Raising the ceiling helped transform this room into a natural gathering place
Raising the ceiling of this nondescript 1940s tract ranch house infused drama and light into what had been a cramped, dead-end living room.
Now a soaring ceiling, a striking stairway leading upstairs, and a sculpturally ribbed cast-concrete fireplace create an inviting gathering place.
Tall glass doors replace the small windows flanking the fireplace, brightening the room. Bookshelves built into the staircase add a library look.
Inset stainless steel tiles on the fireplace echo and update the painted brick on the original fireplace. A large mantel mirror draws the eye toward the balcony. The random-plank flooring is reclaimed antique chestnut.
What makes it work
- Stair storage There’s room for books and art objects under the landing
- Fireplace focal point The inset stainless steel tiles draw the eye and reflect light
- Tall glass The doors allow in light and shadows that wash the floor
Design , AIA, Los Gatos, CA (408/395-8016). Interior design: , San Jose (408/292-6997). Builder: , San Jose (408/295-7516)