House Tour: Tom & Tim's Oakland Colonial Revival

House Tour: Tom & Tim's Oakland Colonial Revival

Apr 10, 2007

Name: Tom & Tim
Location: Crocker Highlands, Oakland
Size: 1600 sq. ft.
Years Lived In: 1

We've been really lucky to have met some of the nicest people when we've bought and sold things on Craigslist. But, honestly, very few of them have had homes that grabbed our attention like Tom and Tim's did. As soon as we walked in the door, we were taken in by the mix of wall colors, warm woods, textures, and uncluttered spaces, all with with an East Coast sensibility. It wasn't until later that we asked them for a House Tour, and they very graciously accepted.

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Our style: Currently a blend of traditional, contemporary classic and Art Deco.

The inspiration for our home: We always try to choose a style that works with the age and architecture of our place. I grew up on the edge of Georgetown in Washington, DC. I vividly remember the interiors of the pre-war brick colonials in the neighborhood: always a bench and an oriental rug in the entry way, occasional tables with silk shade lamps, sedate colors, conservative patterns, rich woods like mahogany and cherry, and feather-stuffed chairs and couches. There was a formal but lived-in elegance in those houses. It must have been fate when we found our 1920s colonial revival in Oakland, California. My inspiration for the interior comes from the homes I remember growing up. I've tried to mix what I call "British colonial" (without the imperialist overtones) with modern classics, flea markets finds and inexpensive accessories.

Favorite element: It's hard to choose, but the top contenders are the front portico, the 7- foot casement windows in the living and dining rooms, and the spacious landing on the stairway.

Biggest challenge in designing our home: Undoing poorly chosen design elements of previous owners.

What friends say about our home: It's comfortable and pretty.

Biggest embarrassment in our home: The hospital-ward blue kitchen cabinets and Santa Fe- style tiles in the kitchen. They were installed in the early 1990s and definitely have had their moment.

Proudest DIY: Removing a wall in the master bedroom. It was built in the 1950s to make two rooms out of one. After researching floor plans of homes the age of ours, we realized the two rooms were meant to be one. With the help of some friends, we dismantled the wall's framing, electrical, sliding doors and shelving. It was a big undertaking, but it was worth it.

Biggest indulgence with respect to our home: The mortgage.

Best advice given or received: Never rule out a source. Sometimes it takes a little legwork, but you can find exactly what you need in surprising places. We bought a pair of vintage alabaster lamps for the living room on eBay, but they came without shades. We found the perfect shades at Target. Now the lamps and shades look like they've been together all their lives. You can combine expensive with cheap if you choose wisely. And use big retailers carefully—not everything has to be purchased in a set or a matching pattern.

Also, choose things you love, one piece at time. I think the temptation is to plan an entire room in advance and make sure everything matches. It's ok to create a room that goes with the chair, as opposed to finding a chair that goes with the room.

Dream Source for stuff: Custom made!

Ohmega Salvage, Berkeley
Urban Ore, Berkeley
Signature Hardware
Ace Hardware

Alameda flea market
Crate & Barrel
West Elm
Restoration Hardware

Pottery Barn

Ruiz Antique Lighting, Alameda

Benjamin Moore

Rugs and Carpets:

Window Treatments:
Pottery Barn
West Elm
Urban Outfitters

Thanks, Tom & Tim!

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