The picture wall is adorned with images collected from family, colleagues, and estate sales. ”I kill plants, so cacti are our friends,” Peter says of the succulents along the low table behind the Design Within Reach sofa, just over which an Established & Sons Font clock keeps time.
The bedroom is tucked away within the wood box, with room enough for a bed and dresser (and bassinet once the baby arrives). The Styrofoam bust of Mr. T (in the upper right corner of the image) was made by a friend who works at a 3-D modeling company.
The dining room table is often used for rousing games of cribbage, but cleans up nicely when it's time to eat. The small balcony outside is home to a collection of plants (which get watered more often than the succulents inside).
The Blues Are Still Blue
Grinding down the concrete floor was too costly, so the Benoits had it painted blue with inexpensive Benjamin Moore latex floor-and-patio paint and then sealed with Zinsser shellac—a natural, nontoxic product that brushes on and can be easily touched up. It darkened the blue paint a bit and gives the floor a hand-worked luster.
The Benoits bought their Scandinavian modern table from Klassik Living in Berkeley. “Their prices are very reasonable for the uniqueness and quality offered,” says Peter. They chose teak since it darkens nicely and naturally when exposed to sunlight—–helpful since their table gets blasted by morning rays.
Shelter from the Sun
Peter and Lynda opted for Hunter Douglas clutched roller shades with a medium-opacity black cloth because the material filters the sun but still reveals the view when drawn.
At night, it blends with the black steel frame. They worked with the Alcatraz Shade Shop in Oakland.
Peter created a simple uplight at the top of the wood box by wiring together energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures typically used under cabinets and countertops. “The cheaper magnetic models hum unacceptably loudly, so make sure you get the electronic ballast types,” he warns. He then painted the cavity white to reflect light and covered them with quarter-inch-thick acrylic from TAP Plastics.
Second ComingIt took multiple weekend trips, but the couple finally landed upon enough green tiles to cover their kitchen wall. Overstock tiles and seconds can be purchased from Heath Ceramics in its Sausalito showroom. Though the surfaces aren't as uniformly colored nor as flat as first-run tiles, they offer a unique tone ans texture when the tiles are laid out.