Located in quaint Larkspur—a town just about 15 miles across the Golden Gate Bridge from downtown San Francisco—this 1985 Victorian home is full of charm. But, when homeowners Jon and Carol Knorpp first bought the home, it wasn't suited for modern living. The home is one of Larkspur's oldest and is filled with turn-of-the-century touches, with ornate moldings and a broad front porch. Though lovely and large in scale, the house lacked the open living spaces the Knorpp's loved. "Like any classic Victorian, the house was chopped up with lots of little rooms. It had a very formal feel," says Carol.
The family quickly brought in architect Ken Linsteadt to create a home to fit their casual, comfortable lifestyle. The end result is a home that's classic, but with a modern twist.
The initial steps of the remodel included opening up the kitchen. The team knocked out a wall between the old kitchen and dining room, making space for a central island and a bay-window breakfast nook. Carol, who is a designer, had a hand in many of the details throughout the home. When she saw a stack of unfinished oak boards intended for the walls, she suggested using some for the hood, which is now her favorite element in the kitchen.
"We like to entertain, especially during the summers, so we really wanted to have more open family spaces and a clear connection to the outdoors," says Carol. The family spends most of their time in the kitchen's sunny breakfast nook, which looks out onto the deck and takes advantage of the sweeping views of nearby Mount Tamalpais.
French doors in the kitchen and a bi-fold glass wall in the family room both open to the new deck with easy access to the backyard. "I wanted to create a loop where the family room, kitchen and deck are connected but remain three separate spaces," says Linsteadt. The family room replaced what used to be the master bedroom.