Modern Ranch by Building Lab

Located in San Jose, California, this modern ranch house was designed in 2018 by Building Lab Inc.

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Description by Building Lab

Revitalizing a Willow Glen Home

Homeowners in San Jose’s Willow Glen approached Building Lab with simple needs and a modest budget. They wanted to open their living space, add a bedroom, and improve backyard access. What started as a quick fix turned into a four-year project. Their home’s potential grew, and so did their plans.

Building Lab’s Hideaki Kawato felt a personal connection to the project. The sprawling home had lots of space but lacked connection between rooms. The kitchen was awkwardly small and out of the way. Together with the owners—a couple with young boys and a dog—the team planned a three-phase renovation, considering their budget and lifestyle.

Phase 1: Creating the Great Room

First, they opened the main living areas. Custom cabinets now link the kitchen, dining, and living rooms, creating a ‘Great Room’. This area wraps around a covered deck, accessible through sliding glass doors. White oak floors offer a warm contrast to white walls and dark cabinets, enriching the space’s look and feel.

Phase 2 and 3: Function and Privacy

Next, they reworked the bathroom and laundry room, situating them more conveniently. The last phase focused on privacy: a new master bath with beautiful tiles and a skylight, a large dressing area, and a renovated bathroom for the boys.

Distinct Curb Appeal

On a street of beige, this house stands out with dark paint and stylish fencing. To save money, the team chose paint over stucco removal. Wood accents and planned drought-friendly gardens will complete the standout look.

Skylights punctuate the design, aligning with the kitchen’s cabinetry and lighting the way from the entrance to the living spaces. They bring a peaceful, Zen feel to the master bath, marking the home’s transformation into a modern sanctuary.

Photography courtesy of Building Lab

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- by Matt Watts