Ross Street, Oakland, California

The newly added outdoor structure extends the home’s living area, and improved the home’s indoor/outdoor integration – a high priority for the owners. Exposed beam ceilings create a continuum with the interiors, mimicking the front living room and kitchen’s vaulted ceilings, tying the house together from front to back.

Indoor/Outdoor Integration

Harkening an era many regard as “simpler times,” the swaybacked roofs, arched doors, turrets and leaded glass windows define the fabled storybook “mansions” of Oakland architect W.W. Dixon. French doors open onto a raised, covered patio furnished with comfortable, outdoor- and kid-friendly seating.

A newly installed low-maintenance backyard, surrounded by realistic faux grass, turned a neglected backyard into a convivial gathering place for friends and family – and lots of room for kid play.

Improved Outdoor Access

Previously a small landing, a newly constructed “wedding cake” stairway provides seating as well as functionality. The original single door access to the backyard was enlarged and replaced with double glass doors to further improve indoor/outdoor integration with the newly renovated kitchen.

Steep Pitch Provided Room to Move

The kitchen remodel included incorporating a small, claustrophobic pantry, enlarging the space and improving functionality. Newly installed double glass doors were painted black to acknowledge the home’s original steel windows, and carried through the kitchen design with contrasting dark cabinets surrounded in white trim.

Taking full advantage of the roof’s steep pitch allowed for a vaulted kitchen ceiling with rustic timbers, mimicking the home’s great room and preserving the visual and period architecture.

Clutter-Free Counters

Convenience and clutter-free, Amato Architecture developed a creative solution for keeping narrow sauté pants tidy and easily accessible with vertical drawer dividers – a vast improvement over the hard-to-reach, under-the-counter norm.

Colorful Appliances and Roomy Countertops

Colorful, updated appliances coordinate with the owner’s hand selected, custom-colored glass tile backsplash.

Sunny Breakfast Nook Brightens Room

The removal of several walls integrated the breakfast nook with the kitchen, creating a cohesive, functional room, filled with light from the home’s original steel-framed windows.

Hidden When Not in Use

In keeping with the multi-functional aspect of the kitchen, the computer workstation’s top drawer houses a pullout keyboard that tucks away neatly when not in use.

Modern Industrial and Period Perfect

Another distinctive characteristic of Dixon’s style was the use of asymmetrical arches – in ceilings, doorways, and nooks. Opening a hallway off the kitchen connected the renovated powder room and laundry room utilizing a sweeping, asymmetrical arch. The organic curve leading to and from the kitchen softens the predominantly angular space.

Modern Industrial and Period Perfect

An expansive countertop adjacent a newly opened interior hallway, created a functional, multi-purpose space. This popular location gets used by everyone – for morning coffee, lunches, buffets, or as homework central depending on the family’s needs.

Functional Guest Bathroom

To add functionality and convenience for the family and their frequent guests, the powder room adjacent to the multi-use guest/music/laundry room was renovated to include a shower. Newly installed finishes provided the perfect balance of modern and rustic.

Appliances Disguised

The old laundry room – another cramped and underutilized area was transformed into a multi-functional, multi-use space – part guest room, laundry room, game room and music studio.

Multi-Function Livability

Appliances hidden behind beautiful cabinetry with large counters above for folding, disguise the room’s original purpose. Secret chutes from the boy’s room above, makes sure laundry makes it way to the washer/dryer with very little urging.

The New Living Room

The newly added outdoor structure complements this historically significant home, while remaining true to Dixon’s architectural vision.

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