Magazine article Sunset

Diary of a Remodel Phase Three

Magazine article Sunset

Diary of a Remodel Phase Three

Article excerpt


In the final chapter of Sunset's three-- part series, we give a photo tour of our makeover

* In April we introduced you to our first remodel project, including a step-by-step guide to the planning and building. In our July issue, we took you through the material selection process. Now we're ready to open the doors and show you the transformation of a nondescript one-story 1940s bungalow into a two-story Monterey-style house designed for casual contemporary living in San Jose, California.

It was a race to the finish line. Builder Mark De Mattei had his crews working overtime to finish plumbing, tiling, flooring, painting, and electrical installations. Interior designers Patricia McDonald and Marcia Moore, in concert with the Sunset team, were equally busy placing furniture and accessories, supervising the installation of window treatments, and selecting artwork.

The frenzy of activity continued outside. Architect Terry Martin reviewed his final checklist-the copper shutters still needed to be installed and some of the downspouts needed adjustments. Landscape designer Irving Tamura fine-tuned the garden, directing last-minute planting along the driveway and checking the condition of transplanted espalier trees and container gardens.

Somehow everything was done in time for our photo shoot. Now we're ready to unveil the results.

Curb appeal

The front of the house features a Monterey-style double-decker porch; the wood posts and railing recall the architecture of early California. The buttery yellow exterior-a mix of stucco and siding-provides a colorful backdrop for the new landscaping. The front door and shutters are copper, oxidized to match the posts and corbels.

Making an entrance

Immediately to the right of the entry is the two-story parlor, which replaces the cramped living room. Now a soaring ceiling, a dramatic stairway leading up to the bedrooms and study gallery, and a sculpturally ribbed cast-- concrete fireplace add airiness and drama to the room. The parlor also functions as an extension of the foyer.

Kitchen contours

The kitchen is stylish, casual, and contemporary; it's designed for entertaining as well as working. Organized around a large preparation and storage island, it opens seamlessly to the family room at the rear of the house. The pale blue concrete countertop traces a sinuous curve around one corner to create a breakfast area near the family room. Stone tile-with glass and metallic accent tiles-- covers the backsplash behind the sink and cooktop. The mix of cabinetry-some units are stained in charcoal and some in cherry hues-contributes to the informal, furniture-- like effect.

Extra storage and work space

The daylit pantry contains a variety of upper and lower cabinets for food storage. Counters are covered in shiny black 24-inch-square tiles made from lava rock.

Almost alfresco

Glass pocket doors recede into the walls to open the dining room to a narrow side yard without taking up space for door swings. The dining room's focal point is outside, where three glistening cobalt ceramic planters form a trickling wall fountain. Water falls from the top surface of the pots into a trough below.

Artwork was selected to balance the blue walls and hand-painted lime green chair fabric. The pale blue china, set for a casual buffet, matches the color of the nearby kitchen counters.

Family hub

A large sectional sofa invites relaxation by the limestone-finished concrete fireplace wall and offers flexibility for viewing a large-screen television on one side of the room and the backyard on the other. …

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