Our Story

There is a sense of wonder and curiosity essential to our pursuit of a life well-lived. Our passion for what we do stems from the inspiration we found in immersing ourselves in the splendor of natural surroundings, and we want others to experience the same joy through our work.


Our Journey

Founded by Traci Sanderson and Rick Claes, Blue Oak Partners began with a passion for the incredible lifestyle found in California’s wine country. That vision evolved into creating exceptionally designed homes in distinctive locations in the heart of northern California’s wine country and the pristine Lake Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We build much more than just homes; we design environments in which people will truly feel at home, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We proudly serve as stewards, guiding our clients to their own realized dream of living.

Entrance Sign Vineyards Napa California

Our Philosophy

We believe that our exceptionally designed homes foster the ideal environment for people to be inspired, be restored and thrive.

Blue Oak Partners is guided by…


As we immerse ourselves in each property, we study the light, views, and best attributes of the natural surroundings to make sure they are preserved and adorned. We obsess over the details in ways that keep us up at night…our ideas often begin as sparks of thought that we allow to steep and evolve until they emerge in their absolute best expression and manifestation.


When our buyers settle into their home, we want them to feel welcomed and cared for, and creating that phenomenon starts at the very inception of a project. We navigate the complex entitlement process and then intentionally design our homes to emit warmth, abundance and a sense of retreat, creating homes that are truly spectacular.


Throughout our work, we aspire to stay ever-curious about the world around us, and we celebrate that same spirit as it shows up in the smaller, everyday moments found in the home. We remain attuned to the ever-changing best practices in luxury residential living so we can adapt and change to open doors and apertures for our own work.


Our Partners

Traci Sanderson & Rick Claes

Traci Sanderson

After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and spending her professional career engaged in interior design and the development of more than 40 fine food retail projects, Traci garnered an appetite for artistry and detail. Her ability to create thoughtful, soulful experiences lends itself beautifully to the creative visions at Blue Oak Partners, from start to finish.

“I’ve always been energized by discovery and development, and I am intrinsically drawn to the beauty of our sites and what they can become. I love the opportunity to collaborate with extraordinary professionals to exchange ideas and visions that bring our projects to life. I find true joy from bringing something stunning into existence.”

Rick Claes

With over 30 years of experience in real estate development, Rick’s passion for the industry has spanned across decades, and across the nation. His experience in property acquisition gives him a keen sense of what makes a physical space truly unique, something that has seamlessly translated through the Blue Oak Partners home locales.

“I enjoy a challenge and am driven to overcome obstacles and solve complex problems that others would shy away from. Finding “diamonds in the rough” and transforming them into exceptional properties is something I’m truly passionate and excited about.”

Taking Root.