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Splitting levels the long way.

Raising the kitchen three steps above the living room made a big difference

CHANGING LEVELS is a classic way to define rooms within a larger volume. Typically, one end is raised above the other. At the heart of this Oakland house, though, is a lofty space split down the length of its off-center spine.

In the narrower upper level, an entry area and a slender galley kitchen overlook the combination living-dining room three steps below. The view also takes in a wooded slope visible through windows in the far wall. An open-beam ceiling textured with rough-sawn fir covers both levels and warms the rooms with woody color.

Two short stairways and a broad center opening interrupt the thick wall that divides the two levels. A fireplace with an oak mantel and a concrete surround set into the lower side of the wall provides a focal point for the living room; its chrome-sleeved flue rises through a countertop to do the same for the kitchen.

The house was designed and built by architect Lewis diSibio.
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Title Annotation:home remodeling
Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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