California ranch-style home gets an update

Redwood City, CA contemporary white and gray kitchen with hidden pantry.

Full service “wellness design” included interior remodel with bump-out, kitchen and bath design and bespoke furniture design.


Redwood City, CA
2290 SF
Whole house plus exterior landscape

Kitchen With Large Island

Many homes in the Bay Area Peninsula were once upon a time, summer vacation homes for families from San Francisco. These California ranch style homes were typically single story, three bedrooms and one bathroom with a small kitchen. This 1940’s original ranch style home had many of these characteristics.

Our client, a former competitive gymnast, had very specific requests for her upgrade. With a busy, growing family of six, they needed more storage, more bathrooms and a dedicated primary suite. 

In older ranch homes, a formal foyer typically separates the living room from the dining room and kitchen. And often a door closes off a hallway leading to bedrooms and bathrooms towards the back of the house. This house was no exception. This house had no primary bedroom, just three small bedrooms and one shared bathroom. Fortunately, there was a large playroom to work with. They wanted more storage, a kitchen large enough to host family gatherings, a walk-in pantry a dedicated laundry space and more bathrooms via a dedicated ensuite (with walk-in closet). We also needed to be intentional with height and reach of items that were mounted due to existing medical conditions. 


Some “before photos” taken during our site survey.  

Redwood City Kitchen Before

Small kitchen with minimal storage. The enclosed soffit above the wall cabinets stunts the room.

Redwood City Bedroom Before

A very small bedroom with minimal closet storage for a couple to share.

Design Overview

While the initial direction was to avoid a bump-out, after numerous layout reiterations and brainstorming sessions, the homeowners finally settled on a “bump out” in order to achieve more of their goals. However, due to code compliance, we could not add to the back yard. We recommended a front-yard bump-out which added three additional feet to the length of the house. This enabled us to reclaim just enough space to get all the rooms the homeowners requested plus a hidden pantry closet concealed by a row of tall cabinet doors.

planning and design

Once the layout was approved by the homeowners, together with engineering calculations, we drafted the construction documents submitted them to the city for a permit. Our plans called for a variety of wall removals, wall shifting and new walls. One unique aspect of this project was the fact that it occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Our firm had to adapt to a variety of new procedures including remote planning reviews, limited showroom hours, by-appointment-only meetings and repeated delays and shutdowns. 

Redwood City Drawing
Redwood City Kitchen Reno
Redwood City Kitchen Drawing

Our elevation drawings provided key design details for the homeowners, builders and tradespeople such as cabinet makers and tile setters to reference. Our documents also include key details such as location of wires, cut-out locations for plumbing fixtures and the intended contents of specific cabinets. This helps to ensure that all of the homeowner’s items will have a home. 

During construction, we were on site regularly, communicating with the builder and tradespeople to ensure design details were preserved during execution. 

Kitchen Dish Storage Drawer White Cabinets

Cabinets are the backbone structure holding up and supporting the weight of the countertops. Therefore, we strongly encourage the use of custom cabinets. This also provides the benefit of full space utilization and can also provide for unique storage solutions that save space. Pictured above is a dish organizer drawer.  

Redwood City Bathroom Reno

A classic marble stone paired with a classic herringbone pattern is timeless and elegant. During construction we work with tile setters to ensure the patterns adhere to the design.

custom furniture

These busy homeowners wanted a home that was a reflection of their unique tastes. They did not want to walk into another home and see they the same furniture. Our full-service design process allowed the homeowners to achieve this goal. We drew up and designed various pieces of furniture including a custom dining table and bed. And our highly skilled community of woodworkers and metalsmiths fabricated these one-off furniture pieces for us. These high quality pieces will last a lifetime, and provide for the ability to be “passed down” to future generations.

Custom Walnut Bed
Custom Dining Table And Chairs


With a very long list of goals and desires, we began  the design process with the intention of avoiding a bump-out. And while we were able to achieve most of the “wish-list”, in the end, the homeowners chose to add an additional 113 sq. ft. which enabled us to achieve everything on their wish list without adversely impacting the front-yard. We created a modern and spacious kitchen and pantry to host both nightly family meals as well as those traditional events. We opened up the walls between the kitchen and dining room. We removed the long hallway that separated the kitchen and bedrooms. We created an ensuite bedroom with new bath and walk-in closet. And we gave them a dedicated laundry area. We took into consideration, the medical conditions of the homeowners and available reach and factored this into the placement of the sink and faucets, the placement and heights of cabinets, and incorporated “pull up” mechanisms for ease of access. The open concept of the kitchen and dining room with ample seating allows the homeowners to feel connected with family members and guests while in different rooms. The overall result is that of a highly functional, open space, that is perfect for the busy family of six. 

Gray And White Kitchen

AFTER: The island is large enough to host their annual baking event with a custom cabinet having a pull up Kitchen-Aid stand.

Hidden Walk-in Pantry

AFTER: A walk-in pantry that is hidden behind a wall of tall cabinets. Recessed LEDs on a sensor provide lighting in the room.

Custom Kitchen With White Cabinets

AFTER: Custom floating marble shelves with integrated LED lights help provide task lighting.

Primary Bathroom With Marble Walls And Floor

AFTER: Custom walnut vanity with His and Hers grooming drawers. The herringbone marble is the feature wall of the primary bathroom.

To view more photos from this project, please follow this link. Ready to get started on your project? 

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