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

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.

The dining room combines the existing wood features with a custom chandelier found on Etsy.

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.’”

It was a “dramatic moment,” he adds, laughing. But not as dramatic as the changes the couple had in store for the new-to-them 1910 residence. Taryn’s vision was to open up the main level from front to back, making over key spaces like the kitchen and attic. She also imagined expanding a previous addition so it would be both structurally sound and more functional for her family of four.

“She started explaining concepts of tearing down walls, opening up walls of windows, and letting light pass all the way through the house,” Ben says. “That was enough to convince me.”

Before: Front Exterior 

Before: This 1910 Colonial in Alameda, California, was in bad shape after sitting empty for a few years, but had good bones.

Before: This 1910 colonial-style home in Alameda, California, was in bad shape after sitting empty for a few years. “Our realtor was actively telling us not to buy the house, saying it was too much of a wreck,” says Ben. “But we respectively overruled her.”

Courtesy of Mickus Projects

After: Front Exterior

The couple retained the façade and spruced it up with paint.

The couple retained the façade and spruced it up with gray, green, and white paint.

Ryan Gobuty

The couple moved in with their two kids and lived in the house for six months while they firmed up design plans. By the end of 2015, the first phase was complete, and Ben started the finish work. “It was an architectural project and a furniture and lighting project all wrapped into one,” says Ben, who also designs products and lighting.

Three more years passed before initiating phase two: an attic overhaul that eked out even more usable space.

Before: Entry 

Before: Many of the historical details were kept, including the wainscot, coved ceiling, and leaded glass window.

Before: Many of the historical details were kept, including the wainscoting, coved ceiling, and leaded glass window.

Courtesy of Mickus Projects

See the full story on Dwell.com: Before & After: A Once-Dingy Colonial Style Is Now One Family’s Bright, Bold Forever Home
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