Indoors Out: A modest Victorian-era cottage in Larkspur undergoes a transformation that is personal, yet quintessentially Californian. 
Credit: Matthew Millman Indoors Out: A modest Victorian-era cottage in Larkspur undergoes a transformation that is personal, yet quintessentially Californian. 

Architects and interior designers can be less-than-willing creative partners. But when equally gifted members of these not-always-allied professions work as a team, the results can be impressive.

Interior designer Carol Knorpp bought this house with her real estate developer husband, Jon, and hired San Francisco architect Ken Linsteadt to design a top-to-bottom remodel. “I’d worked with Ken before,” says Knorpp, who calls the architect “one of the most creative people I’ve ever come across in the business.”

Knorpp and Linsteadt’s design collaboration — along with meticulous execution by San Rafael, Calif., remodeler Joe Floyd of Floyd Construction — yielded a residence that is both historically grounded and fresh.

Time & Again
Knorpp and her family cherish their home’s Victorian character, but they lead anything but Victorian lives. So Knorpp and Linsteadt sought materials and details that would highlight the home’s historical character while gently nudging it in a more contemporary direction.

Pale Palette: Glass-front cabinets draw on the old butler’s-pantry model. Visible Seams: The kitchen capitalizes on its abundance of natural light with subtly textured materials that bend the Victorian theme in a more rustic direction. The walls and ceilings are tongue-and-groove wood paneling with random unpainted joints. Salvage Step: The floor is reclaimed white oak with a hand-scraped surface; the same material, left rough, covers the rangehood.
Pale Palette: Glass-front cabinets draw on the old butler’s-pantry model.
Visible Seams: The kitchen capitalizes on its abundance of natural light with subtly textured materials that bend the Victorian theme in a more rustic direction. The walls and ceilings are tongue-and-groove wood paneling with random unpainted joints.
Salvage Step: The floor is reclaimed white oak with a hand-scraped surface; the same material, left rough, covers the rangehood.
Original Value: For the master bedroom, Floyd laid out horizontal paneling over roof framing. While strapping and gypsum board would have been easier, respect for the home’s age prevailed over convenience
Original Value: For the master bedroom, Floyd laid out horizontal paneling over roof framing. While strapping and gypsum board would have been easier, respect for the home’s age prevailed over convenience