131 TRIMARAN COURTTrimaran Court was an interesting project. Jim and Anne had been referred to me by a previous client, also in Foster City, for whom I had done a kitchen, dining, family room remodel. Jim and Anne wanted to talk to me about doing a pergola, patio and landscaping. Well, to begin with, landscaping is not what I do. I have been involved in landscaping as part of a major project where I am attempting to integrate the landscape with the home, such as 110 Atherton Ave. But, when I have landscape as a component of a project I hire a landscape designer. Given that, it makes no sense to hire me just for the landscape when it only adds to the cost. I told them that they needed to hire a landscape contractor for the work. The other factor was that the design which they had for the pergola was not something which I wanted to build. It was very ordinary and very poorly designed. It lacked engineering and structural details. I told Jim and Anne that I wasn’t really interested in bidding it.However, in the time I had been at their home discussing the work I found that I liked them very much. Also, the house itself was decorated in a way which I found very intriguing. Well selected modern pieces, bright colors, good art and obvious thought in the selection and placement. I told them that if they ever wanted to remodel the kitchen I’d be happy to have them give me a call. When they asked what I would do with it, I gave them a quick verbal sketch. About three weeks later they called to ask me to design the kitchen project.This led to my doing a programmatic design which flows from the entry steps, door and sidelight, through the living room, piano room, kitchen and dining room, then out to the patio and pergola. Oh, yeah, I finally did the patio and pergola. Jim kept after me as we were doing the rest of the work until finally, while on vacation in Oregon, I was stretched out on a sofa when an idea came to me for it. I grabbed a motel reservation sheet and a ball point pen, no drafting paper nor pencil, and sketched it out. That turned out to be what we built.The design focused on several points which were obvious to me once I’d spent some time with them. Anne, loves to cook but had no real work surfaces in the kitchen. There was a door from the kitchen to what was intended to be the dining room but which had a baby grand piano in it. This made the door a useless space waster. I removed the door, replaced it with a horizontal window/pass through which can be closed with sliding satin etched glass panels. The satin glass was taken from their dining table which is in what was intended to be the family room on the opposite side of the kitchen. That glass gave me the sliding panels for the pass through, the abstract shaped bar top between kitchen and dining room, the sidelight at the entry door, the pocket door at the pantry and some of the panels in the gridwork of the privacy screen at the new patio and pergola. Anne’s favorite color is orange. This was clear to me from the first. So, I replaced the ugly, fake wood double entry doors with the faux carving with a single 42”x84” solid, flush door, painted orange. Then I put a sidelight next to it in the etched glass. Finally, the fireplace in the dining room was white painted slumpstone. Very dated. I clad it in slate which was a mix of two stones in order to get the color blend I wanted. Then I used the same stone on the entry way exterior steps and landing, and on the patio at the back. We used the orange paint, in three different tones, on the entry door, the piano room accent wall, the dining room walls. We used a very creamy off white (Elephant Tusk from Benj. Moore) as a background for all of this. The complement to the orange is a rich brown. So I used Heath Ceramics tile in brown and rust pattern as the splash in the kitchen along with a mellow marbled green Corian counter and Bamboo cabinets. We used the brown on the new mantlepiece and display shelves in the dining room and the posts and beams on the new pergola which I designed for the back patio.Now when you come to the entry door you have the three main elements of the entire design on display. The orange door, the slate landing, and the etched glass. These elements lead you through the rest of the spaces. This is what I refer to as a “programmatic” or “integrated” design. I used this same design program in the 2260 Allegheny, 40 French Creek, 2028 Lexington, 15 Burgoyne, 3635 Ralston and 761 W 26th projects. Once a basis for the integration of the design is selected it is easy to play variations on that theme in order to give each space its’ own personality.
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