Category Archives: Piedmont Architecture

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.


Good, Better, Best!

How a simple Stucco bungalow is transformed into a Mission Style home with a new front porch and attached garage


Existing front elevation




Approved with a Front yard variance by the Piedmont Planning Commission

Using a photo as background, we produce a color perspective drawing that conveys the feel and true appearance of the design.

color sketch



Substantially Complete!

Rustic wood porch ceiling, wrought iron light sconces, and painted tile risers complement the heavy stucco buttresses, pillars, and arches.





arleta photo


In Your Neighborhood – Piedmont’s “Melrose Place”

We are part of the homeowner’s team that have just completed the restoration and remodel of one of nine bungalow townhouses grouped around a lush courtyard,  probably originally designed by Irving Gill, (but has not been confirmed). Due to an unassuming street facade, it is truly a hidden gem in Piedmont. The distinctive arch motif found at all the entry loggias around the courtyard is repeated at the opening to the new kitchen, introducing the arch’s indoor-outdoor ambiguity to the living room, a real doff of the cap to the old master!

Piedmont's "Melrose Place"

Piedmont’s “Melrose Place”

Creative Spaces

The April 2011 Children’s Support League Home Tour showcased our upper Piedmont formal Mediterranean home remodel. A dining room wall was opened to transform a dark galley kitchen into an elegant spacious kitchen and to allow entertaining to flow to the living room.

To complement the home’s stately interiors, the hand carved island has the feel of an Italian antique chest and the copper hood echoes the lines of the living room fireplace. The flush-face frame wall cabinetry resembles stand-alone furniture and is topped with leather finished granite counters, which suit the overall classic look of the kitchen. The upper cabinets feature leaded glass with Gothic arched lights, inspired by the arched openings of the house.

Approved in Piedmont!

In September 2011, seven townhomes designed by Jarvis Architects were approved by Piedmont’s Planning Commission and City Council to replace the old Linda Avenue PG&E substation adjacent to the Oakland Avenue bridge. These four-bedroom, 3-1/2 bath homes are 2400sf on three floors above garages and resemble a small village around a courtyard. A park and school are located just up the street and convenient shopping is nearby.

This project marks Piedmont’s first multi-unit residential development and was approved with glowing comments from the Commissioners and Council members. Words like ‘clever’ were used to describe the projects minimal impact to the neighborhood. They also noted the unique character of each home within the singular village concept. Piedmont is known for its exhaustive public review process, but the superb design carried the day with full support from the City.

South elevation

Best Second Story Addition

The City of Piedmont honored Jarvis Architects’ Arleta Chang with this award for the design and addition done at her home.

The Piedmont Planning Commission noted, “the remodel was designed to reduce massing on the street and blended so well into the original structure, it looks original itself.”

Congratulations Arleta!

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