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For more light and drama, they "bashed" through the ceiling.

For more light and drama, they "bashed' through the ceiling

"Let's bash through the ceiling, too,' suggestedSan Francisco architect John Walsh to his clients Peggy Berlese and David Goss. A basement stairwell between the kitchen and a small back bedroom was already scheduled for removal to create a family room in the dark, Spanish-style house. Did the owners also want to sacrifice a small bedroom upstairs for the sake of light and drama?

Yes. And Walsh's suggestion paid off:sunlight now pours into the family room through a tall, 4 1/2- by 10-foot window in the west-facing fireplace wall. Walsh freed interior space by pushing the chimney out 2 feet from the house. Rising outside the window, the shaft diffuses direct sunshine and eliminates the view of a neighboring house.

Walsh also removed walls in the familyroom to open the main stairwell, and he created a balcony-like upstairs hallway. A skylight above the stairwell and French doors to the back garden contribute more brightness. Light filtering through the cabinets and pass-through adds to the kitchen's bright, airy ambience.

Photo: Upstairs railing replaces wall of oldbedroom; arching windows bring in more light. Stairs continue down to basement

Photo: Light, modern kitchen leads to airy new family room. Glasscupboards replaced wall; bleached oak cabinets further brighten room

Photo: Tall window above fireplace admits westernlight to family room; putting chimney outside increases room's depth

Photo: Before remodel, kitchen was dark, boxy,dated. Perimeter soffet wasted potential cabinet storage space. Tiny center island was replaced by 8-foot-long, tile-topped island
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Date:Jul 1, 1987
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