Although this house was built rather recently, it exhibited a number of elements that were trendy at that time but are not as popular now. Common elements throughout the house included room-surrounding soffits, rounded corners for every entryway, Jack and Jill bathrooms, and cherry wood floors. Also, most of the windows were covered with louvers, which make every room darker, but with this house’s minimal southern exposure due to a hillside and vegetation, the effect was cavernous.

There were also issues with the layout of some of the rooms.1CREATING THE MASTER SUITE1. Creating the master suite.
The most obvious one was the hallway to the second floor master bedroom. At a diagonal to the rest of the house, the walls were lined with accordion doors to the master closets on either side of the hallway. This presented a few problems. First, the diagonals created inefficient closets and limited hanging space and second, if the doors were left open, passing by to the bedroom became a challenge.

We came up with a design that created a true master suite. We reconfigured the space to remove the awkward diagonals in the layout and to add a larger master closet and an improved master bath, which we will be remodeling in the near future. I especially like the fact that one person can use both the bathroom and the closet without needing to walk through the master bedroom. This is especially helpful for two working professionals with different hours.

  • A view through a bank of French doors.The living room with French doors. Late day sunlight is diffused by shear curtains. The bank of French doors open to a patio with great views.
  • A Chinese writing desk and an antique cabinet and vase with contemporary sofa.A Chinese writing desk fills out a wall. Artwork by Melanie McCollin-Walker. Lighter colored antiques were used in this space to combat the lack of natural light.
  • The master bedroom facing otwards the bed.The master bedroom uses a combination of off-white linens, upholstery, and carpet that contrast with its darker wood antiques.
  • The master bedroom facing towards the sofa.The master bedroom is large enough for a small sofa. The double French doors open to a balcony overlooking the back gardens and let in light and air.

We paired a number of exquisite Chinese antiques with contemporary sofas and white oak floors. We custom designed the walnut media center to fill out a wall in the family room. The louvers on the doors in the living room were replaced with sheer curtains. Furniture was then placed to take advantage of the view.