Built-In Style

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photos by:
May 13, 2009

In Oakland, California, two designers transformed a 100-year-old barn into a (very) cozy home of their own by redefining the functionality of walls and windowsills.

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    Photo by: Aya Brackett

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  Even in the Stonorovs’ tiny first-floor room, the curse of the kitchen as the inevitable gathering place lives on—–though the two-foot space between the sink and metal island is less than ideal for the family of three and their blue heeler, Oscar.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    Even in the Stonorovs’ tiny first-floor room, the curse of the kitchen as the inevitable gathering place lives on—–though the two-foot space between the sink and metal island is less than ideal for the family of three and their blue heeler, Oscar.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  Outside, the couple clad the house with a rain screen of 1.5-by-1.5-inch strips of spruce to create a “modern rustic barn.” The extra-deep sills of the first-floor window become a bench on the outside and a shelf on the inside.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    Outside, the couple clad the house with a rain screen of 1.5-by-1.5-inch strips of spruce to create a “modern rustic barn.” The extra-deep sills of the first-floor window become a bench on the outside and a shelf on the inside.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  Self-proclaimed perfectionists Tolya and Otto “obsessed about making everything” themselves—–from the windows down to the beds.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    Self-proclaimed perfectionists Tolya and Otto “obsessed about making everything” themselves—–from the windows down to the beds.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  Using simple and easy-to-maintain materials in innovative ways was a guiding principle in the Stonorovs’ design. The bathroom walls are made out of HardiePanel vertical siding, which they also used to clad two of the exterior walls.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    Using simple and easy-to-maintain materials in innovative ways was a guiding principle in the Stonorovs’ design. The bathroom walls are made out of HardiePanel vertical siding, which they also used to clad two of the exterior walls.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  Tolya and Otto's handiwork, such as the cabinetry in the master bedroom, helps keep the lines of the house clean and the rooms tidy.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    Tolya and Otto's handiwork, such as the cabinetry in the master bedroom, helps keep the lines of the house clean and the rooms tidy.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  The Stonorovs couldn’t find a crib they liked and that fit their budget, so Tolya 
custom-made Niko’s sleeper out of walnut plywood and 3form plastic circles laser-cut by East Bay Laser & Waterjet. Otto made the sliding changing table out of solid walnut. Worried that their dog, Oscar, was feeling neglected, he built a Japanese-style water and food dish for him.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    The Stonorovs couldn’t find a crib they liked and that fit their budget, so Tolya custom-made Niko’s sleeper out of walnut plywood and 3form plastic circles laser-cut by East Bay Laser & Waterjet. Otto made the sliding changing table out of solid walnut. Worried that their dog, Oscar, was feeling neglected, he built a Japanese-style water and food dish for him.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  The kitchen island—–an equipment stand purchased from online restaurant supplier Serv-U—–is essential in providing much-needed counter space. The bottom shelf creates additional storage and the outlets mounted underneath allow it to become a coffee and toast center. Because it’s stainless steel, the family can put a hot pan right on the surface without worrying about trivets—–which are hard to keep handy in such a small place.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    The kitchen island—–an equipment stand purchased from online restaurant supplier Serv-U—–is essential in providing much-needed counter space. The bottom shelf creates additional storage and the outlets mounted underneath allow it to become a coffee and toast center. Because it’s stainless steel, the family can put a hot pan right on the surface without worrying about trivets—–which are hard to keep handy in such a small place.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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  The stairway features built-in shelving that's accessible from both sides.  Photo by: Aya Brackett
    The stairway features built-in shelving that's accessible from both sides.

    Photo by: Aya Brackett

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