Before and after: New look for a 100-year-old Craftsman


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Ever wonder what happens when someone dares to depart from design tradition and challenge the conventions of the Cult of Craftsman? Do you live to tell? More important, what do the results look like? See (and judge) for yourself: Tamara Kaye-Honey’s nontraditional update of a Craftsman house in South Pasadena is the latest installment of Pro Portfolio. The feature, posted every Monday, looks at a recently built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer.

Project: 1911 bungalow

Interior designer: Tamara Kaye-Honey, House of Honey, South Pasadena. Architect: Jill Bowers. Contractor: Grant Larsen, (626) 676-3982.

Designer’s statement: The design concept was to enhance and expand a 100-year-old bungalow in South Pasadena while updating the space for a young family.


I wanted the home to feel personal and fresh. It was to have a clean, whimsical and modern aesthetic while allowing the architecture to have a strong presence. Blending the old with the new allowed the home to retain its history while the house was made more functional. By moving walls, adding square footage, opening spaces and exaggerating architectural detail, the home flows better for a family on the go. The color palette is crisp and playful, with shades of yellow carried throughout the interior and exterior to unify.

To see inside, keep reading ...

Before the update: The home evoked a classic feel that was rich in personality. Purists may flinch, but the Douglas fir was painted a glossy white to open up the space and create the ambiance of a summer cottage.

We mixed custom high- and low-end design. The living room furniture is a mix of old and new: The coffee table is vintage capiz shell from House of Honey, the sofa and burl wood credenza are from Lawson-Fenning in Los Angeles, and armchairs upholstered in a whimsical pattern are from Anthropologie. The pendant light is Thomas O’Brien. The decorative pieces are all vintage; the X-base stools are custom. The dining room before, and ...

... after.


After. By mixing styles and eras, the design does not take itself too seriously. The fireplace was faced with wood in a simple yet strong design. The vintage Murano sconces and whimsical mirror soften the mood.

The effect is eclectic, whimsical and slightly preppy. Pops of red and yellows throughout tie the home together like one complete thought, yet each rooms has its own personality.

The kitchen before the renovation.

The kitchen now: reconfigured to be larger, better laid out, fresh and modern. Lighting and special hardware helped. The original oak floor was triple-bleached, leaving it not only lighter but warmer. Cabinets were custom made, a modern version of Shaker style, and lacquered in Benjamin Moore decorator white.


The built-in banquette feels true to the architecture yet contemporary thanks to the tufted upholstery and art, which changes regularly. The counters are a polished Carrara marble. We were fortunate to have enough remaining to fabricate the banquette table top. It feels like a continuation of the counter and serves as a dining and homework spot. The base, a Saarinen reproduction, is from Room Service LA.

A ‘book nook’ allows is by the children’s rooms.

We added wainscot to the hallway. Cole & Son wallpaper creates some energy in the narrow space. The fun sconces by Jonathan Adler add drama and a bit of humor.

The little girl’s room is a bit over the top, of course, with a sense of humor. The Blythe dolls are a nice contrast to the very serious but stunning 1940s Murano glass chandelier that I repurposed as hanging pendants. They free up table space.

The flying books in the boy’s room create a reading zone.

The children’s bathroom is an homage to seaside living with a playful vintage fiberglass flying marlin and wood-paneled walls.

The master bedroom is intimate and warm, with layers of textiles and an over-sized pendant.

The master bathroom is classic yet has a bit of attitude in its glossy finishes and beautiful chunky hardware.


The playroom is colorful and vibrant, yet not too juvenile. I think kid zones need to have their own identity but still flow with the rest of the house.

Cork tiles on the wall from Linoleum City create an art zone within the room.


A Los Feliz garden’s new plantings, pool

Nichols Canyon house centers on views

Yard turned into screening room


Mar Vista home made colorful

Small bathroom made modern

-- Compiled by Lisa Boone

Pro Portfolio appears on this blog every Monday. Submit projects to