design services down to the furniture and fabric selections.


Location: Third Street, Napa, CA

Collaborators: Randy Theume Design (landscape),  ZFA Structural Engineers (structural), Beaman Construction (general contractor)

Size:  3,400 square feet. Four bedrooms, three baths on two floors

Completion: November 2015

Photo Credits: Mariko Reed




3400 SF


Napa CA