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I’ll post more about this one soon…with some interior shots. This will house the homeowners while they remodel the main house, then it will be an art studio and guest quarters. Someday it will probably house renters. It exceeds all the green building and energy efficiency codes. Construction by McBride Construction.

Rainscreen fibercement siding and big doors
Wall hung toilet tank – not the most exciting photo, but a nice feature.

Addition in the Berkeley Hills

This one, built by Canivet Construction, was for a pair of architects. The design was driven more in the modern direction by their sensibilities.

Rafters!

We are excited.

Photo by John McBride

Since we are in a pandemic I wasn’t able to do a more formal photoshoot of these two projects. I also was not involved in every little decision, but they turned out well and the owners are happy to have nice new kitchens now as they shelter in place.  Both projects involved removing a wall between kitchen and dining rooms, new cabinets, layout rearrangements, updated lighting, bar seating, a mix of wood and solid surface counters. One also got a skylight.

This first one was built by McBride Construction (Photos by John McBride)

Wood-topped peninsula between kitchen and dining room makes a great place to informally eat or do homework, but also serves as a buffet for the dining room

Herringbone Tile

 

 

The next one was built by 360 Property Solutions

Wall removed between dining and kitchen to let the south light flow through and connect the spaces

 

 

 

 

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)