Transforming a ranch house for the 21st century

We recently re-visited a home we had designed in Menlo Park a few years ago.

The owners had lived in the house for many years and had grown tired of its’ traditional 50’s floor plan and styling, with its galley style kitchen and closed-off rooms. They wanted a major transformation of the main living areas. Our design created a modern open plan focused on the rear yard and a new covered terrace. The kitchen is now directly connected to the dining area. The central raised ceiling area gives height to the interior while also providing the house a bit more visual oomph from the street. New multi-fold and sliding glass doors give easy access to the new covered terrace in the rear.

The owners have collected a lot of beautiful artifacts on their travels around the world over the years. When we initially measured the house, every surface was covered and stacked with these treasures. The new design created a unified place to display them, reducing clutter while protecting and lighting their collections so that they can better be appreciated. We also improved the master suite with larger closets and vanities.

In the course of construction, the owners decided that they liked the ‘stripped down’ look of the house when the original shutters, arched beams and stone veneer were removed. So they doubled down and kept the new facades clean and modern.

A technical element of the project was also interesting. The house sits partially on good, firm soil, and partially on some of the worst, most expansive clay soil around. Previous foundation retrofits done in the 90’s had solved most of the problems inherent with this (untreated, the differing soil conditions might have eventually broken the house apart). We had to work with a unique foundation system consisting of jacketed steel post piles on the new sections, a system we’ve not seen used elsewhere.

The greatest affirmation of our work is a happy client, who is joyfully using the new spaces for family and group gatherings, and who is referring us to colleagues. We couldn’t be more grateful!

Before and After photos are below.

Additional photos of renovation:

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