Mickus Projects renovates colonial-style home in Alameda
Drama and Openness Transform This California Colonial-Style Home
Mikcus Projects is behind this dramatic transformation of a 1910 Colonial-style home in Alameda, California
“The finished design is best described as a fade,” says Ben Mickus of architecture and furniture design studio Mickus Projects, who led the redesign of this 1910 Colonial-style home in Alameda, California. When his wife, Taryn, spotted the property for sale, not far from the previous home, the couple agreed to grab it and transform it from a historic space into one that brings old and new together through a design rich in craftsmanship that respects the past and looks to the future.
The duo, operating both as a family unit and as clients and architects throughout the development of the project, worked together to open up the interior. Walls and an existing chimney were removed, resulting in a ground level that is visually connected across the floorplate, from the street facade to the rear garden. While the front of the house retains its period character with restored historic features and more comfortable proportions, the rear now features a wall of glass and a double-height space that bathes the interiors in natural light. This area houses the kitchen, dining room and a home office, overlooking a leafy garden.
The main ground floor houses most of the key rooms in the house – a living room up front, two en-suite bedrooms to the side and that long, bright space in the center and back that brings together food preparation and dining, culminating in a majestic “sun room” under a geometric, white ceiling with exposed beams that follow the dramatic angles of the sloping roof. Two more bedrooms and a family room are placed on the ground floor, while a flexible attic has been placed in the converted attic.
Mickus, who tackles projects of varying scales and often works with bespoke furniture and accessories, ensured the interior features custom pieces throughout and overall attention to detail was central to this architectural transformation. A folded metal staircase that leads from the ground floor to the interior of the loft; the strategically placed skylights (one of which becomes the only place in the house to offer views of San Francisco Bay); and a selection of bespoke joinery, are just some of the elements that come together with an eclectic color palette and contemporary furnishings to create a domestic interior that is both intimate and grand, in touch with that past, but also turned towards the 21st century. §