Range Life, with its minimalist, modern design set into what used to be a carriage house is a perfect stop for an after work drink, date night or a big family dinner. The partners really wanted Range Life to be a familiar neighborhood restaurant to fit every mood.
The building’s renovated interior and facade were inspired by the modern but rustic design that permeates Marfa, Texas, a now well-known small town that boasts artists and cowboys alike. We found Livermore to have a similar varied, demographic – from cowboys and wine-makers to scientists and engineers. We wanted to design a space that made everyone feel welcome.
We wanted to get as much natural light into the space as possible so they opened up the front of the building and exposed three gorgeous half-round windows that had been covered up for 20+ years. We chose doug fir for all of the windows and doors and reeded glass wherever possible. Along the wall in the dining room runs a long, Donald Judd inspired banquette made out of alder by a friend and woodworker from New York, Colin Wolberg. Behind the banquette hangs a series framed black and white landscape photos from the Mojave desert, taken by photographer Austin McManus. The focal point of the space is a giant half round back-bar tiled with meadow green local Heath Ceramics tile and the bar itself is a mix of concrete and a cream colored Heath tile – also in a half circle. The circular bar design was inspired by Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, an environmental art installation in Utah. The bar itself is comfortable enough to sit and enjoy a meal and lit lowly enough to meet some new friends over a cocktail or two.
Lauren sourced all furniture, art, paintings, photographs, plant life, barware and dishware at Range Life. Choosing barware and dishware is very specific - it has to be functional and beautiful and fit with the vibe of the rest of the space. Lauren collaboated with both Waine Longwell (who happens to also be the beverage director and manage the bar program at Range Life) and Bill Niles (Executive Chef and partner) to make sure everything was purposeful and useful and worked with their individual visions and menus.
Lauren worked closely with creative director and graphic designer Jason Rothman for all of the branding elements for Range Life including Logo & menu design, interior & exterior signage as well as all packaging design for house-made pantry items, postcards, business cards…you name it, Jason designed it. We really wanted Range Life to feel like a complete experience - everything needed to be just so. We didn’t want the guest to be pulled out of the experience by seeing an ugly restroom sign or uninspired menu. We wanted everything to flow together seamlessly.
The interior is flooded with cacti and succulents by Sacramento based shop and gallery Public Land. The back patio, which the group hopes to be able to open to the public next summer, was designed by San Francisco/Los Angeles based landscape design firm, Terremoto and boasts long, horizontal cedar board and batten fences that cut around a giant 100 year old pink peppercorn tree that shades the space. Tucked away in the front of the building is a small market area with a tall wall of alder shelves and a reach in refrigerator stocked with house-made preserves, hot sauce (a fast, local favorite) local beer and wine.
Longwell says “we really wanted to create a New York restaurant experience in Livermore.”