This is a description of a home renovation project in the Berkeley hills. The original house was built in 1921 and had a modest size of 1,277 sq. ft. It had a simple floor plan, no connection to the outdoors, and a low-ceilinged crawl space on the lower level. The only access to the rear deck was through a poorly attached door. The existing house did not make use of the stunning Bay views.
The City of Berkeley imposed restrictions on the height and size of the addition, so we had to work within the existing footprint and add no more than 600 sq. ft. of extra space. We wanted to preserve the original location of the main entrance, but also create a more open and spacious layout that would capture the views and connect to the outdoors. We also wanted to improve the circulation and functionality of the house, and make the lower level more usable and comfortable.
The redesigned house has a total living area of about 2,800 sq. ft. The main level features a large foyer with a high ceiling and a staircase to the lower level. It also has a master suite, a second bedroom and bathroom, a living room and a dining room with Bay views, and an open kitchen with sliding glass doors to a patio for outdoor dining. The lower level has two more bedrooms, and a play room for kids that opens to a rear deck and yard.
The new design transformed the house into a modern and elegant home that embraces the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, with a deck off the master bedroom overlooking the Bay, and a patio off the kitchen surrounded by lush landscaping.