Home Remodeling Samples


The original house in the Berkeley Hills was built in 1953, and hardly anything had been upgraded, though it was pretty well maintained. The client wished to add a master bedroom suite on top, as the lot is quite small and could not accommodate horizontal room additions. The original house had sunshades but they were made of heavy redwood pieces that had warped over time and were difficult to replace. We removed them and replaced them with wood-supported aluminum shades that, along with the new, cantilevered deck, enhanced the overall look immensely. We also replaced the redwood deck railing with cable-rail so that the elevation feels unified and integrated. Only one side of the deck needed privacy, so a solid wall with windows was installed there, over the side street. The windowsills are flush with a hot-tub deck and have a rolling piece of frameless obscure glass, for more privacy, when needed.


Blackbird Designs collaborated with Kessner Construction on this renovation, which included a completely renovated kitchen and a basement addition (guest bedroom and bathroom addition) by excavation.


There are times when an architect starts a project and then doesn't seem to be able to get through the creative blocks that develop. When this happened here, the client waited a long time before contacting another architect. Fortunately she was not attached to previous designs and we were able to get into a whole new field of dreams. The rear of the house literally opens onto endless fields of grass and scrub oak that are part of the Regional Park District. We were able to open up the rear elevation to these views with room additions to the dining area and kitchen and a very accessible outdoor deck big enough for entertainment. Interior walls were also cut up to get access to the new views from the living room on the opposite side. The result is dramatic and was within budgetary limitations.