2022 Master Design Awards: Whole House $300,000-$700,000 — HONORABLE MENTION-B

by Emily Blackburn

Next Stage Design + Build 

San Jose, Calif.

Location: San Jose, Calif. | Project Cost: $377,867
Square Footage before: 900 | Square Footage after: 1,200

After their children left for college, the clients sold their suburban family home of 17 years to embark on a new homeowning adventure. The couple fell in love with a charming, 1930’s Tudor revival home in the heart of a historic neighborhood and bought it immediately. The 900-square-foot home would need an extensive remodel to add much-needed space and revive its vintage charm. The existing 2 bedroom/1 bathroom floorplan was cramped for a family of four. 

The kitchen layout was challenging and inefficient. The dishwasher was difficult to reach, the sink did not align with the main window, the microwave/range wall was a boring focal point visible from the living room, and the refrigerator was located away from the work zones. To fix these problems, the team reorganized the kitchen cabinetry for efficiency and to create the illusion of more space. DeVOL cabinets were specified because of their smaller box dimensions and their classic Shaker styling, which enabled the designer to maximize storage in the small kitchen footprint. 

On the second floor, an empty attic sat unused. The clients did not intend to use it for storage, yet in its existing state it was not safe for usable living space. It was unstable to walk on and the new space would need to be designed around it. An unused water heater and vent sat in the middle of the attic, consuming valuable square footage. To create a livable attic space, they added a staircase at the back of the kitchen, where the laundry and refrigerator were previously located. The water heater was removed and replaced with a tankless water heater. Windows were replaced, and a new bathroom was created. 

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