A cozy reading corner for our clients’ book-devouring 13-year-old, draped with a hand-loomed blanket sourced from my trip to Cape Town. Artwork above fireplace by Jessica Pisano of Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts.

Every project begins with a vision. Our clients Celina and Cameron envisioned moving from San Francisco to Berkeley, Cameron’s hometown, in a community they feel values the wholesome qualities they were looking for. Berkeley is known for landmarks like Chez Panisse, their favorite local restaurant, and the nearby Rose Garden. Their ideal family home would allow their middle school-age children to grow up close to their grandparents in a walkable neighborhood. Celina and Cameron found a home that perfectly fit the bill – though it would need an interior makeover – a spacious craftsman close to their kids’ favorite summer camp (where my son Dane was once a counselor)!

We were over the moon to be referred to Cameron and Celina by Megan Micco, one of the most authentic, kind-yet-professional women I know who brings her unique signature to representing clients in her real estate business. If you are a house lover and/or a foodie, you must follow her on Instagram for inspiration for your next Passover or home-cooked family meal.

This was an ideal project for us on so many levels. For starters, we were working in North Berkeley on another craftsman just down the way from them, making it convenient for us to visit both sites on the same day. It was fun to watch our two babies grow up in tandem.

Tucked behind this sectional is a game table a short distance to the bar which houses games and adult beverages.

This vintage art above the bar was discovered at the Alameda Antiques Faire, and held in our studio until it landed here above the bar in its now forever home.

When we met to do our intake, Cameron shared photo books he created from their family vacation compound in Jenner, full of images that told a clear story about what they prioritize. Family time, mother nature, art, cooking, building, and connecting. This is part of why we felt like fast friends. In fact, Celina has become more than just a client; we often stacked social connection time onto our design meetings to talk about marriage, kids, spirituality, and investing in conscious businesses.

“Working with Laura and the LMB team was truly a pleasure. Everyone on the team was genuine, kind, thoughtful and extremely talented. Laura deeply understood the essence of who we are as people and how we wanted our home to feel and brought this through with every design choice. She guided us through the whole process expertly, and the end result was even better than we could have imagined. I walk around our home everyday feeling the joy, the warmth, the beauty and the love that Laura and the team co-created with us through this project. We couldn’t be more grateful to have connected with Laura, it’s been a gift for us and our family.” – Celina

We invited Ryan Stone of Stone Home Building to work on the project, along with master craftsman Randall Wilson of Wilson & Sons to build the cabinets and case pieces and their work speaks for itself. It is solid, soulful, and well-executed. Almost all the pieces we designed were fabricated locally, keeping the carbon footprint low and the soulful vibes high.

The kitchen features tile from Heath Ceramics on the backsplash, and vintage lighting from Lumfardo.

One of our design challenges was finding a creative solution to remove the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, to open it up without the ceiling collapsing. Our Project Lead, Hannah, came up with the great idea of cladding the support post in Tambor wood, creating a beautiful separation between the cooking zone of the island from the eating zone.

Shelves built into the island house the cookbook collection and pottery.

One of the biggest improvements, besides the obvious benefit of being able to see each other, is the amount of light in the space. The previous heaviness of the room lightened when the walls came down, and light now floods into the space all year long. 

An open-design custom bookcase separates the dining room and family room.

The former space was closed in and dark, with tight circulation zones that were uncomfortable and claustrophobic. Opening up the space and removing a pony wall expanded the main family area into a spacious zone for cooking, gathering, dining, and doing homework.

The open kitchen provides a stage for the chefs and easy access to snacks.

In the family room off of the kitchen and on the other side of the custom dividing wall which serves as shelves for art, pottery, and vintage books, we created a perfect sectional. It’s low to the ground for playing games and gathering children, and allows friends to be present in a space near the busy kitchen without being underfoot.

This gorgeous coffee table from Lane McNab’s GUILD collection, sourced via Sloan Miyasato, was handcrafted locally from sustainable walnut wood. Art by Gordon Studer and a hand-knotted rug from Pak Rugs SF bring in layers of local art with textures that further ground the space.

This house, like many, has a tightly-spaced powder room near the main living space. We wanted it to have a wow factor while remaining highly functional for the many children who pass through here regularly. The black ground with craftsman-inspired florals is a wallpaper from School House

Wallpaper and sexy lighting transformed this powder room into a craftsman jewel box.

From the initial vision to the final touches, every step was guided by a shared commitment to creating a space to foster connection and joy for the family. With collaboration from our talented team and attention to detail, we transformed their house into a welcoming sanctuary where memories will flourish for years to come. We’re grateful to have been a part of this transformation, and look forward to continuing to create soulful spaces that inspire.

See all photos from this project in our portfolio: Family-Friendly Berkeley Craftsman

For those of you who are thinking about a remodeling project or if you are ready to upgrade your furnishings, we would love to talk with you! Click here to submit a new client inquiry if you are ready for us

“Before” photos by Hannah Gipperich “After” photos by Mo Saito. Written by Laura Martin Bovard.