Posts Tagged ‘interiors’

The most important component of this project was rearranging things to make the most of various spaces in a small house. There had been several strange additions over the years that made for a lot of wasted space.

Looking east

Looking east in this spacious new kitchen with fir cabinets, vaulted ceiling, corner windows, LED lights,

We added about 65 SF and way more storage. The old kitchen was actually a hallway with constant traffic flow through the work area. Now traffic stays away from the main work area.

Kitchen before addition and remodel

Kitchen before addition and remodel

asbuilt   new plan     1) New closets in the master bedroom 2) More efficient laundry room by moving one door and adding shelves and counter 3) Water heater moved to exterior and utility room converted to pantry 4) Kitchen expanded to keep the traffic out of the work area 5) Easy attic storage created


Nice Big Pantry

Vaulted ceiling creates room for a large pendant light

We also added an attic access stair for even more storage!

Photo Credit – Nancy Kalter-Dills

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My Rockridge project is getting finishing touches slowly but surely. These are just quick snapshots of things I am excited about.

Teak Bench, Glass tiles, stone floor

Teak Shower bench with glass tile walls and stone tile floor

Fir Barn Door

Fir Barn Door



Tin Ceiling Tiles


Colorful diningroom

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The sheetrockers are hard at work at my Rockridge project. Here is a picture of the hallway where we are keeping the fine old ceiling joists exposed.  Stay tuned on this one. Its going to be the coolest hallway ever.

hallway ceiling with joists exposed


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Many houses have floor plans that don’t work very well. In the case of this project, the first problem is a nice living room disconnected from the rest of the house.  (You have to go through the vestibule to get to the living room and the vestibule is not very big, especially if you include a coat tree and shoe storage.  When I arrived and saw the space it also became clear that the kitchen/ diningroom connection could also be improved, as well as kitchen storage and counter space.

The budget isn’t grand, but a lot can be gained with a few small changes.


We will close the opening between vestibule and dining room and open a bigger one directly from dining room to living room. Then we will eliminate a big chunk of hallway between kitchen and dining and use this space to expand the kitchen counter and add some dearly needed kitchen storage.

proposed plan

Someday things might shift back the other way, but for now, most people seem to prefer informal dining that is very connected to the kitchen.

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ceiling beams

I am a fan of having some exposed structure in a house. This photo shows one of the reasons. In addition to hanging a bouncy swing, these beams can make a great place to hang a mobile or colorful flags, wrap holiday lights, store fishing poles or a small boat, install lighting to shine up on the ceiling, and more.

In addition they add a three-dimensionality to the space and light filtering down through the beams from high windows creates interesting shadow patterns.

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drawers with cut out pulls

I have always liked this simple and affordable way to open cabinet drawers. This is a bathroom cabinet for a project here in Berkeley, CA.

Remodelista just posted a collection of some other nice examples (follow the link)

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Swiveling is nice in this case because the living room and TV is directly behind. It is helpful to be able to easily rotate to see all the action.

lew red chairskitchen

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IMG_6029 IMG_6032 IMG_6033 IMG_6036

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I’ve been following this blog of a color consultant & interior designer in part out of fascination with someone so different from myself, but also because she has some real tidbits of wisdom. Read the post linked above for her explanation of what is good about this room below.

Maria's favorite room

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We moved some walls and added some windows and took away a door and moved the kitchen to the other side of the house and added a bathroom and opened up the space a bit. We also upgraded the heating, hot water, ventilation systems and the electrical and lighting. The before shots don’t look anything like these almost finished shots, but you’ll just have to believe me.  The layout changed so dramatically that they are not really relevant.  Hopefully I’ll have some professional photos when its really finished! This post shows the project at an earlier stage.

The square hole in the wall to the left really helps to connect the kitchen (on left), dining (on right) and living room (beyond grey wall.) The entry closet is camouflaged in wall-matching grey paint.

6″ LED recessed lights by Cree provide ample warm light in the kitchen. Vertical grain fir custom cabinets by Steve Shada, Pika Woodworking

Low voltage art lights await the art on the living room walls

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This cafe in Brooklyn, NY has done a good job of turning what would usually be considered a highly undesirable feature into what almost might be considered an asset. (Sorry that all I have are quick snap shots with my phone.)

Plumbing waste line painted and wrapped in rope ala Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea

Plumbing wasteline continues

more pipes

Cheerful blue pipes

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I just returned from a weekend at Yosemite National Park. We enjoyed the fall colors and the stunning natural beauty, but there are also some nice architectural details in the park. The Ahwahnee Hotel  is full of decoration and geometric designs. Painted decoration, upholstery, and patterns made of wood and steel are everywhere. The Wawona Hotel, at the other end of the park is a timepiece from the early 1900s with simple white-painted buildings and kitschy pine cone chandeliers in the dining room.

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