Category Archives: Remodel

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.

Adding Flair With Flare

Oakland home gets an update with flare from added shingling


Located on Parkside Drive in Berkeley, this house originally had shingles exclusively on the upper level, and stucco on the lower and main level exterior.  The decision to shingle down to the lower level provided a challenge: how to design a transition to the main level stucco, while incorporating a bay window-level water table, without appearing disjointed?  The answer was the addition of a delicate flare detail, which was extended out to the depth of the water table.  The graceful curve of the shingled surface functions both practically and aesthetically by smoothing the transition between surfaces, and integrating the water table as a design element.


Above: water table and flare detail


The plan was to paint the shingles according to the design of the original house.  However, when the natural shingles were installed they were just too beautiful to paint, so the decision was made to stain them instead.  Keeping the shingles natural was a fantastic decision on the part of the homeowners.

Addition and Remodel

In Your Neighborhood – Modernized 1950’s Home in Orinda

This recently completed addition and remodel to a 1950’s tract home in Orinda created a more light filled, open, energy efficient and comfortable modern house with a more efficient plan.  The rear of the house now opens to a newly landscaped garden designed by Jarvis Architects for indoor/outdoor living to fit a contemporary lifestyle for a family of four.  A dry stone creek for the outdoor spa shower provides surface drainage, turning excess ground water from an issue into a feature.

In addition to the more common upgrades of energy efficient lighting and appliances, solar PV for electricity and thermal panels for water heating, the following improvements were included as part of a deep energy retrofit:

Thermal envelope:

  • Improved air tightness with ‘eco-seal’ at walls and spray foam insulation at roof
  • Extra insulation at walls, floor and roof, including heating ducts within the thermal envelope for added energy efficiency.
  • Added passive cooling comfort with ‘cool roof’ shingles.


  • New furnace with ventilation feature: ‘Lifebreath’ high efficiency hybrid furnace with built-in ‘heat recovery ventilation’ (HRV) circulates continuous fresh, clean, tempered air throughout the house.

‘Home Energy Rating System’ (HERS) inspections to verify improved thermal efficiency and create eligibility for state rebates and credits:

  • ‘Quality Insulation Installation’ (QII) inspection
  • Blower door test for air tightness of thermal envelope. Vastly improved air seal rating approaches ‘passive house’ standards.

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”

In Your Neighborhood – Craftsman Traditional

This upper story addition was featured in the Jarvis Architects 2011 Calendar. The home is a Craftsman Traditional morphing into a more Contemporary look and plan as it steps back up the hill. It is a wonderful example of the architecture reflecting the clients needs and personal style while respecting the original home and the fabric of the neighborhood.

Every Home Needs a Heart

The Lamorinda Weekly recently posted an article on the 2011 Orinda Mayors Awards for Excellence in Architecture. The Howard and Susan Warner Remodeling Project designed by Robin and Cindy received one of the awards, and was the featured design in the story.  The story, written by Laurie Snyder captured the spirit of the collaborative design process, the project history and the home.

Visit the Lamorinda Weekly Mayors Award here.

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