Fireclay

1940s Kitchen Transformation

We have eagerly been awaiting the final reveal for our 1940s Kitchen Renovation located in the East Bay. Our clients Melissa and Jake approached us last us fall to help re-imagine their kitchen and living/dining area. Melissa wrote in an email early on, "The kitchen has been driving us nuts since we moved in this year, and we can't wait to start remodeling it!" The couple already had such a great sense of style and were amazing partners to collaborate with on re-designing their home.

The original home was built in the 1940s, and consisted of a small kitchen area, which was cramped for daily use, and the layout included a few different closed off areas, such as the pantry and laundry area. The couple desired a larger, more open space, since they love to cook and entertain, plus with a new baby, knew that an open, functional space would better suit their needs. 

BEFORE

Before: Living Room to Kitchen (through that little doorway).

Before: Living Room to Kitchen (through that little doorway).

Before: View to the side entry door; the old Laundry Room is on the other side of the wall.

Before: View to the side entry door; the old Laundry Room is on the other side of the wall.

Before: Right when you entered the kitchen from the Entryway, the Refrigerator was located in a small pantry area.

Before: Right when you entered the kitchen from the Entryway, the Refrigerator was located in a small pantry area.

AFTER

Good-bye closed off spaces and rooms, and hello to the newly transformed Kitchen!

After: New Kitchen Island, Bar Area, and a more open, light-filled space.

After: New Kitchen Island, Bar Area, and a more open, light-filled space.

The new design incorporates many materials found in this 1940s period of architecture and homes, which is part of our design philosophy when we approach a home renovation like this one. Natural materials, such as Semihandmade's Flatsawn Walnut and soapstone counters, pair with more modern touches, such as the large center Island.

We installed classic small mosaic hexagon floor tile from the front entryway all the way into the Kitchen, which was a common flooring found in apartments and homes from this era. One of my favorite design details is the floor transition from Kitchen to Living Room. Here we eased the transition with an organic flow, from tile to new Cork Flooring:

New Cork Flooring is soft on the feet and easy to maintain, plus an eco-friendly material.

New Cork Flooring is soft on the feet and easy to maintain, plus an eco-friendly material.

The Kitchen now naturally flows into the Dining and Living areas.

The Kitchen now naturally flows into the Dining and Living areas.

I already knew I loved working with Melissa and Jake, but when they wanted to put in a new Bar Area, I was super excited! Anyone who loves cocktails like I do is a friend of mine and I was thrilled with the opportunity to install a pattern from Fireclay Tile's hand-painted tile collection as a feature backsplash for the space, which really helps make the new bar shine.

After: A new Bar Area features hand-painted tiles from San Francisco-based Fireclay Tile.

After: A new Bar Area features hand-painted tiles from San Francisco-based Fireclay Tile.

After: Open Kitchen to Living and Dining Areas, perfect for entertaining.

After: Open Kitchen to Living and Dining Areas, perfect for entertaining.

After: The Laundry is hidden by new closet doors that also doubles as Chalkboard area. 

After: The Laundry is hidden by new closet doors that also doubles as Chalkboard area. 

After: The formerly corner-situated sink is re-positioned for easier access and replaced with a new Farmhouse Fireclay sink and flanked by new windows.

After: The formerly corner-situated sink is re-positioned for easier access and replaced with a new Farmhouse Fireclay sink and flanked by new windows.

After: View from Kitchen to Living Room.

After: View from Kitchen to Living Room.

Thank you Melissa and Jake for the opportunity to help transform your home! What a fun and collaborative project it has been! 

Special thanks to the lovely Kara from Styled with Life, who helped us to make our shots just perfect on Photo Shoot day! 

A 1964 Eichler Home Renovation and Restoration

We are thrilled that one of our most extensive renovation projects to date has recently completed construction! We hope you enjoy the final outcome and most importantly, we are so pleased that our clients/homeowners love their "new" home as much as we do! 

Late last year, we received an inquiry from a couple seeking design support for a renovation to their original 1964 Eichler home, located in the Parkwood Estates neighborhood of Concord, CA. From the first moment I met the homeowners, I was excited (and relieved!) that we all shared the same design goals and philosophy: to keep as many original details of their Eichler home intact, while making necessary updates to the home that would bring the home up to modern day standards, efficiency and usability.

Kitchen Before:

While the original kitchen was in decent shape after many, many years of use, one of the homeowners is quite tall, and either had to crouch down very low to use the original stove top, or sometimes bumped his head on the upper cabinets! The original cabinet sliding doors were in bad need of repair and no longer provided solid functionality, while the refrigerator was both small and not placed in the most useful spot:

BEFORE

BEFORE

We wanted to maintain a peninsula layout, to give nod to original Eichler kitchen layouts, while providing plenty of workspace and storage. The stove and refrigerator were also relocated, to allow for newer appliances and improved flow. It was also important to the owners to keep the "bar" countertop concept (as original Eichler kitchens were designed) and the door to the garage was relocated to accommodate new layout, but make sure it looked like it was always there. 

Here is a 3D drawing of the layout from the Design & Planning Phase:

3D Rendering 

3D Rendering 

KITCHEN AFTER:

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

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AFTER

The homeowners also put a LOT of their own hard work into their home restoration, including sanding and refinishing all the original Luan paneling throughout the entire home and restoring interior doors. The original globe lights fit right in with the "new" kitchen design.

The custom kitchen cabinetry (working with the great folks at Style Bath & Kitchen in Oakland, CA) is a combination of Bamboo veneer and Matte White door finishes, complimented by gorgeous tile backsplash from Fireclay Tile. The clients sourced fantastic recessed pulls, in keeping with the original metal finger pulls on Eichler sliding cabinet doors.

Master Bathroom After

One of the (many!) favorite design elements of this project include the three-dimensional hexagon tile, from Heritage Tile's Atomic Collection, inspired by subway station tile, which if you are local, can be seen at BART stations across the Bay Area.  Walnut veneer custom cabinetry for the vanity, and in the shower, we kept original layout, installing more handcrafted tile from Fireclay Tile.  

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

Guest Vanity Before

Guest Bathroom After

AFTER

AFTER

The original vanity mirror and light fixture have been restored to their original luster and we love how well they pair with the picket shaped tile backsplash and new double walnut vanity. Again, we were so thrilled that it was just as important to the owners to be able to re-purpose some of the original materials that were part of the home. 

The flooring throughout the home is new Vinyl Composite Tile, also known as VCT, another material that was similarly found in Eichler homes, but this time in a gray colorway, for a modern and concrete look. A few layers of flooring (both laminate and ceramic tile!) had to be removed to lay down the new floors.

Living and Dining Room After

The Living Room and Dining Room after newly sanded paneling, new flooring and new paint on their Eichler siding wall. Original fireplace kept intact (yay!) and carpet removed, giving way to a fresh new space. The vintage table lamp and side table shown below were from the original homeowners' family, given to the couple when they first purchased the home.

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

AFTER

The homeowners are happy to be done with all the planning and construction (huge thank you to the great team at Square, Level Plumb!) and are now they are having fun selecting new furniture and artwork for their newly renovated spaces.

Thanks M & B for an amazing collaboration and the wonderful opportunity to help you transform your home!