Before & After: A Once-Dingy Colonial Style Is Now One Family’s Bright, Bold Forever Home

Taryn Mickus had a vision to transform a 1910 home in her neighborhood with new finishes, custom touches, and an open plan, and her husband, architect Ben Mickus, executed.

Ben Mickus and his wife, Taryn, weren’t exactly looking for a new house. But in 2014, Taryn, a lactation consultant with an eye for design and a passion for local real estate, popped into an open house around the corner from the couple’s home in Alameda and had a vision. "I was on a business trip in China and she called me," recalls Ben, an architect at his own firm, Mickus Projects. "She said,  ‘This is the house.’"

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Melissa Dalton
Dwell Contributor
Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing for Dwell since 2017. Read more of her work about design and architecture at