Category Archives: Oakland Architecture

Modern Kitchen & Bath Remodel

Welcome to our recently completed Modern kitchen in a Mediterranean Rockridge home. We worked with our longtime clients, a family with three young boys, to rearrange a cramped back-of-the-house kitchen and laundry area into an open sunny kitchen and dining room, pantry, half-bath, and desk alcove. The homeowners chose the stainless steel appliances, walnut cabinetry style, graphic tile backsplash, steel blue glass pendants, and bronze cabinet tab pulls. Underneath all these crafted finishes was vintage haphazard framing which our builders straightened out and strengthened. This was a wonderful team effort, which we aim for on every project.

Project Architects: Arleta Chang and Cindy Chan, Jarvis Architects
Builder: Whitney Builders. Israel Gonzales, Proj. Superintendent
Structural Engineer: Peter Van Maren

To right is the desk alcove with walnut floating shelves. The kitchen enjoys view and sunshine on two sides – the street in front and the back yard behind you.


Our homeowner found this stunning red backdrop color at her favorite breakfast spot!  Floating shelf has hidden backlighting on top surface to backlight objects on shelf, and also downlighting at the front to light counter.  New arched soffit echoes arches of the original home.


Seeing double. Ceiling paint color turns down, virtually a ceiling moulding. The same red is bold in a small room. Horizontal rift-sawn walnut cabinetry. Yellow onyx pendants.


We had fun with the window stool detail that caps the backsplash, as it zigzags under the kitchen sink window. Stained windows and trim to complement cabinetry. Graphic tile accents – raises a smile every morning.


Dramatic island with a double-cantilevered quartzite countertop and end wall. Very quiet dual-fan range hood with flip-down warming wire shelves. We love this kitchen – practical, fun, modern in a traditional home, and full of personal touches.

In the Swing of Things


The city of Oakland is just that: the land of Oaks.  And when you’ve got one in your backyard as mighty and beautiful as the Fox family did, there’s only one thing to do:  get a swing!



Lucy and Kaya Fox enjoying their new backyard swing


The backyard boasts many spatially efficient details, of which the swing is emblematic.  Architect and landscape designer Cindy Chan helped transform the yard from cramped enclosure to tranquil sanctuary.

The original yard felt narrow and was sloping, with minimum patio space.   Jarvis proposed leveling the grade in part of the yard, in order to produce a larger and more inviting patio.  An offshoot patio hosts the swing, which has become the favorite of the kids and the kids-at-heart.  The new landscaping was installed by Dawn Landscaping, Inc.



The new design utilizes the top of the garage to create a second sunny patio. A simple metal stair, selected for its subtlety and visual permeability, connects the two patios.  A vine trellis was installed inside the original fence, providing a similarly spacious and open quality to the patio’s perimeter.



A new wood burning pizza oven, installed with the new patio is the heart and focal point of the patio.


Before: cramped quarters

French Countryside, Bay Area Style

Recently featured on the Children’s Support League’s Heart of the Home Tour, this Oakland home was landscaped with a nod to the French countryside, and designed to serve the needs of a growing Bay Area family.  Jarvis Architect and landscape designer Cindy Chan used deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and edible plants to create an efficient and ecologically-minded space where parents and children alike can enjoy the splendor of the outdoors.


The back yard, designed with the family’s three young kids in mind, is host to a large lawn and play structure, and edged by a vegetable garden of edible greenery.  An outdoor kitchen and gas operated fire pit provide leisure-seekers with the full accoutrement to entertain, whilst an outdoor spa provides moments of pause and relaxation.  Purple and pink flowers pepper the lawn’s periphery.


Above: outdoor spa and lawn



Above: fire pit, spa, and lounge area in the backyard



An edible garden is nestled next to the play structure, encouraging the kids to be mindful of where their food comes from


  The front yard presents a contemplative counterpoint the boisterous play and activity of the backyard.   A custom metal railing fence encapsulates lush greenery, and rustic gravel pathways draw the yard dweller in to focal points such as a quatrefoil fountain and a sitting area surrounded by boxwood hedge and trellis.  Mature Oak and Pine trees shelter the elevated patio from the street, both visually and acoustically.  Climbing roses add a dash of pink, elevating the romantic tone of the yard.


Jarvis Renovation featured in In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats

Jarvis Architects’ own Jon Larson was quoted in the October 9, 2011 San Francisco Chronicle article about the current surge of in-law units in the bay area. His basement infill project in north Oakland was one of three Jarvis Architects projects featured in the recent Taunton Press book, In-laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats by Mike Litchfield. Smaller living spaces save on cost, use less  energy, and celebrate quality living.

In addition to fulfilling specific spatial needs of the clients, Jon’s project provided more natural light and a better connection to the yard.

Site design by Duuplex