Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

San Leandro Remodel

A photo taken during construction showing the rhythm created by light on the floor.

David Locicero | architect

Completed in 2016

860 square feet remodel of an 1800 square foot house

Private client

The Problem: The basement (ground) level of this 1930 Craftsman style house had been converted into an illegal rental unit. The new owners wanted to reclaim the space as a family room. In addition, the kitchen, though large, was far from modern, never having been updated. In fact, the range was located in the laundry room. The upstairs bathroom was “vintage”, but not in a good way.

The Client: A young professional couple with an adorable and active young son. They enjoy family time together and cooking and entertaining are essential parts of their lives.





The existing basement wasn’t bad…just built without permits and without regard to the requirements of modern living.


A real 1930’s kitchen: one big room with no counters, or any useful storage to speak of.


Looking into the laundry room from the kitchen. Notice the range is next to the washing machine. Can you say cooking smells in your laundry?


The Solution: A new stair had to be inserted into the house to reconnect the basement level to the main level of the house. The basement had to be gutted down to the studs for new insulation and wiring. The basement level bathroom was modernized. The illegal kitchen was converted to an elegant wet bar. The laundry, which was displaced by the new stair, was relocated to a closet off the family room. The wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed, and an entirely new kitchen was installed. The upstairs bathroom was expanded into a space previously a closet. This gave us space to rearrange the fixtures to get a double vanity in the room.


A photograph of the kitchen during installation. Now there are cabinets, and counters, and appliances, Oh, my!


A construction phase photo showing how the new stair to the basement family room will connect the two levels.


A picture of the new wet bar in the family room. The entrance from the stair in the old laundry room can be seen on the right.

The Results: The house retains its Craftsman / 1930’s era details and charm, and has entered the 21st century with an elegant, gourmet kitchen, which flows naturally into the dining and living rooms. The new open flow from room to room is more in keeping with the needs of an active, young, modern family. The family room is large and capacious, with a large glass door that opens out onto the garden. The Family room wet bar provides staging space for food and drinks making entertaining easier. I haven’t had a chance to get good pictures of this project yet. Those will be forth coming.

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