Santa Clara Project Week 1 Video

This video series documents a remodel and addition in Santa Clara, CA. This project is in the Pruneridge neighborhood which is minutes from a the new Apple Spaceship Headquarters. I will post pictures of the project and videos as the project progresses.

Continue reading Santa Clara Project Week 1 Video

Santa Clara Project Demolition and Plan Changes


Current Project: 600 Square Foot Addition:


The homeowners recently purchased a 1950’s ranch home with 3 beds 2 baths 1,284 sq ft. in Santa Clara. They wanted to add a Master Suite so they can have 2 master suites available as an additional master suite when their in-laws visit.

  • Add a Master Suite
  • Remodel three bathrooms
  • Remodel Kitchen
  • Add Laundry Room
  • Remove old Roof and replace
  • Paint the entire interior and exterior
  • Match existing Stucco to the new
  • Add exterior ledger stone to the exterior wall
  • Change out existing hardwood floor
  • Add two gas insert fireplaces plus new chimney
  • Change all new doors

Current Design Background:

By the time, I was brought on to the project, the floor plan set already. The owners didn’t want to make any further changes because they had been waiting close to a year to start the project.

Hiring Issue: 

The architect who was referral from several coworkers did not provide a full set of plans which delayed the start of the project.  Before the general contractor could move on, the architect failed to complete energy calculations (Title 24) and pull the permits from the city. He claimed that it was not his responsibility but the general contractors.  This delayed the project about three weeks. In my experience working with architects, it is responsibility for all the plans as well as pulling the permits from the city.

Comment from an Interior Designer I work with:

“We are now seeing cheaper architects are not completing the drawings such as plumbing and HVAC and the Title 24 Home Energy Calculations.”

Old Floor Plan:

Existing Floor Plan

Continue reading Santa Clara Project Demolition and Plan Changes

Myth: Great Hope My Remodel will Cost Less

Continue reading Myth: Great Hope My Remodel will Cost Less

5 Simple Pleasures for 2016.


1. It’s Not Marble.

Neolith: Ultra Compact Porcelain

Quartz are the most popular countertops today. My favorite brand is Caesastone. They are like Apple’s iPhone. They make the best looking material everyone else is just an imitator for now. However, they better look out because Dekton and Neolith will probably starting taking over the next decade since they use digital printing technology.

Neolith: Looks like marble but has the strength and properties of porcelain tile

2. Cooking with Steam.


This new kitchen appliance is set to take over the microwave oven or make you buy another appliance.  You can steam your fish like at the Chinese restaurants or your vegetables at the hofbrau. People claim microwave is bad for your health but I have yet to see a true scientific study.

Here are some Medline Articles if you are curious:

You don’t need to drop $6000 on a  model from Wolf to bring it home. (Wolf 24″ E Series although it is pretty sweet) Cuisinart is will set you back about $300 on Amazon or at Bed Bath and Beyond. “Drop it like it’s hot.”

3. Versatile and Elegant: White and Off White

Barron Park: Modern Scandinavian Kitchen

According to National Kitchen and Bath Association 81% of the kitchen used a white or off white scheme. I did.

Why is white popular? It is the ultimate neutral tone which allows you to accent it whatever color you want.

  1. White cabinets compliment well with light and dark counter tops.
  2. White Cabinets allow you to have more open kitchen even if your space is small.
  3. White reflect more light so your kitchen is brighter and not a the “Bat Cave”.
  4. White cabinets allow you to use mosaic tiles as an accent wall.

4. Need more Champagne: Look in the Door:

1489-1008-1009 ad 9_pro 48 dualfuelrange 48_v5_g7c1_300_psd
Pro 48 By Wolf

Low tech is awesome. Just look through the fridge door.

Husband/Boyfriend/Lazybone: “Shorty! We are out of beer.”

Shorty/Wifey/Fine Dime Brizzle: “Buy it yourself!”

5. Don’t be a Square

You don’t always have to be a square. How about:


Jasba Loop porcelain tiles in a bathroom


1 inch welded hex
Jeffery Court Ashland & Halsted – 1″ Hex Welded 

Elongated Hex

Jeffery Court Ashland & Halsted: Elongated Hex Mosaic


Oceanside Glasstile

Collection: Tessera
Pattern: Pave
Color: Mica blend

Photographer: Chipper Hatter

Designer: Cathy Aroz

Wallpaper Pattern

Oceanside Tiles

Collection: Devotion
Pattern: Cathedral
Color: Bewitching blend

Photographer: Chipper Hatter
Designer: Cathy Aroz

Mid Century Modern for Today


Mid-Century Modern on a Budget - kitchen2Modern is Simple but Challenging.

Continue reading Mid Century Modern for Today

Noe Valley Modern Row House

This was a project I worked on in Noe Valley. This design was amazing. The place was like a showroom.


Obscure glass barn doors

Continue reading Noe Valley Modern Row House

Architecture, Decor, and Design Idea Cheat Sheet

A Cute, Open-Plan Renovation in a 100-Year-Old Amsterdam SchoolhouseGoing online can be a time sink. This cheat sheet will save you time. I have narrowed down publications and websites which I fund useful when researching what décor, architecture, landscaping, and interior design you like.

Short List, aka Mike’s Hack: This is when I just need to stay on top of things quickly. I don’t go to many places because it is easy to lose time if you start looking at too much. Continue reading Architecture, Decor, and Design Idea Cheat Sheet