Room with a view: Belmont home goes green with flair

When Kevin Davis and his wife, Holly Hertberg, bought a home on Monticello Avenue circa 2003, they expected to get a typical Belmont home– a slightly ramshackle exterior with good bones and interesting design elements hidden inside. What they didn't expect was a leaky roof– and what they really didn't expect was to find gorgeous mountain views hidden in the attic.

"I've always had this love for views of the mountains and I had a theory that if we got up here, we'd have some pretty good ones," says Davis. "We were thinking about doing an addition, but with the roof leaking, the desire for mountain views and a love of the gabled rooms in Belmont, we decided to take this on."

Rather than go the standard route of building onto the back of a home for additional space, Davis gathered a team– architects Gate Pratt and Schaffer Summers and Freightrain Construction– in 2005 and designed and renovated the leaking attic into a bright and cozy bedroom, bathroom, and balcony space. Built-in cabinetry maximizes storage space and a solar chimney helps to keep the top floor cool. Large glass gabled windows (with bottom-up shades for instant privacy) allow for passive solar energy use and keep the mountain views easily accessible.

But Davis took the design one step further– by choosing green materials to supplement the green design decisions he made. From bamboo flooring to insulated plate glass, Ipe deck flooring and cooper roofing to concrete counter tops, Davis and his team utilized off-the-shelf (read: not budget killing) and sustainable materials throughout the space. The result is a stunning, yet simple room– one that makes sure not to overwhelm the views.

The house, now for sale, is playing host to ARThouse, the Ar(t)chitectural Open House co-curated by Chroma Projects and Les Yeux du Monde. The exhibition, featuring art, antiques, and textiles, is open during Garden Week April 16 through April 24, noon to 6pm. For more information, visit