Something Old, Something NewAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Fiorella Design updates a Palo Alto Craftsman with respectful touches
After living in a home for fifteen years, a tech entrepreneur and her engineer turned chef husband were ready for a change. With two teenage daughters, they needed a more open floor plan and a more sophisticated kitchen for weekend entertaining .
After reviewing potential designers on Houzz, they found and hired Fiorella Design to achieve their goals and infuse the space with subtle character. “I liked their easy going manner and I loved the home,” says founder and principal designer Mary Fiorella.”I could see immediately what the house could be, once we removed a couple walls and opened up the space.”
The home, a shingle-style Craftsman built in 1900 once housed a school. With over 2,900 square feet, the four bedroom, three bathroom home had undergone a significant renovation in the 1990s but still needed a more natural flow.
“It is a very old home that was kind of cobbled together over time,” says Fiorella. “During construction we found all sorts of issues such as the floor level of the home from front to back varied by three inches.”
While opening the space, the stair railing was updated, becoming a focal point as well as the fireplace. The family room, powder room, bedrooms and family rooms were also revamped. “Whenever I open a space like this one for a client or even when I did this in my own home, the best surprise always is how the light travels through the space,” the designer says. “I love being able to see through from one end to the other, out the windows, see the trees, and sunlight, where you wouldn’t have been able to do that before.”
A variety of blue and green hues and wainscoting tie each space together, providing a modern update while paying homage to the home’s historic roots. The final result is a cozy and cool new residence that has transformed the lives of the family of four.