National Register of Historic Places in San Mateo County
In contrast to the urban location of the Coxhead's primary residence, this second house was conceived of in a lush, nearly unsettled landscape. Such a setting must have appealed to Coxhead's English heritage, especially the tradition of the English garden, which prized the picturesque, or sublime, and was peppered with objects and structures that were meant to appear old.
Similarly, the natural setting must also have petitioned Coxhead's affinity for the English rural vernacular, or cottage style, which was celebrated by William Morris in England and architects associated with the First Bay Tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rustic English and French buildings were accepted for their honesty in materials and methods, and especially their regional idiosyncrasies, usually the result of additions or modulations to an original, older structure, and regional techniques of construction.
Coxhead and others also admired the rural vernacular for its simplicity and relative lack of ornamentation. This celebration of commodity and craftsmanship was in sharp distinction to the displays of gratuitous decoration typical of high Victorian styles prevalent during Coxhead's time.