The Cinderella Story Of Cedar Street

I love the story of Cedar Street, an unassuming little house in Calistoga. We had just completed a renovation for these clients on their primary home in Healdsburg, when they asked if we could do the same for Cedar Street. We first began the conversations in the Spring of 2017, with a walk through to determine scope.

The house was first purchased in 1972, and as this couple’s first home it held quite a bit of sentimental value. It was unique for us to have the opportunity to work on a project that had so much history for a client. They had lived in the house for two years while the wife worked as a teacher in the town of Calistoga.

It had been used as a rental since 1974 after the owners moved to Healdsburg. It was starting to show a bit of wear and age and needed a full makeover, along with some minor architectural styling to work within the budget and scale of the project.

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Before front of the house and yard

The house was built mostly of cinder block and distracted from the charm and location. The existing flooring was a “wood look” laminate which was worn a bit thin and had seen better days. We decided we would finish over the block on the interior, to finish and warm up the walls, and add a more substantial base and case to add a touch of architecture.  

The house is small, just a bit above 900 square feet, and single story. The original floor plan was simple and the only real change made to the floor plan was removing a door that led from a bedroom directly into the kitchen and opening up tight doorways into the living room and sun room areas.

We also made slight changes to the one bathroom by selecting a bathtub that better fit the space and moving the toilet to the same wall as the sink.

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Before images of the living room, kitchen, bathroom, sunroom and backyard

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The unique wall texture that we found in the bathroom.

After our walk-through meeting, we got started on the design plan. We wanted to create a clean, simple design style with a cottage feel, but infuse a more elegant, European sensibility. We started with a palette of black and white mixed with the warmth of wood. The variations in subway size add a little interest and fit the budget and aesthetic in excellent form. We used three different black and white patterned tiles in the kitchen, bathroom and sunroom.

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Because the floors were on slab and the final use of the home not yet decided, in terms of being a second home or a rental, we chose a luxury vinyl flooring with a wood plank look. We settled on Republic Flooring’s Great Oak line which had a lovely color selection, as well as a bit of texture to the face.

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Republic Flooring, Great Oregon Oak-Sessile Oak

For the kitchen counters we used a black walnut butcher block. The patterned splash was a large 24 x 24 inch porcelain tile inspired by the graphic designs of the Art Deco period. It added a pop of energy in the tight pattern and both a feeling of old and new. The cabinets were custom built by Lake County Woodworkers and addressed the small kitchen and tight space planning issues typical of vintage homes.  We added a bit of iron jewelry in the form of knobs and pulls to the painted cabinetry.

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The exterior was given a new coat of stucco, shutters were added, and a new roof was put on. The property was a little overgrown and so we did some selective pruning and removing of small trees. We created a landscaping plan and got to work on a stone patio at the entry and a larger patio connecting access to the garage in the back.

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We changed out exterior doors and added a new picture window in the front for aesthetics as well as function. We touched nearly every corner of this home and property and in the end it shows. Take a look at what it looks like now…

Tama Bell Design is an interior design firm  with projects in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County and the Bay Area.