Before and After: Creative preservation
A creative update preserves the character of a great 1930s Oakland home
To the couple, owners of the popular Bay Area stores Atomic Garden and Jeremys, it was important not only to retain the home’s history but also to tread lightly on the Earth. The Kidsons, who have two daughters, chose to do what they call “a preservation” rather than a full-on remodel.
“The patina and wear patterns are things we love about this house,” says Jeremy. And, with the exception of the kitchen and bathroom plumbing, most of the house was in good shape.
Click ahead to see what they did with it.
Seating: The Kidsons found these steel “1934” chairs in the Sundance Catalog ($245 each).
To maintain the integrity of the house, the Kidsons had the walls repaired with plaster, not drywall.
Cabinet doors subtracted: “If a door’s closed,” says Jamie, “I have a tendency to forget things are there.”
The patina of the floors are Jeremy’s favorite detail. “Those nicks and scratches represent something,” he says. “You can’t replicate that.”
1930s-style camp chairs: UO Lux Leather Butterfly Chair from Urban Outfitters are similar ($248 each).
Textiles: Jamie found most of her old kilim and sumak rugs and Peruvian awayu shawls on eBay.
The Kidsons tried to recycle everything they could (even old fence boards, which found a new purpose as walls for the chicken coop).
The dilapidated carpeting was also replaced; the room felt too cavernous without carpeting underfoot.
Bed: The custom design from Brindisiamo, in Sonoma, echoes the room’s fixtures.
“Some things were really hard to get parts for,” says Jeremy. “The first few plumbers who showed up just shook their heads.”