Tag Archives: wine country fixer

wine country retreat

old sidingThis soggy little home has squatted above a creek in Napa’s countryside for about 50 years.  It was once 2 mirror-image units, then combined into one with an awkwardly large kitchen.  My clients converted it back to 2 units, one for their own use, one for a rental.  Here is how it looked just as the remodel was completed:red doorsThe plans below show the before/after layout. The owners wanted  to achieve an open plan and 2 bedrooms in their half.   ModelHere are some ‘before’ photos – the beam in the kitchen shows where the 2 units used to be divided:two kitchenswood panelingWhat’s a fixer-upper without wood paneling?! As we came up with a few schematic plans, I couldn’t resist the pitched roof and empty attic above the flat ceilings: california framingWhy not take advantage of this?  Of course it would have to be re-framed; its 2×4 rafters at 30″ on center with only a thin plate at the ridge wouldn’t span the width of the building…sketchup modelThe idea was to vault the full width of the house at one end over a ‘great room’ with flat ceilings everywhere else. stud framingwood framingWhat a difference to see it opened up. . my client really wanted to keep the wood planks exposed but it would be a more complicated rebuild than they wanted to embark on.  So the new framing dropped below the old 2x4s. Below is the new framing and where the vaulted ceiling meets the flat ceiling, so there would still be an attic over most of the building.  vaulted ceilingBelow, the house just after completion:vaulted ceilingThis is the vaulted-ceiling great room. I pushed for windows above the doors, but the owners didn’t want neighbors looking down into the room…vaulted ceilingThe 8′ tall doors show where the flat ceiling used to be, now room soars to 13′ at the ridge beam.  butcher block countertopSmart decisions such as butcher-block counters were selected without blowing the budget. Below, another before/after angle—->existing frontFront of house repainted - looking good!The color palette instantly launches the house into modern day although it’s the original wood siding. New dark aluminum-clad windows add to the depth of the house.  The small stoop grew into a patio that will have an overhead trellis for shade and privacy.  I’ve been invited and can’t wait to spend an evening there!


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