Dutton Residence

Dutton facade detail.

Early EID rendering.

About a two years ago, I got a call from my best friend of 50+ years, he and his wife were knocking down their late 1930's California bungalow and going modern. As soon as I saw the initial renderings I knew I wanted to be involved in photographing this powerful architectural statement.

Michael Dutton and I grew up together as neighbors, he the easy going but enthusiastic sports fan and I the creative artist. An unlikely pairing, but one that has lasted many years.  Michael and his wife Cheryl Frank Dutton contracted with architect Stuart Welte at EID Architects for the vision of their new house at San Carlos, CA. The powerful collaboration between Cheryl with her taste and style and Stuart's bold architecture resulted in a stunning mix of modern form, function, light and living. And as with most residential construction projects (read potential marital discord), Michael was there to talk Cheryl down off the ledge, or in this case the towering wall that is the dramatic showpiece of the facade.


Light-well and staircase.The interior spaces are illuminated by floor to ceiling glass light-wells that bring light and levity to the otherwise unembellished architectural style. Perhaps the most striking feature of the interior space is 30 feet of sliding glass doors that connect the interior to the rear patio, creating a seamless transition for outdoor living and entertaining.

The contractor Keeth Building Contractors had to go to great lengths with a massive steel header to support this long span of glass sliders, in addition to bearing the load of the cantilevered deck above the patio.

The open living plan shares inside with out.

Evening view from interior to exterior living spaces.

The blocking of geometric shapes provides a minimalist look to the kitchen.

Great Clients = Great Results

Ray Parkinson, the project manger for EID, was impressed with the Dutton's unflinching commitment to Stuart's vision as originally conceptualized, "The design was executed pretty much as it was originally drawn", he said. The Dutton's were surprised to hear how rarely this happens in the design process... "why would you hire an artist to design you a home and then get in the way of that aesthetic process?" The Dutton's asked incredulously during the shoot.

The photoshoot began with a pre-scout and planning session the night before. A shot list and timeline was roughed out and the photography itself began at sunrise and ended at midnight, Ray was a great help during this long day shoot.

Evening view of outdoor living space.

The results of the shoot reveal the commitment to design and collaboration between the Dutton's and EID. For a photographer, it was a fantastic experience to photograph this unique architectural gem and Stuart was suitably impressed with the work...  "Beautiful... Thank you Russ for your great Eye!" Stuart Welte, EID Architects.

This photography and future assignments are exclusively available through Russ Widstrand Photographer. Regarding licensing and reproduction rights to magazines and other shelter publishers, contact Russ Widstrand at 503.459.7020 or russ (at) widstrand.com

7 Responses to “Dutton Residence”

  1. Very nice work, and I enjoyed your lucid commentary on the process. What was your thought process when, in the evening view of the outdoor living space, you had the walls go a false blue and the interior such a deep yellow?

    · June 13, 2017 @ 10:48 pm


    • Russ Widstrand says:

      Thanks Chad. All natural light, color temperature set to tungsten for the interior lights, that is what pushes the blue to the extreme. I used a handheld spotlight to “paint” the tallest wall during the long exposure, would have gone black without it. Worked well I thought.

      · June 13, 2017 @ 11:50 pm


  2. Cheryl Nangeroni says:

    Perhaps the most striking feature of the interior space is 30 feet of sliding glass doors that connect the interior to the rear patio, creating a seamless transition for outdoor living and entertaining.

    i want to be invited to a party!!! Great job of designing and photography!

    · June 14, 2017 @ 3:46 am


    • Russ Widstrand says:

      Thanks Cheryl. Yes, it’s a great space for entertaining!

      · June 14, 2017 @ 3:59 am


  3. Cheryl Frank Dutton says:

    What an amazing experience to see Russ work! I’ve admired his photography for years but I’d never actually seen all that went into creating such great shots. Russ is a true professional, very respectful of our new home and a pleasure to have around.

    · June 14, 2017 @ 4:18 pm


    • Russ Widstrand says:

      Thanks Cheryl! The photography has had a tremendous response.

      It was great to see you and Michael again, hats off to the chef!

      · June 14, 2017 @ 7:37 pm


  4. Holly Endersby says:

    Normally ultra modern doesn’t resonate with me, but this house is different. I like the clean lines, love the massive number of windows and actually find it quite serene. Great photos, Russ. I think you caught the “spirit” of the dwelling beautifully!

    · June 19, 2017 @ 12:24 am


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>