We bought this home in the fall of 2011- a mere four blocks from our first home. We'd fallen in love with our neighborhood, but our one year old son was quickly taking over. Similar to our first home, this property was built at the turn of century and reflects a mix of Victorian and Craftsman styles. The house was advertised as a duplex, so it wasn't at the top of our search list but one tour and we knew it was the one. The new space was more than enough but the very conservative, traditional finishes weren't in line with our aesthetic. So we spent the extended escrow period choosing colors, finishes, and contractors to refinish the house just after closing and prior to moving in. We chose base colors of grays and white, and brought the previously blonde, maple wood floor to a rich mahogany tone to ground the space. We replaced the black granite in the kitchen with Carrera white marble, and replaced all the appliances and lighting. Our most controversial decision was deciding to paint the wood paneling in the dining room white. We use our dining room on a regular basis and the paneling was much darker and more subdued than we wanted. We left the paneling in the entry untouched, to give the feeling of and intimate entry space opening into the rest of the house. Painting the paneling is a good example of the tension between rehab and renovation, but living here for almost three years now, we are happy with our choices. People often design based on what they believe is "original" or "authentic," however those beliefs are not always correct, and do not always inform the best choices.
The prior owners were unable to finish the master bathroom, so we were able to choose the layout and finishes of this room, including designing custom cabinetry to hold the double sinks and provide a vanity space for my wife. The clean, white aesthetic for this room intends to give a spa-like feeling with the matte finished subway tile and frosted glass windows.
Overall, the space gives us everything we need and provides a clean but warm background to the furniture, photography, and art that we love. This includes pieces from our local designer friends, such as the blankblank X Base Bench in our entry and the Schmitt Design Camber mobile in the playroom. We recently moved our son into his "big kid" room, where we tried to continue thoughtful design choices that he would enjoy now and well into his childhood--like the Banksy reproduction, and Normann Copenhagen airplanes.
The interior of the home is always evolving as I produce more furniture and we buy more art, but the base is complete. Our next venture will be refinishing the exterior, including paint and landscaping, and finishing the bottom unit as my studio.
SF: Top unit 2,400 SF
Bottom unit 1,200 SF