exterior of classic craftsman green remodel
Photo: Ken Gutmaker

Upstaged Craftsman Period Detail

Located half a block from the beach on a scenic stretch of Santa Cruz coastline, the 1907 Craftsman bungalow seemed to have plenty going for it. Dusky expanses of old-growth fir wrapped the walls and windows in a warm embrace that extended from the paneled entry hall to the built-in buffet in the dining room. The recessed, column-lined porch offered a shady respite from the California sun, which flooded the living room through a generous bay window crowned with a leaded-glass transom.

For Jim and Joanne Lewis, who had dreamed about retiring by the ocean, it was exactly the kind of house they wanted. And yet the first time Jim saw the place, he couldn't wait to leave. All that period detail was upstaged by a Technicolor mix of orange shag carpeting and primary-colored walls that seemed better suited to a Mexican cantina than a 100-year-old Craftsman. Cloistered rooms were connected by narrow openings and door-lined halls, making the 1,500-square-foot house feel smaller than it actually was. And the worn knob-and-tube wiring and aging furnace seemed like disasters waiting to happen.

Architect: Brian L. Spector, Spector Architects, 831-595-4784
Contractors: Spencer Keenan and Taylor Darling, Santa Cruz Green Builders
Exterior paint colors: AF-460 Jojoba, AF-405 Thicket, and 2162-70 October Sky, Benjamin Moore
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