Before + After / Sunnyvale Scandinavian

Transformations don’t get more dramatic than this! While our clients had owned their Sunnyvale ranch for almost a decade, very little had been updated since the house was built in the 70s. Being avid cooks, the most important updated needed for the clients was improving the kitchen layout and organization. The clients wanted a fresh Scandinavian-inspired look and feel, and we delivered a solid foundation on which to continue building their home piece by piece.

For this project, we pushed out an exterior wall to make room for a new and larger kitchen, removed a wall in the dining room to open up the layout, replaced the flooring, and refreshed the paint and lighting throughout.

BEFORE: A tiny, cramped kitchen

BEFORE: A tiny, cramped kitchen

AFTER: A spacious, well-organized kitchen designed for two cooks

AFTER: A spacious, well-organized kitchen designed for two cooks

BEFORE: Not enough storage and counter space

BEFORE: Not enough storage and counter space

AFTER: Optimized storage and spacious counters for prep work

AFTER: Optimized storage and spacious counters for prep work

BEFORE: A characterless office

BEFORE: A characterless office

AFTER: Color and a cozy reading nook added to the office

AFTER: Color and a cozy reading nook added to the office

Learn how you can create a Scandinavian-inspired kitchen through our recent feature in Rue Magazine.

What’s your favorite part of this renovation? Share with us in the comments below!

Before + After / Ayesha Curry's Homemade Pop-Up Shop

Homemade Pop-Up Shop Window.jpg

In case you haven’t heard, we had the incredible opportunity of designing Ayesha Curry’s Homemade Pop-Up Shop in Oakland’s Jack London Square! Ayesha recently relaunched her Homemade brand, and the pop-up shop was a way for her fans to experience her brand and products in real-life. We had a blast creating a retail space that embodied her vision!

You can visit the store throughout the month of February at 423 Water St, but in case you can’t make it in-person, here’s some before and after photos to show you what we accomplished in TWO WEEKS start to finish. Big thanks to partner Cost Plus World Market who provided all of the furnishings!

BEFORE: Sad white walls

BEFORE: Sad white walls

AFTER: Never underestimate the power of paint to transform!

AFTER: Never underestimate the power of paint to transform!

BEFORE: Blue walls left over from the previous tenant

BEFORE: Blue walls left over from the previous tenant

AFTER: Beautifully styled shelving and tabletops to show-off the wares

AFTER: Beautifully styled shelving and tabletops to show-off the wares

BEFORE: Depressing ceiling tiles

BEFORE: Depressing ceiling tiles

AFTER: No one’s looking at the ceiling tiles when there’s a bedroom scene this beautiful

AFTER: No one’s looking at the ceiling tiles when there’s a bedroom scene this beautiful

BEFORE: A depressing, poorly lit space

BEFORE: A depressing, poorly lit space

AFTER: A peaceful retreat while shopping

AFTER: A peaceful retreat while shopping

Looking for more? Read the short Q&A with Ayesha herself in the Rue Magazine feature.

What do you love most about this retail space transformation? Share with us in the comments below!

Before + After / Sunset Kitchen

Not gonna lie, this was one major transformation in one very small, windowless space. Our clients were avid cooks and frustrated with their cramped kitchen and its dysfunctional layout. We opened up a wall to create room for friends and family to gather, and even though we removed a few upper cabinets, the kitchen ended up being more space efficient in the end. Check it out:

BEFORE: What you’re seeing is the length of the kitchen.

BEFORE: What you’re seeing is the length of the kitchen.

AFTER: There used to be a wall and a fridge where the peninsula is.

AFTER: There used to be a wall and a fridge where the peninsula is.

BEFORE: Fluorescent lighting, need I say more?

BEFORE: Fluorescent lighting, need I say more?

AFTER: Recessed lighting keeps the small space clutter free, while the pendant adds some interest.

AFTER: Recessed lighting keeps the small space clutter free, while the pendant adds some interest.

BEFORE: Induced claustrophobia

BEFORE: Induced claustrophobia

AFTER: Room to breathe

AFTER: Room to breathe

What’s your favorite part of the new kitchen? Tell us in the comments below!

Before + After / Pacific Heights Vintage Modern

It's time for everyone's favorite: Before + After! Our Pacific Heights Vintage Modern project was truly transformative. The condo hadn't been updated in years and needed some major upgrades for the paint, laminate flooring, and outdated light fixtures. We also turned this bachelor pad into a proper home for two. 

Let's start with the main living and dining area. What a difference fresh paint and custom hardwood floors can make! Not to mention all that new lighting and furniture...

BEFORE: The living and dining area

BEFORE: The living and dining area

AFTER: The dining area

AFTER: The dining area

AFTER: The living area

AFTER: The living area

Now moving onto the adjacent kitchen. Previously there was a partial wall separating the kitchen from the living and dining areas. To create the open floor plan, our team came up with a creative way to remove the wall without affecting plumbing. A new concrete bar countertop was added after the wall was removed. 

BEFORE: View of the kitchen from the living area

BEFORE: View of the kitchen from the living area

AFTER: The kitchen

AFTER: The kitchen

Lastly, we have the master bedroom where we rearranged the furniture layout to create a cozy lounge area. 

BEFORE: Master bedroom

BEFORE: Master bedroom

AFTER: Master bedroom lounge area

AFTER: Master bedroom lounge area

What's your favorite transformed space? Let us know in the comments below! 

Pro Tip / Our Favorite Countertop Materials

Selecting kitchen countertops is one area where we see clients wanting some guidance. There isn’t just one obvious choice! Every type of countertop material, from marble to granite to concrete, comes with its own set of pros and cons.

To help you minimize hours of research, uncertainty, and decision paralysis, here’s a simple guide to 4 of our favorite countertop materials: quartzite, granite, soapstone, and concrete.

Have a question about these materials or others? Ask us in the comments below!
 

1 / QUARTZITE

Quartzite (not to be confused with man-made Quartz) is the hardest and most durable natural stone. It is one of our favorite countertop options for the simple reason that it excels in just about every category.

Pros: Quartzite is extremely heat resistant, so you can go ahead and set those scalding pans down. It also resists acid, stains, and scratches, and cleans easily with baking soda and water. Quartzite’s array of veining and color options (including some that mimic the look of marble) make it easy to get the look you want.

Cons: For any scratch or chip repair, we recommend hiring a professional. You’ll also want a professional to apply sealer every 1-3 years, depending on the porosity of your quartzite slab.

Price Range: $$-$$$
 

2 / GRANITE

Contrary to popular belief, granite is not just the stone of the 90s. Granite slabs come in a wide range of veining, splatter, and color options, so it’s more than possible to incorporate a style that will keep your space looking current. Plus, the stone’s long-term durability is well worth the investment.

Pros: Granite is extremely resistant to damage from heat, acid, common foods, and household cleaning products. Granite is also scratch resistant, so if you’re known for using your counters as chopping blocks, your granite will survive… though the sharpness of your knives may not!

Cons: In the unlikely event that your granite chips or scratches, you’ll want to hire a professional to repair it. You’ll also need to schedule a professional sealing application every 2-4 years.

Price Range: $$-$$$
 

3 / SOAPSTONE

We love materials that patina and get better with age, and soapstone is at the top of that list. If you want a countertop that has beauty and longevity, you should give soapstone your serious consideration.

Pros: Like quartzite and granite, soapstone is extremely heat resistant. Though it’s the softest natural stone, its lack of porosity resists damage from acid, bacteria, and stains. Scratches can happen, but they’re easy to buff out with 60-80 grit sandpaper. Removing any residue or blemishes is also easy to do without calling in a professional.

Cons: Your color options are limited to a range of veining in white and gray, and body colors in gray and green. Perhaps the biggest con is that soapstone requires regular maintenance. Mineral oil applications are necessary 1x / week for the first few months, as well as every few months afterward, though you don’t need a professional to do it. Also, keep in mind that mineral oil turns your stone dark, as in this before and after photo. (Though we see this as a plus!)

Price Range: $$

4 / CONCRETE

Concrete countertops look beautiful, especially in modern spaces, and will develop a lot of character over the years. If you don’t mind the high maintenance, their beauty is worth your extra loving care.

Pros: Concrete countertops are extremely heat resistant and have a versatile selection of color, pigment, and finish options.

Cons: As a porous material, concrete is prone to scratches and stains and is susceptible to etching from acids. While a yearly sealing is the minimum requirement, sealing won’t protect the surface from all stains or etching. You’ll also want to call a professional for any chip and scratch repairs.

Price Range: $-$$$

Have questions? Did we leave out your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!