Home & Garden: Bright Ideas/Remodels

Posted on Jan 28 by SEASONS Magazine

This craftsman bungalow was renovated by Blackbird Architects working with Allen Construction. Photo by Jim Bartsch, courtesy Allen Construction.

This craftsman bungalow was renovated by Blackbird Architects working with Allen Construction. Photo by Jim Bartsch, courtesy Allen Construction.

By Nancy Ransohoff

The best and brightest home remodeling ideas are the ones that are so seamlessly integrated into the house that you can’t imagine the space any other way. They’re the creative ones that you look at and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Here, we spotlight two such brilliant ideas.

This stunning four-bedroom Craftsman-style home was completely remodeled by Santa Barbara-based Dan Weber Architecture. Photo by Erin Feinblatt.

This stunning four-bedroom Craftsman-style home was completely remodeled by Santa Barbara-based Dan Weber Architecture. Photo by Erin Feinblatt.

Beauty meets function and gets along quite nicely in a stunning four-bedroom Craftsman-style home nestled in the Santa Barbara foothills. A former ranch-style tract house, it was completely remodeled by Santa Barbara-based Dan Weber Architecture (now called Anacapa Architecture) and now takes full advantage of its mountain views and our envy-inducing climate.

One of this home's unique features is this expansive pass-though window, which was part of a remodel done by Dan Weber Architecture. Photo by Erin Feinblatt.

One of this home’s unique features is this expansive pass-though window, which was part of a remodel done by Dan Weber Architecture. Photo by Erin Feinblatt.

Just Passing Through

One of the home’s unique features is an expansive pass-through window that opens from the kitchen to the outdoor patio. “A lot of homeowners want a window at the sink, and in this case, I thought ‘why not have a pass-through that opens up to the spectacular mountain views and backyard?'” says Dan Weber, AIA, LEED AP. A work of art in itself, the mahogany Craftsman-style divided light window was custom-made by a local artisan builder, as were the home’s other doors and windows. It sits above a farmhouse sink and opens to an outdoor bar/counter with stools on the flagstone patio. The versatile counter can be used to pass food out to the patio, to hold platters for a buffet or as a handy sit-and-snack spot. With the nearby gas barbecue grill and firepit, al fresco dining and entertaining are a breeze. “The family absolutely loves their lifestyle up there…the doors and windows are open all the time,” says Weber.

This craftsman bungalow was renovated by Blackbird Architects working with Allen Construction. Photo by Jim Bartsch, courtesy Allen Construction.

This craftsman bungalow was renovated by Blackbird Architects working with Allen Construction. Photo by Jim Bartsch, courtesy Allen Construction.

All in the Details

Another touch of tailor-made architectural ingeniousness is part of a project in downtown Santa Barbara’s Bungalow Haven. Tucked away in the lower Riviera district, this charming historic area is bound by Laguna Street to the west and East Victoria Street to the south. Every block is liberally sprinkled with bungalows of all shapes and styles, mostly modest in size.

A renovation and addition to a small gem of a Craftsman bungalow originally built in 1919 included expanding and finishing a partially exposed basement area. The principal architect on the project, Ken Radtkey, AIA, LEED AP, of Blackbird Architects, incorporated built-in bookshelves in the stairway to the lower level. “Since it’s a small home, it’s helpful to think of it as a boat,” says Radtkey. “Every inch needs to be enjoyable and functional. Books are an important aspect of the homeowners’ lives, and this was one of the keys to making it a home.”

At 1,456 square feet, “the house is definitely a little jewel box,” says Radtkey.

Working with Allen Construction as contractor, Radtkey was mindful of preserving the historic integrity of the house while providing the necessary space and amenities for modern living and the homeowners’ lifestyle. An inspired idea, the built-in stairway bookshelves maximize space while respecting the home’s Craftsman-style roots and interior detailing. Now, why didn’t we think of that?  

 This story was originally published in the winter 2016/17 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

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