If you came upon these houses without the benefit of being invited inside, you'd never know the splendor of what lies beyond their thresholds. Whether adhering to an existing vernacular or preserving a historical context, shielding the house from street noise and prying eyes, or simply itching to entice curiosity and deliver drama upon entering, both of these houses make effective use of austere beginnings that lead to even greater endings.
Project: Pins Sur Mer, Point Arena, Calif.; Entrant/Architect: Obie G. Bowman/Architect, Healdsburg, Calif.; Builder: Helmut Emke Custom Builders, Gualala, Calif.
Project: House for 2 Architects, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Entrant/Architect: House + House, San Francisco; Builder: Guadalupe Gonzalez Morales, San Miguel de Allende
Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.