Wende Cragg's Arts & Crafts appliques
and now for something a little different

A&C home gets modern upgrades in Alameda, CA

Picture_1 Zahid Sardar, the San Francisco Chronicle's design editor, is one of the few architecture journalists out there who understands the Arts & Crafts Movement and its importance to the Bay Area.

Yesterday's paper included the following article by Sardar on a recent remodel of Berkeley architect David Burton's 1908 home; visit sfgate.com for the whole story.

Berkeley architect David Burton's 1908 Arts and Crafts house in Alameda, which he and his wife, Jordan Battani, purchased in 2001, had been altered in the shag carpet, avocado green and harvest gold era of the late '70s. Outside, the shingles were painted powder blue.

With new paint to mitigate all that, they made do until five years ago, when they needed more space for Battani's mother, who moved into the 2,700-square-foot home. "It was easy. We felt we are rattling around in a large space," says Burton, 43, whose son was only 3 then.

Burton used to work for Bob Swatt, an architect whose taste for modernism he shares, and so the skylit, eat-in kitchen he and Battani envisioned was to be modern. But, he also wanted it to mesh with their Arts and Crafts home, whose roomy closets, oak floors, dark wood built-ins and leaded glass details are intact.

Anyone who reads this site regularly (OK, I flatter myself, I realize there are only a half dozen of you and my mom) knows that I take a pretty dim view of redesigning old homes in anything but an at least attempted orthodox fashion. However, this is an attractive remodel. For the most part, the materials complement the house's own materials and design, and the architect added light to focus attention more on historic detail, and only in a few cases (such as the removal of dark exposed beams) removed what I consider attractive portions of the original design. All in all, very pretty and very effective.