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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

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This very small house in South Berkeley just sold. I remodelled it and added a small additon back in 2012.  The realtor, ABIO Properties,  and photographer Peter Lyons generously shared their photos with me.

I was very proud of the solution I came up with on a very tight budget to add a second bedroom in existing space and a big living room at the back  This way the bedrooms both were close to the bathroom and the living area at the back got a great connection to the garden.

Berkeley Craftsman managed to skillfully execute the design within the budget.

Old Floor plan

OLD FLOOR PLAN

NEW FLOORPLAN

NEW FLOOR PLAN

I was also excited about the subtle art deco stucco details.

I didn’t invent this stucco window detail. I copied it from a few 1920s houses in Berkeley, but I was quite pleased with its enhancement of what was a very plain front façade. The window sill is clear cedar stained dark.

3246 Idaho 3 front window

We did something similar at the back around the 8′ wide glass doors One simple detail goes a long way on a small house

You can see more shots and the interior on Zillow. 

 

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I thought I’d shared a couple more photos of a recent remodel project. This Berkeley house was built with no way to get to the backyard except through the house or from the neighbor’s driveway.  We decided to add a pair of dutch carriage doors on the back side of the garage so that there would be a direct connection from front yard & driveway to back. The owners will probably use the garage as a room, rather than a garage, but the design allows for a variety of interpretations (In this mild climate we don’t really need heat to make a room into living space 3/4 of the year or more)  The existing concrete slab was polished smooth and shiny for a practical upgrade.

Photos by Nancy Kalter-Dills, Contractor credit to Steve Coleman.

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Dekton and Fir. John McBride photo

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kitchen and cat

Two simple glass cone pendants, one small & white one larger & amber,

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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

pantry1

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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Nice clean floating corner shelves by Shada Build and Design

Nice clean floating corner shelves by Shada Build and Design

Corner shelf supports

hidden supports for floating shelves

Doorbell

Doorbell

Just in from the cabinet maker - beautiful fir door

Just in from the cabinet maker – beautiful fir door

close up

Holes drilled to vent drawers to the outside. California living!

Holes drilled to vent drawers to the outside. California cooler – California living!

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I was very happy to see this recent project full of people enjoying the newly connected living spaces and yard. The owners also built several nice cabinets and shelving themselves. These are just phone snapshots of the space…..and yes it does look like they might need a new couch at some point. Turned out great! (Thanks Berkeley Craftsman)

Front parlor with hammock

Willa testing out the hammock

Family roomConnection to the yard

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Art Tile fir drawers

spade cutout pulls (Armoire by Dickson Schneider I believe)

 

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These are just snapshots – client is not fully moved in – but they are very happy with the remodel, as am I. (Thanks Berkeley Craftsmen) The basic idea was to add a bedroom and improve the street presence. In addition to adding a bedroom we gained a small parlor or office and relocated the main living space to the back with a nice connection to the garden.

 

Front Elevation

The new front parlor window, cedar sill, and integral color stucco

High windows facing south

New front parlor

Looking from kitchen out the back doors

New Bedroom

Existing Floor Plan

New Floor Plan

 

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