Start Updating a 1940 s colonial house

Updating a 1940 s colonial house

The extra-long window seat and arched windows overlook the backyard pool.

Assorted pinks, browns, blues, greens, whites, reds and yellows created colorful interiors.

Which is why Emily and Bryan Kelly can be forgiven for taking a sober look inside their newly purchased house in California's Silicon Valley and texting their interior designer: "SOS." While the facade evoked traditional Colonial style, the interior suggested late-1980s Mc Mansion.

In the foyer, topiary nested in a wall niche, and stairs rose from an ocean of checkered ceramic tile before making a U-turn over an arched passageway. Shown: The house has an added-onto-over-time look that keeps the facade from looking too formal.

Seen from a distance, some houses have the grace and proportions of timeless classics.

Inside, however, the style may be more of the moment, and not in a good way.

We ended up splitting the project in half, working on the living room and master renovation first, and tackling the kitchen and loft second.

The dazzling kitchen has 12-foot ceilings with a combination of recessed, task and pendant lighting.

The glazed brick backsplash has a heavy-duty quality that grounds the playful two-toned cabinetry. The ground floor comprises the new dining room, kitchen, bathroom and guest bedroom.