This magical Spanish Mediterranean Piedmont estate had been in the same family for nearly a century, with few changes made to the interior. (An “update” to the kitchen appliances in the 1970s is better left unmentioned, although photographic evidence is provided, below.)

The original owners had the house built in 1927, having moved from San Francisco to Oakland after the Big Quake, as many couples and families did at that time. Their children and grandchildren grew up and lived their whole lives in the 3200 square-foot home, designed by noted local architect Charles McCall.

For this first phase of the project, we redesigned the living room, sunroom, dining room, kitchen, and powder room, in our favorite modern-tradish style, maintaining gorgeous original details like the ceilings (coved in the dining room, coffered in the living room), tile floors, and selected fixtures, and bringing in new furniture, art, fixtures, and finishes that convey both the classical aesthetic of the original home, and the fresh modern lifestyle of the young, vibrant family that lives here.

Bigger changes and modernizations included converting what used to be a tiny kitchen with butler’s pantry into a welcoming and spacious kitchen with wide-open food preparation area and island, and featuring a large refrigerator and six-burner range.

For the next phase, currently in progress, we are collaborating with architect Jack Backus to design and build a media/family room with kitchenette,  guest bedroom, guest bathroom, office, and storage in what once was the original basement. Our colleagues at McCutcheon Construction dug out the space to create a blank canvas, with soaring 10-foot ceilings and lots of natural light, and two sets of French doors opening out onto the gardens from both the guest room and the media room.

Before and After, Phase One (Complete):

Dining Room Before:


Dining Room, After:

Dining Room

Living Room Before:


Living Room, After:

Living Room

Living Room, Side View, Before:


Living Room, Side View, After:

Living Room art wall

Kitchen, Before (2 images):



Kitchen, After:


Sunroom, Before:


Sunroom, After:

Sitting Area

To view more “After” images of this project, click here

Basement, (Phase Two) Before:


To be continued…. 

“Before” images by Ramona d’Viola

“After” images by Eric Rorer