Before and After: A family townhome gets a mid-century inspired makeover

Last spring, we were approached by a wonderful family who have been in their home for twelve years and were ready for a full home makeover. With a very busy household, (think two children, three dogs, two cats, and another daughter away at college), this family was ready to reimagine their home to match their distinct style, fabulous furniture/art collection and active lifestyle.

While we didn't take down walls or change any exterior features, changes such as new flooring, wall treatment, lighting, and fixtures, planned cohesively made a big impact in this space. We opted for family-friendly/durable materials to withstand the family's daily traffic, while making updates that expressed the family's love for fun and adventure. Palm Springs is a favorite destination for the family, which is reflected in their mid-century style furniture and fun artwork collection. It was such a blast working with the homeowners to bring in more personal elements and style to their home!

KITCHEN BEFORE:

IMG_6956 2.JPG

Originally, the homeowners wanted to solely swap out the backsplash with new tile and keep the original cabinetry. After a few changes were made throughout the house (including installation of new hardwood floors and tile), plans eventually changed (as they often do!), and they decided to go with all new kitchen cabinetry as well. The the new tile had already been installed and needed to be removed to meet the new cabinetry configuration, but thanks to Heath Ceramics In-Stock Palette, we were able to secure beautiful new tile (very!) quickly that better suited the new white cabinetry. While not part of the original plan, the homeowners ended up with entirely new kitchen that meets their family's needs and reflects their modern style. Kudos to extremely flexible clients and Contractor! 

KITCHEN AFTER:

20180105-IMG_0997.jpg
20180105-IMG_1022.jpg

The washer and dryer now reside under this countertop area (vs previously stacked), which now doubles as a bar and entertaining area.

20180105-20180105-IMG_1019 copy.jpg

The clients' had a brilliant idea to utilize space underneath the stairs as a cozy area for pets. They also had a wood hand rail installed over existing metal stair rail, completely changing the look.

20180105-IMG_1036.jpg

FIREPLACE BEFORE:

IMG_5173.JPG

FIREPLACE AFTER:

20180105-IMG_1091.jpg

POWDER ROOM BEFORE:

IMG_7684.JPG

POWDER ROOM AFTER:

20180105-IMG_1048.jpg

We added a bit of drama to the Powder Room with custom drawer fronts and legs from Semihandmade (over an Ikea vanity). The clients had even more fun with this room, adding a rock theme to the decor.

KIDS' BATHROOM BEFORE:

IMG_2008.JPG

KIDS' BATHROOM AFTER:

20180105-IMG_1103.jpg

COMPUTER NOOK BEFORE:

IMG_7501.JPG

COMPUTER NOOK AFTER:

20180105-IMG_1061.jpg

Graphic wallpaper adds pop to this multi-functional space. The clients had their contractor install a custom built-in bookcase under the staircase, maximizing space and storage.

FRONT ENTRY BEFORE:

IMG_5168.JPG

ENTRY AFTER:

20180105-IMG_1137.jpg

A huge thank you to our clients for allowing us to be a part of this fun and transformative project! They were such as joy to collaborate with and we loved helping them make their home really feel like their home. They even entertained our oldest son when we came to photograph the space (inspiring him with their furry pets too!) Cheers!

Sources:

KITCHEN
Tile: Heath Ceramics
Faucet: Starlight Chrome Concetto Faucet, Build.com
Kitchen & Hall Ceiling Light: Boop! Wall/Ceiling Light, YLighting.com
Cabinetry: IKEA

LIVING ROOM
Fireplace Tile: Fireclay Tile

COMPUTER NOOK
Wallpaper: Emily Sanford Design, Spoonflower

POWDER ROOM
Vanity: Ikea Godmorgon with fronts from Semihandmade 
Faucet: VIGO Satro Matte Black 1-Handle Single Hole Faucet, Lowes
Light: Vista 2 Sconce, Cedar & Moss
Industrial Wall Mirror, West Elm
Paint: METAL .06, Colorhouse Paints

KIDS BATHROOM
Tile: Vives Rift Grafito, Tilebar
Boxie LED Ceiling Light, YLighting

PAINT
Main Living and Kitchen Areas
METAL .03, Colorhouse Paints

Interior Front Door
DREAM .03, Colorhouse Paints

Master Bedroom Walls
IMAGINE .05, Colorhouse Paints

ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING
Urban Floor Calabria

 

Concrete Planters: Sexy Succulents DIY Style

I was looking for holiday gift ideas and Karen suggested succulents and I was also anxious to try DIYing some concrete planters because it seemed all the rage on Instagram so I went for it!

Step 1 DIY Concrete Planters : Make Concrete Forms

I looked around for household items that I could use as forms. I've seen posts from folks that used all sorts of crafty items, so I ended up with:

  • Tupperware
  • Pho soup takeout container
  • Cover for a DVD-R spindle - (Because everyone has one of these sitting around!)
  • Styrofoam container
  • LEGOs - Thanks to Sebastian's brilliant idea!
Time to get the kids busy building a LEGO form.

Time to get the kids busy building a LEGO form.

Completed LEGO form on a melamine casting surface with mini plastic Solo cup for the planting area.

Completed LEGO form on a melamine casting surface with mini plastic Solo cup for the planting area.

Here are several examples of my DIY concrete planter forms.

Preparing the DIY Concrete Forms

Casting concrete requires a little bit of upside-down thinking. You need to pour concrete into a mold and put in knockouts to create pockets of space. In all of my cases, I used a small cup to form the area where my succulents will be planted. The bottom of the form will end up becoming the top of my planter.

I used a silicone caulk to seal the cups upside-down to the bottom of all my forms to ensure the opening of the planting area would be nice and smooth.

Step 2 DIY Concrete Planters: Mixing the Concrete for the Planters

I made batches of concrete mix using:

  • Portland Cement - this is the raw powder that binds and hardens
  • Sand - this is an aggregate that is mixed to give it some additional strength and texture
  • Green glass - I broke up some beer bottles to mix in some additional aggregate to add some variety to the finish on some of the planters

For most of the batches of mix I took 5 scoops of cement and 3 scoops of sand.

Step 3: Pouring the concrete into the mold

20171215-2017-12-15 22.00.24.jpg
20171215-2017-12-15 21.50.47.jpg

Since this form was larger, I was able to sprinkle some of the green glass at the bottom of the form before pouring the concrete.

20171215-2017-12-15 22.07.16.jpg

Step 4 DIY Concrete Planters: Vibrating the Mold

You need make sure all the concrete fills the mold completely and allow air bubbles to escape to the surface, so I used an electric hand sander to vibrate all around the form. It helped to level out the concrete and make sure the finish was free from too many holes along the finished surface. You'll never get all of them out, but it helps greatly to reduce the bubbles.

Step 5 DIY Concrete Planters: Breaking the concrete from the mold - The Fun Part!

I broke the concrete from the mold about 18 hours after pouring - you could say it was early, but my time was limited. The planters casted in the plastic containers released from the mold very easily. As the concrete dries it shrinks a tad, so all I had to do is flip it over it squeeze around the container.

The LEGO mold was fun, and a great activity for the kids - they had to release the form piece-by-piece.

20171216-2017-12-16 14.18.02.jpg

The styrofoam mold was the most difficult, as I had to cut using a blade and tear off pieces to release the form completely. The concrete picks up imprints of all the textures from the mold, so all the cellular foam patterns appeared on the surface. 

Step 6 DIY Concrete Planters: Sanding DIY Concrete Planters (only two of them required sanding)

There was green glass aggregate I wanted to expose on two of the planters, so I used a wet concrete polisher with a 50, then 200 grit pad to polish off a layer of concrete, otherwise it wouldn't be seen. (This isn't' one of these tools most people have handy, but from doing our countertops, I actually had one... and was siked I got to use it again!)

The planter from the foam form also needed polishing to remove the rough finish left behind from the cellular pattern.

Before sanding

Before sanding

After sanding

After sanding

Step 7 DIY Concrete Planters: Arranging the Succulents

We sourced plants from our 'secret garden' (aka - Lolo's backyard, for which we owe much thanks)I put a layer of small stones at the bottom of each pot, added my cactus soil, then topped it off with a final layer of stones. I finished them off by adding felt pads to avoid scratching the table. After doing a couple I let Karen and the kids finish the remaining pots and add their artistic touch. Those receiving these succulents can thank them!

20171217-IMG_5344.jpg
20171217-IMG_7257.jpg
20171217-IMG_7369.jpg
20171217-IMG_8337.jpg
20171217-IMG_0315.jpg
20171217-IMG_0301.jpg
20171217-IMG_0357.jpg
20171217-IMG_0349.jpg
20171217-IMG_0342.jpg
20171217-IMG_0338.jpg
20171217-IMG_0329.jpg
20171217-IMG_4763.jpg

They turned out great and we were very happy with the results. Looking forward to seeing what else we can make! 

P.S. - Much thanks for Mark Melonas at @lukeworks for inspiration.

DIY Painted Ornaments

20171213-IMG_0762.jpg

I haven't bought new Christmas ornaments in years; most of ours are from my prior career working for various retailers and amassing ornaments after each holiday season. 

A few years back though, I splurged on this one ornament, if I recall it was actually from J.Crew, or similar to a collection designed by kate spade:

Kate Spade.jpg

I love the black and white, modern look. So simple, yet elegant.

A lovely Instagram friend forwarded me an IG story of a DIY painted ornament project. It got my creative juices flowing (Thanks Karen! Her name is Karen too. :) and I ran out to the craft store to get supplies to attempt my own version. 

It was super easy and fun! I even got our 10-year old son into it and it was his idea to paint the glittered ones, which I hadn't even thought of doing!

SUPPLIES:

Just a few packs of plain ornaments from the Dollar Store (or use some plain ones already on your tree):

20171213-IMG_0749.jpg

Acrylic paint and brushes (I chose just four colors, to stick to a mid-century modern inspired theme): 

20171213-IMG_0751.jpg

Paint lines, dots, crosses ... as simple or fancy as you'd like. We rigged up a hanger to allow them to dry. 

Here's a quick video of the process. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Mid-Century Modern Family Room

20171204-IMG_0710 copy-jks.jpg

I love visiting clients during the holidays! It's always fun to see their holiday decor, and in this particular home, it is an especially memorable time, since it is their first Christmas as a family of three! (Plus their two adorable fur babies.)

I started working with these wonderful clients over the summer. They were relocating from the East Coast had just purchased a mid-century modern home in Palo Alto, CA. We started with a few virtual design meetings, since one of the homeowners was still wrapping up their time in Philadelphia before the big move. They had just a few weeks to plan (and complete) a few light renovations before the arrival of their first child and I was really excited to help them accomplish their design goals.

We selected new oak hardwood flooring to compliment the warmth of their beautiful original tongue and groove ceilings, planned a new fireplace design, and updated lighting throughout the home.

The family room is the center of the home and visible from their courtyard entry. We chose a textured wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries to give depth (and drama, which I love!) to the main wall. Mid-century style furniture from West Elm provides storage: a desk/shelving unit offers a home office area, while the media console adds a stylish flair to house the large tv (one of the homeowner's main request was to keep his big tv!) :)

I love that the homeowner enjoys color as much as I do! The orange pendants provide a fun pop, replacing non-midcentury lighting that had been there previously. The fireplace got a makeover, with hand-painted Starburst pattern from Fireclay Tile, a marble hearth, and quartz trim. Inspired by my own Seth Thomas Clock, the homeowner scored one online and had it refurbished locally. The perfect accessory to the new fireplace and it tells time correctly!

20171204-IMG_0707 copy.jpg

We are still waiting for some new lighting to arrive for the kitchen and dining nook, so stay tuned for that. I had so much fun working with these clients and happy for them to start making family memories in their new "old" mid-century home! 

RESOURCES:

Wallpaper: Phillip Jeffries Manila Hemp, Peacock Blue, Phillip Jeffries
Pendants: Astron Aluminum Pendant, Rejuvenation
Media Console: Audrey Media Console, West Elm
Desk/Bookcase: Linden Wall Desk and Storage Set, West Elm
Rug: Diamond Point Rug, West Elm
Fireplace Tile: Starburst, Fireclay Tile
Clock: Vintage Seth Thomas Clock
Hardwood Flooring: Monarch Plank Domaine European Oak

 

Alameda Mid-Century Modern: Before + After (Part 1)

Last year, I got a received a thoughtful inquiry from potential clients. Here is an excerpt:

I'm Nathan, and my dear husband is Gabin (copied). We are in the process of purchasing a fabulous 1962 single story residence ... in Alameda. The house has not been renovated since 1979, and for the time, it was a glamorous renovation (turquoise shag rug insets).

The home layout is spacious, elegant, and full of light. It's 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, with 3,200 square feet of living space. (Now you know where all of our $ has gone.)

We are looking to start a relationship with a savvy designer that can collaborate with us on an overall vision for the home, and support us in bringing this vision to life. There is plenty of work to be done, and we'll need to take a staged approach due to magnitude of the project.

I hadn't even met them yet, nor seen the home, but of course, my brain was thinking "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

We scheduled a consultation shortly thereafter (while the sellers were still in the home), and I was soon gaga over the house and for the opportunity to help the new homeowners fulfill their vision to make this mid-century modern home their "Forever Home."

Many of you have already been following along, as I started posting photos from the first time I stepped foot on this amazing waterfront/Lagoon property. The home was built in 1962 and the exterior overlooks the Lagoon, a shared water way with the neighboring homes. Just a few blocks away is Alameda's Crown Beach, and less than a few miles away are lots of great local shopping, restaurants and businesses. Alameda is so cool! (My sister lives there too, so we know how great it is!)

BEFORE

Alameda-Breezeblocks.jpg

 

BEFORE

Beautiful terrazzo tile floors in the main Living Room. Most of the original brick walls were covered in mirrors. (Note the mirrors flanking the Fireplace and lots more mirror around the house.)

Beautiful terrazzo tile floors in the main Living Room. Most of the original brick walls were covered in mirrors. (Note the mirrors flanking the Fireplace and lots more mirror around the house.)

AFTER

We kept the original terrazzo flooring (naturally!!!) and had new carpet installed in the original inset area, to replace the old (though that blue color was pretty fab!) Once the mirrors were removed, the home's original brick work walls were revealed. I love all the original in-floor electrical outlets!

We kept the original terrazzo flooring (naturally!!!) and had new carpet installed in the original inset area, to replace the old (though that blue color was pretty fab!) Once the mirrors were removed, the home's original brick work walls were revealed. I love all the original in-floor electrical outlets!

BEFORE

IMG_8694.JPG

AFTER

The original Kitchen footprint was already very expansive and offered a lot of storage. We kept to mostly the same layout, adding a center Island for prep and dining; the clients were also super smart to add a secondary sink and install dual dishwashers. (Dreamy!) 

The original Kitchen footprint was already very expansive and offered a lot of storage. We kept to mostly the same layout, adding a center Island for prep and dining; the clients were also super smart to add a secondary sink and install dual dishwashers. (Dreamy!) 

Range-Hood.jpg

 

BEFORE

The original house floor plan is quite expansive and includes great features such as a separate laundry room and additional storage area or Butler's Panty. I loooove Butler's Pantries!

The original house floor plan is quite expansive and includes great features such as a separate laundry room and additional storage area or Butler's Panty. I loooove Butler's Pantries!

AFTER

We incorporated old closet space on the left, to provide two full sides of storage; one with counter area and the other with floor-to-ceiling pantry storage. 

We incorporated old closet space on the left, to provide two full sides of storage; one with counter area and the other with floor-to-ceiling pantry storage. 

Butlers-Pantry-Storage.jpg

BEFORE

Lots of mirror and brass. And carpet. This wasn't the original 1960s bathroom design.

Lots of mirror and brass. And carpet. This wasn't the original 1960s bathroom design.

This cool gold motif tile was hiding underneath all that.... plastic and other stuff.  I wish we could have salvaged somehow, but we had a plan for the new space...

This cool gold motif tile was hiding underneath all that.... plastic and other stuff.  I wish we could have salvaged somehow, but we had a plan for the new space...

AFTER

Shower-2.jpg
Shower.jpg

BEFORE

IMG_8699.JPG

AFTER

Master-Bath-Vanity.jpg

Inspired by Palm Springs Modern and the glam of the 1960s, we went for a fresh, airy new space, highlighted by beautiful stone chosen by my clients.  A cement tile accent wall by our friends at Cle Tile gives a pop of graphic design and color. 

I was amazed that after posting a photo of the Cle "Point" Tile to Instagram, someone sent me a photo of his original mid-century modern ceramic pot, which had the exact same "Point" design! So we were able to bring back an element of mid-century modern design back into the space after all.

BEFORE

This was the back deck. Our clients had a clear vision for the back patio area, bringing in a new slate walkway, ridding of LOTS of old shrubs and clearing way for a much more functional and modern area to enjoy the amazing water views.

This was the back deck. Our clients had a clear vision for the back patio area, bringing in a new slate walkway, ridding of LOTS of old shrubs and clearing way for a much more functional and modern area to enjoy the amazing water views.

AFTER

Exterior-Patio-2.jpg

BEFORE

genMid.40762899_3.jpg

AFTER

Front.jpg
House-Exterior.jpg

There's still many details of this home to capture and share, but after photographing for four hours, we all needed a break, plus our clients' adorable babies needed to continue their snuggling and nap times without us flashing cameras and lights everywhere. 

We hope to continue with a "Part II, Before + After," once the rest of the landscaping is completed and the family has settled in more. 

We are so happy to have played a part in helping these clients transform a mid-century modern diamond in the rough, into their Forever Home! Kudos to their vision to preserve the integrity of this home and see through a major renovation, (while simultaneously preparing for the arrival of their daughters) to make a home that they can enjoy for years to come. Congrats Gabin and Nathan! 

How To Recoat Your Eichler Foam Roof in a Weekend: DIY Foam Roof Recoating

We inherited a foam roof that was leaking even before we purchased the home, but didn't find out until we took down a wall (that shouldn't have been there) to find molded wood. We also discovered puddles of water underneath ceramic tile which was also removed during our kitchen renovation. (Imagine smashing tile and getting splashed with water, wondering - WTH is going on here?!!) During a 3-day rainstorm, we noticed a soaking wet vintage chair and I immediately blamed the kids ;) The following rainstorm after that, we saw where the leak was coming from and only then we had our AH-HA moment. Sorry kiddos! The roof was hardly seven years old, and the fly-by-night roofing company was long gone. We found Yelp reviews with consumers all up in arms, but oh well - that's another story.  

Researching DIY Foam Roof Recoating

There wasn't too much information about recoating a spray polyurethane foam-based (SPF) roof system, so I figured I would share why I tried. Quotes were rumored in our 'hood to go for anywhere between $5,000-$10,000, so this was one of those projects I wanted to figure out. Another Eichler owner, Barry Brisco of San Mateo CA, shared his experience recoating on the boards at Eichler Network, which gave me some hope and guidance with this project. I tried to locate the Apoc 252 elastomeric product he referenced, but Pacific Supply in Oakland no longer carried it, so I then got tips from our awesome neighbor located conveniently across the street, Brian Maher, who recently DIY'd his recoat over the past month.

Materials and Tools Used for the DIY Foam Roof Recoating on Our Eichler

I went with the Lowe's sourced BLACK JACK Ultra Roof 1000 White Siliconized Elastomeric Reflective Roof Coating (10-Year Limited Warranty) and decided to spray using the Graco Magnum X7 Airless Paint Sprayer, loaned to me by a fellow DIY junkie Johannes Sjoeberg @sagamadison - thanks a ton!

At Lowe's, there were two other main options, a BLACK JACK 700 which had a 7 year warranty, and a BLACK JACK Premium Silicone Waterproofing Coating which had a 50 year warranty ($200/bucket) which seemed a bit overkill, and I wasn't all that familiar with silicone products. The 10 yr product seemed to fit the bill at $83/bucket and was acrylic based, so I knew cleanup would be manageable.

Steps for the DIY Foam Roof Recoating on Our Eichler

  1. Blow all the debris off the roof.
  2. Power wash all the dirt and grime.
  3. Patch cracks, joints, seams, then spray coating

DIY Foam Roof Recoating Step 1: Blowing Off Loose Debris

DIY Foam Roof Recoating Step 2: Power Washing Surface

I borrowed a power washer, also from Johannes @sagamadison which was a 2000 psi unit that I hauled up the ladder to the roof. It worked wonders and took me a few hours to complete the cleaning. The difficult part was dealing with ponding on the flat part of our roof, where the dirty water just sat there begging to be left alone. Spraying the puddles of water around seemed, at times, counterintuitive because I was just adding more water to the pool, but in the end it worked. I tried the leaf blower, but as you blew, water would evaporate and leave muddy streaks. A better system was to blast it with the power washer all the way to the gutters or off the edge, while someone also helped to push-broom it. I thought about wet-vac'ing but I wasn't in the mood to haul up yet another piece of equipment onto the roof, and dig around for a 3-way outlet extender.

DIY Foam Roof Recoating Step 3:  Spraying the Coating

IMG_3636.JPG

The coating needs to be applied to a dry surface (although a competing brand mentioned to spray a mist of water that could allow for a slower drying time if needed in high temps), so this isn't one of these projects you can start at the crack of dawn because the condensation first needs to evaporate. (Yes - I can sleep it!)

I had prepared six 5-gallon buckets of coating, but planned on only using five. I was a little nervous that the sprayer wouldn't handle it because the specs on the competing product (Apoc 252) required a 0.2-0.3 tip using 3000-4000 psi at 4 gpm, and mine had a 0.17 tip (max suggested) and put out 3000 psi but it worked just fine.

I had a long 70' hose which made it convenient because that way I wouldn't have to haul up 5 gallon buckets onto the roof (I had already almost killed myself bringing down the pressure washer). 

Total Cost of One Coat of Roof Coating:

One full coat took about 5 buckets, so $85 x 5 = $425

Paint sprayer: $500-700

Power Washer: $200-400

All in you could be looking at $2,000 for two full coats and buying the tools.

Two coats should be applied. I managed to spend a few hours on Saturday cleaning the roof, and Sunday spraying, so you could tackle it in a single weekend, but I probably only put in eight hours in total for a single coat.

Good luck if you are going to tackle this project!

Installation of an IKEA Closet Using Sektion

After fabricating retro grasscloth closet doors in other parts of the house, we still needed to tackle the kids hallway closets. This time we sought out additional functionality and turned to the trusty 'ol Swedish retailer, IKEA, for a sleek custom closet. By using the Sektion system of cabinets, typically used for kitchens, we were able to customize cabinet sizes, source modular components and modern finishes to fit our 60" wide closet space.

Steps to Install IKEA Sektion Cabinets

  1. Planned out our closet system using the [frustratingly buggy] IKEA software.
  2. Ordered the cabinets at IKEA.
  3. Assembled and installed the cabinet frames.
  4. Mounted the cabinet ledger and bottom cabinet bases using 2x4s.
  5. Installed the drawers, hinges, doors and faces.
  6. Installed trim piece at the top (repurposed the toe kicks)
Here's where we started. It used to be a closet, then previous owners closed it up, then we opened it back up.

Here's where we started. It used to be a closet, then previous owners closed it up, then we opened it back up.

Installed our twin 2x4 ledger into studs so the cabinet frames could anchor anywhere along the horizontal plane. Placed 2x4s on the floor instead of using the supplied plastic feet that were an inch too high.

Installed our twin 2x4 ledger into studs so the cabinet frames could anchor anywhere along the horizontal plane. Placed 2x4s on the floor instead of using the supplied plastic feet that were an inch too high.

Test fitting a frame with a single drawer to make sure we had clearance and to see how much shimming against the back wall was required. We ended up needing to sister up another 2x4 ledger to make up the extra space in order to have the cabinet faces flush with the wall.

Test fitting a frame with a single drawer to make sure we had clearance and to see how much shimming against the back wall was required. We ended up needing to sister up another 2x4 ledger to make up the extra space in order to have the cabinet faces flush with the wall.

All the IKEA Sektion cabinets were finally installed after having to quickly mud up a new corner bead.

All the IKEA Sektion cabinets were finally installed after having to quickly mud up a new corner bead.

20170916-20170916-IMG_9882 copy.jpg
20170916-IMG_9874.jpg
20170916-IMG_9887.jpg
We ran an outlet for our charging station.

We ran an outlet for our charging station.

What's Next For Our Eichler Custom Closet

  • T-molding for the flooring
  • Finish skimming and painting the walls
  • Find the strength to do the other side ;)

A Flooded Kitchen Gets a Fresh Start

If you have been following us awhile, you probably know that one our biggest passions is mid-century modern design. We do however love and appreciate different styles of architecture, and in particular, we have a soft spot for homes built in the early 1900s, since our first home together (which was our first big DIY project as a couple) was a four-square built in 1907 in Brighton, MA. Will have to dig up a photo sometime and post it, (but that would require taking a photo of a photo... since it was pre-iPhone and digital media days....)

Anyway, here in Northern California, we are lucky to have many gorgeous original Craftsman homes in picturesque neighborhoods, with their classic front porches and detailed woodwork, to neat floor plans, with little special nooks and built-in cabinets.

Last year, I was approached to help a homeowner re-envision her kitchen in her classic Berkeley 1907 built home. There had been a bad flood in the house a few years back and her kitchen took the brunt of the damage. 

It looked like this when I first visited.

BEFORE:

IMG_7670 2.JPG

After working through tedious insurance claims and related items (headaches), plus living in a very limited capability kitchen, the homeowner was excited and ready to get started on the design and planning process. I was thrilled to be her partner in re-imagining the space and helping to bring a functioning kitchen back into her life. She has a background in fashion design, and it was really fun to work with her ideas and bring in her love for British-inspired design, which was perfect for this era home.

AFTER:

i-5Vp3pvr-X4.jpg

BEFORE:

IMG_7692.JPG

AFTER:

In the far corner, we created a built-in china hutch, utilizing Ikea and Semihandmade Doors, with brass hardware.

In the far corner, we created a built-in china hutch, utilizing Ikea and Semihandmade Doors, with brass hardware.

BEFORE: This was the view to the old laundry room:

IMG_7683.JPG

Which we turned into a petite Butler's Pantry!

The Butler's Pantry features leather pulls from Rejuvenation.

The Butler's Pantry features leather pulls from Rejuvenation.

We still wanted to keep the charm of original style materials, so we sourced this unlacquered brass gooseneck faucet, paired with a slightly modern take on a classic Farmhouse sink.

i-dShpVmh-X4.jpg

My client found these original brass taps all the way from the UK!

i-KfZcsQX-X4.jpg

We included a bit of swankiness, with brass hardware and the integrated fridge. There is actually a fireplace on the other side, but the brick wasn't in great shape to be exposed, so we built in a new "old" brick wall with brick facing.

i-RsCSzWV-X4.jpg

These pendants hail from the UK from the company Bert Frank. They can be moved up or down to adjust the light, balanced by a (very heavy!) solid brass weight.

i-8VTXGMg-X4.jpg

New French Doors:

You can spy John in the reflection. I am so lucky to have an amazing photographer-husband-partner!

You can spy John in the reflection. I am so lucky to have an amazing photographer-husband-partner!

And for fun, one our two "helpers" on Photo Shoot day, taste testing the cookies for staging. 

Seb.jpg

Thanks to our amazing client C, for allowing the whole family to come see and photograph the finished space. We are thrilled that we could help you create a new kitchen space to enjoy. 

i-NSPkFF9-X4.jpg

Sources:

Kitchen Cabinets: IKEA
Door Fronts: Semihandmade Doors
Blanco Cerana Farmhouse Fireclay Sink & Granite Undermount Sink: Build.com
Rohl Perrin High-Arc Bridge Kitchet Faucet: Build.com
Island Lighting: Revolve Rise & Fall Pendant, Bert Frank
Hardware: Top Knob, from Belmont Hardware
Butler's Pantry Leather Drawer Pulls: Rejuvenation
Appliances: Miele
Exterior Light: YLighting.com

Destination Eichler Featured in Atomic Ranch Special Issue Renovation Guide

We were honored to be featured in the Atomic Ranch Special Renovation Guide. Thank you Sarah Jane Stone from Atomic Ranch for the feature! It is such an honor and thrilled to be in such fantastic company, alongside the beautiful home from KUD Properties. It was a fun shoot day shot by Daniel Blue Photography, and styled by Christina Yan 

instagram-atomic-ranch01.jpg
instagram-atomic-ranch02.jpeg

Espirit Park Warehouse Loft Project

Our clients have been settled into their newly renovated Loft home for quite sometime now, but we finally got the opportunity to check out the fully completed space and snap a few photographs. 

Here is some neat history about their warehouse condo building, provided by one of the homeowners when they initially contacted me:

"The building was originally a wine warehouse built in 1906 before becoming the Esprit clothing company headquarters in the 1970’s, and finally converted to lofts/condos in early 2000s."

There are still many great original architectural details in the condo unit from the warehouse days, such as oversized wooden columns, concrete interior walls, and a fantastic original brick facade. 

I had such a fun experience working with my clients, integrating many of their clever ideas, such as the cats' out-of-sight litter box area under the stairs, to the mobile, yet multi-purpose kitchen island. The homeowners also wanted to integrate their mid-century modern heirloom furniture (from Paul McCobb to Eames) and eclectic art collection from their travels around the world. Some of my (many!) favorite design elements include:

I designed a custom painted mural to bring together the under-the-stairs storage area doors, which had been installed by previous owners. We had a hole cut in the smallest door, which gives the cats access to the hidden litter box. The colors in the mural were inspired by a restored family painting that hangs on the opposite living room wall.

I designed a custom painted mural to bring together the under-the-stairs storage area doors, which had been installed by previous owners. We had a hole cut in the smallest door, which gives the cats access to the hidden litter box. The colors in the mural were inspired by a restored family painting that hangs on the opposite living room wall.

Fireclay Tile subway tile paired with Semihandmade Doors in Eco Douglas Fir. 

Fireclay Tile subway tile paired with Semihandmade Doors in Eco Douglas Fir. 

Central island, which is on castors and can be moved, if desired.

Central island, which is on castors and can be moved, if desired.

Waterfall edges finishes off the bar height counter area, designed to perch over a multi-functional workspace/mobile kitchen island.

Waterfall edges finishes off the bar height counter area, designed to perch over a multi-functional workspace/mobile kitchen island.

Plenty of room for entertaining or cooking prep. Note our boys enjoying themselves on their patio, which overlooks a peaceful water feature and courtyard.

Plenty of room for entertaining or cooking prep. Note our boys enjoying themselves on their patio, which overlooks a peaceful water feature and courtyard.

storage-under-staircase-kitty.gif

It is always so special to see design work come to life and of course working with amazing clients with fantastic ideas! With our clients' eclectic artwork, furniture and accessories in their newly renovated space, this loft is now ready for entertaining and relaxation, for both people and kitties!