lone tree residential design anthony m richards rendering


I have more than 30 years experience in residential design. In 1981, I began dealing with the County of Marin to get my own house approved. I learned the process early on and in a few months I was building a shingle-style house atop a hill in Mill Valley.

The first house I designed and built, an homage to Paden Prichard, in 1982

I sub-contracted the foundation, framing and roofing. From that point, I took over the project, doing plumbing, electrical, drywall, insulation, radiant heating, sidewall shingles and trim, bathroom, kitchen, interior trim, and bricklaying, among other things. I hired a woodworker to craft me a 1920’s style redwood banister and newel posts but, for the most part, I did much of the work myself, acting as my own general contractor, with the help of my then brother-in-law. The hardest project on the job was the creation of a coved ceiling in the living room in order to mimic a traditional San Francisco house.

In 1985, I bought an unwanted lot nearby and solved its design challenges. I built a spec house in the same manner as my first house. Other developers came knocking, requesting my design expertise on their neighboring lots. Soon I was inundated by design work. I became associated with SCI Builders, a spec-home builder, designing houses wholesale for difficult Mill Valley lots. 

View Marin Independent Journal article about infill lots.

On my third spec house, I sub-contracted out everything. Six more spec houses followed with a contractor partner, while I was very busy designing homes for other builders in my Sausalito office operating as Minton Design from 1986 through 1995.

During this time, I did working designs and site planning for a number of projects in Mill Valley: a 28-house subdivision in Garden Valley Park, 22 houses in Fairview Park, 19 houses in Caltura Vista, several houses on Greene Street and Dolan Avenue, plus a multitude of infill houses in the area on difficult lots in Tam Valley.

List of Homes Designed by Anthony M. Richards [PDF]

Homes Designed by Anthony M. Richards [Map]

I served on the Tamalpais Valley Design Review Board from 1986 to 1995. Design Review Board members are appointed by the Board of Supervisors to review pending projects such as new houses, in-law units, remodels, and land divisions in the greater unincorporated areas of Mill Valley.

“A fourth-generation San Franciscan and longtime resident of Mill Valley, I have acquired an understanding of the distinctive heritage of the Bay Area, and have the ability to situate a home to take advantage of vistas and natural light as well as integrating existing trees and hillside locations. I prefer to interfere with nature as little as possible when conceiving a beautiful home for a client.”

Lone Tree Residential Design, Anthony M Richards, West Blithedale front porch

Front porch detail, 18 Marsh Drive, Blithedale Canyon, photo courtesy MLS

During my tenure as owner and chief designer of Minton Design/Minton Associates of Sausalito, CA, I also designed numerous custom homes for private clients. A ten-house subdivision in Fairfax, “Shadow Creek” was one of my signature projects, with lot layout and street configuration under my direction.

After 1995, I closed my office to simplify my operations and began to focus on more upscale projects and custom homes in Southern Marin such as ten homes in Tennessee Glen in Tennessee Valley, eighteen homes on Vista del Sol in Strawberry, and numerous one-off designs in my own retro “shingle” style. One of my more unique houses was a lodge style house on Donner Lake in Truckee. My signature houses from this period are 150 Chapel Drive and 18 Marsh Drive, both in Mill Valley.

Featured Image: Design, Anthony M. Richards; illustration by Judith Hall.

lone tree design anthony m richards rendering


Anthony M Richards, Taliesen Lone Tree Residential Design

At Frank Lloyd Wright’s desk, Taliesen


Builders and designers who have had the most profound influence upon my residential design aesthetic range from those who have widespread fame such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Bernard Maybeck, to those who were not as well known outside of Marin County but who I feel deserve to be recognized for their distinct perspective and contribution to Bay Area residential design. I have provided a few examples of each of my favorites below.



Paden Prichard was active in Southern Marin County, especially Mill Valley and Tiburon in the 1970s. His trademark was large homes with lots of natural redwood outside, and redwood interior trim which few were doing at the time. Prichard’s houses, although new, had the feel of an old mansion in arrested decay conveying a rustic beauty. Paden Prichard has been my primary influence.

Paden Prichard currently operates in West Linn, Oregon. (PadenPrichardDesigns.com)

Lone Tree Residential Design, Influences, Paden Prichard

Private home in Blithedale Canyon by Paden Prichard. Photo permission of owner.


Bernard Maybeck was an architect whose most well-known work was the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. I was impressed by his Berkeley houses because of their use of natural materials. I used to spend time at the library studying books about Maybeck homes.

Lone Tree Residential Design, Influences, Roos House by Bernard Maybeck

The Roos House in Presidio Heights, Bernard Maybeck. Photo by author.


Frank Lloyd Wright: When I was in college, I would go into the library and read up on Frank Lloyd Wright. At the time I was fascinated by how his Usonian houses from the 1930s still looked modern in the 1970s. I would sit in class and sketch out my own Usonian house ideas. My fantasy was to replicate one and build it myself.

Tony at Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright, Anthony M Richards, Lone Tree Residential Design

Tony at Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA, Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright


Greene & Greene – Charles and Henry Greene were early practitioners of the American Arts & Crafts movement, as expressed in the “ultimate bungalow” style. During a trip to Pasadena, I was impressed by both the Robert Blacker and the David B. Gamble House, and I gathered ideas from observing the work of the Greene Brothers on these homes.

Gamble House, Greene & Greene Architects, Lone Tree Residential Design, Influences

David B. Gamble house in Pasadena, Greene & Greene architects. Photo by author.


Viking Leon was a prolific architect in Southern Marin in the 1960s. He designed numerous houses in Mill Valley and Tiburon, notably Paradise Cay. He designed my parents’ house on top of a hill in Tiburon which had soaring beam ceilings and walls of glass. Viking Leon was an architect ahead of his time.

Lone Tree Residential Design, Influences, Viking Leon

An example of a Viking Leon home in Tiburon. Photo by author.



Featured Image: Design, Anthony M. Richards; illustration by Judith Hall.

lone tree residential design judith hall rendering anthony m richards

Lone Tree Residential Design Services

Providing Residential Design Services and Real Estate Development Consulting for the San Francisco Bay Area since 1985

Design Philosophy:

The traditional home is one that provides a sense of warmth and permanence in spite of passing trends. Our specialty is  the traditional Craftsman, specifically “Shingle Style” homes, borrowing elements from the early 20th Century Arts & Crafts design aesthetic. We incorporate modern kitchens and bathrooms, as well as green building materials, in all our homes. We visualize how to design the best home for the lot and capture the essence of natural surroundings.

It has been our experience that homes designed by Lone Tree Residential Design have the requisite curb appeal to attract buyers and sell quickly.

Traditional Craftsman, Lone Tree Residential Design, Anthony M. Richards, Mill Valley Blithedale Canyon

Blithedale Canyon, Mill Valley

Design Elements:

  • An open and inviting entry way that is light, bright, and airy that says “welcome to our home.”
  • An adult sitting room/library with cozy fireplace that is a refuge away from the distractions of a busy life.
  • A formal separate dining room providing a place to host special guests and dinner parties.
  • The “great room” or open concept that integrates the kitchen and family room into a continuous space where family and friends can gather for meals and entertaining.

Shadow Creek, Fairfax Lone Tree Residential Design Anthony M. Richards

Shadow Creek, Fairfax

Areas of Expertise:

  • Entitlements: Negotiating your project through the planning process and producing construction documents to get your building permit approved.
  • Construction documents.
  • Green building: Incorporating green building, eco-friendly measures into every new house.
  • Landscape design: Using only drought-tolerant, California native plants for our projects, making every effort to preserve existing trees.
  • Historic preservation: Instead of destroying the integrity of an older home, we endeavor to restore it lovingly and authentically, with updated bathrooms and modern kitchens.
  • Land planning & subdivision layout: Envisioning how the home should be sited on the lot based on the topography and natural setting. Experience in subdivision layout, including street layout and lot configuration.

Featured Image: Design, Anthony M. Richards; illustration by Judith Hall.