Photography: Sharon Risedorph
Berkeley Hills Residence
From faux-Tudor to modern marvel.
This carefully designed project transformed a dilapidated faux-Tudor hillside house into a remarkable, light-filled modern space. The house, situated on a double lot in an established neighborhood, embraced an unusual south-facing garden. Walls were removed to create an open plan, flowing between the capacious entry, living room, dining room, that connect to the more intimate family room, kitchen, corner breakfast room, and “cozy” room. A new staircase greets visitors at the entry and speaks to the high level of craftsmanship lavished on this house. Hidden, painted wood panels conceal the basement stairs as well as a coat closet, while a random steel rail adds a dynamic element.
A former conglomeration of additions in the rear of the building was replaced with a low-slung modern addition containing a family room and guest quarters/art studio that follow the slope of the hillside, stepping up incrementally, and creating an “L” shaped house with a sunny courtyard for outdoor living. Upstairs, three bedrooms remain, but completely reworked with the master bedroom featuring highly detailed custom woodwork, and a spa-like bath overlooking the garden.
The house was completely gutted down to the studs, and rebuilt with all new systems and finishes. The materials and colors were chosen for interest and warmth, and reflect the personality of the client. The use of fir, beech, and oak, nods to the Berkeley tradition of wood craftsmanship. There was a strong green emphasis, especially around environmental issues due to client sensitivities, with all products being virtually VOC-free.