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Alameda Kitchen 2010

This kitchen was my first blog post, back in 2010.  I still employ many of these ideas. I revisited it because I was trying to talk a current 2020 client into laminate counters (with metal edge) instead of solid surface. It’s nice to remember this project.

I was hired to do a partial, tight-budget upgrade to this kitchen:

Alameda Kitchen before

This side of the kitchen we didnt change much.

This side of the kitchen we didnt change much. We did add a dishwasher…and the client took away one curtain ruffle.  The client wanted to keep the half of the kitchen with the sink, but tear out a wall and add some new cabinets and a laundry area on the other side.

We did add a dishwasher...and the client took away one curtain ruffle

Glowing Orb

The lighting in the kitchen consisted of one big light in the middle. This used to be standard, but most people these days have a lot of different lights in their kitchens.  I came to love this glowing orb.   It is sort of like a sun shining in the middle of the room.

this is the laundry center...with folding counter on top

this is the laundry center…with folding counter on top. Im not as in love with the metal edge on the splash as on the counter edge.

Another important feature came late in the design process.  As was normal for 1898, the kitchen was walled off and disconnected from the rest of the house.  The client didn’t think it was in their budget to make the changes necessary to rearrange the entire first floor, so we focused on making the kitchen nicer. Then we realized that it would be a pretty simple (low-cost)  and easily reversible change to cut a window in the wall separating dining  room and kitchen. This way food could be passed through and  communication could happen without killing the formality of the dining room.  Southern light from the kitchen window is an added feature in the dining room.looking through towards dinner

Happy client peeps through the new opening

Happy client peeps through the new opening

Other features of affordability and style are the colorful plastic laminate counter tops with 50s style metal edge banding,  the beautiful green Marmoleum floor (you’ll have to just believe me because you can’t really see it  in the photos, & the open space for art that is available because the client didn’t squeeze in as many upper cabinets as they possibly could.

Of course keeping half of the old kitchen was a big cost savings. The new part looks different, but complimentary.  Palimpsest architecture is the word for this sort of layering and leaving ghosts of the past rather than tearing out everything and starting over. .  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest

Contractor: Guillaume Canivet

Cabinetmaker: Rusty Dobbs

W.T. Kirkman lantern style light (Near Flathead Lake MT)
Vine porch curtain (North Hampton MA)

Cranbrook House Dining room light that can shine up and down or both. (Probably a custom design by Eliel Saarinen) Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

The painted ridge beam went in this week. You can see, if you look closely, another castle post to complement the beam.

We also did a preliminary blower door test to check for airtightness and passed with flying colors

And finally we had a ceremonial sage burning inside the building last night…to bring the good sprits and chase away the bad. Due to the airtightness, the building was still smokey in the morning after the ceremony! (The ventilation system is not yet operational and no windows were open)

More On Our Castle Post

www.instagram.com/p/B2PCXyDAJ5y/

Photos by the maker, John McBride

 

John McBride and I saw a post like this at a castle in Northern Italy. It seemed like a nice detail for a little cottage in Berkeley.

Cottage Sheathed

ADU Design Meeting

Saturday Morning Design Meeting

The clients desired a refreshed kitchen and another bathroom. They ended up updating much of the house including a new ducted mini split heating system, new patio and porch, insulation and air sealing throughout, interior and exterior paint, and a lot more storage.

I’ll first give you a few before shots of this little stucco house.

We were all pretty happy with the new layout.

Construction by McBride Construction, Landscape by Hornby Garden Design and Construction, Photos by Nancy Kalter Dills, Engineering by Verdant Structural Engineers

New back of house with covered porch and big windows from bedroom and kitchen
Looking towards back from door to diningroom
Cooking Area
Laundry
Door to porch & Yard
Looking toward front
Pantry
Master Closet
Extra Storage
Vanity (Needs some art)
Window Protection for eaveless house

McBride Construction (and others…foundation by Caliber Structural and rough plumbing by Braco Plumbing) have this 484 SF ADU well on its way . It’s nice to see it take form. You can’t see one green innovation that is hidden under the slab. Instead of rigid foam insulation we used rigid rockwool. Concrete is high volume flyash. The framing lumber is FSC certified. The building will get a blower door test and it must meet a high standard for air tightness. (You can still open the window or turn on the ERV for fresh air, but your air won’t be trickling in through dusty cracks and crevices) Stay tuned for more. .

Tiny Kitchen Facelift

Kitchen before
Kitchen Before

This small kitchen is in the center of a small house. The house had been lovingly and artistically updated over the years, but the owners were waiting for the right time to tackle the kitchen. The budget was tight, but the owners had a lot of energy for carefully considering every detail and the contractor, Steve Coleman, was the perfect fit. He had the skill and the patience to accomplish it all.

Most of the cabinet boxes are standard IKEA with the faces upgraded by Steve. The mahogany corner shelves and the refrigerator side panel and upper cabinet are custom made. The cabinet kick and the end panel are zinc with patina. (The end panel has steel behind the zinc so that it is magnetic for displaying pictures) The dark metal kick is quite visible from the entry and livingroom…but by visible I mean it actually nicely disappears into the shadows. Fluorescent recessed lights and dated dining table lighting have been upgraded beautifully. The deep window at the sink got a splash of pale yellow with vertical white tiles below. The range side got a bright red tiled backsplash. The improved below counter storage allowed for the elimination of the cabinets surrounding the cooking area. The range and dishwasher were saved, but a new taller and shallower refrigerator improves the space. The long counter on the sink side is 6 inches deeper than normal which yields more counter space for working and for objects such as toasters and fruit baskets. (Some objects were removed for the photoshoot)

Now all they need is some art on the white walls!

Photos by Nancy Kalter Dills

Architect and owners in the finished kitchen

The builder sent me these first 4 snapshots…hopefully I’ll be able to photograph the finished project soon.

 

Zinc sheet with patina

Zinc panel installed

mahogony triangle shelves in the corner – lots of storage, clean and simple, counter still open for work

red heath tile backsplash behind the range (existing range to remain)

 

Another kitchen with a new very simple refrigerator side panel and high cabinet to hide the cereal boxes. The side panel is a great spot for a pot rack!

And another with a very simple under counter microwave

 

 

This recent full house remodel and additions in Berkeley turned out great. I don’t usually use so much wood, but it makes this house very cozy. More photos soon!