For 25 years, Denise Amantea lived in a small 900-foot cottage in west Menlo Park. Her career as a securities attorney meant she traveled a lot, and she just made do. On a milestone birthday, a light bulb when off.
“I knew I always wanted to build my dream house,” she said, “and I realized now was the time to do it.”
So in August 2012, the cottage was “peeled” and construction began on a new home that would be known as The Dog Trot House, designed by Rela Gleason along with architect Bobby McAlpine.
“Rela has been a dear friend for 20 years,” Denise explained. “She’d built a house in Napa and I would dog sit for her. Her house just inhabited me. I loved its aesthetic and its design.”
The name of Denise’s soon-to-be completed new home refers to the center opening. “It’s a breezeway, but in some geographical areas, it is called a dog trot. I’m a dog lover and have the paw prints of a dog near the entranceway.”
The style of the home is Cape Dutch, a South African variation on Flemish architecture. “Architect Bobby McAlpine was responsible for the roof lines, that little flip just at the bottom,” said Denise. “Corrugated metal was chosen as the roof material because Rela wanted the house to have a humble character to it. It’s so well insulated that unless it’s hailing, you don’t hear what’s tapping on the roof.”
For Denise, who is renting a house directly across the street from her soon-to-be home, “it’s like Christmas morning every day. I look over and there’s something new and wonderful. My dream is being fulfilled.”
Photo by Scott R. Kline