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2009 Holiday House Tour

The 2009 Holiday House Tour was a real treat, even though it was a rainy day! Guests visited five delightful, unique houses designed by Marcus Stedman.

2201 Byron 2250 Byron Street
2201 Byron Street 2250 Bryon Street
2440 Middlefield
2240 Middlefield Road
2245 Webster 2343 Webster Street
2245 Webster Street 2343 Webster Street

2201 Byron Street

2201 Byron

Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Wood commissioned this house in 1938. They later added a second floor, likely by Stedman, that provided a porch below as well. The present owners, both architects, purchased the house from the Woods in 1996 and have sensitively remodeled it. There is less use of wood as a finish material on the interior than in other houses on the tour, as the interior walls are plaster. There is a touch of streamlined "moderne" with Stedman's use of door casings flush with the walls, and the very horizontal exterior fagade with elongated window glass in the front office.

entry

Note the substantial wood window sills throughout. The office was originally the master bedroom.

office

corner windows

The living room features an elegant fireplace, and the graduated built–in shelving is original.

living room

The present owners have sensitively remodeled the kitchen. They removed a laundry area and bedroom closets to lengthen and widen the room. The window at the kitchen sink was originally in the garage; the old kitchen window was moved to the new master bedroom. Notice the new heavy wood open shelving in the kitchen, a nod to those in the living room. Also added was a back door as well as a "mud room slot" at the kitchen entry.

bathroom

The original single large upstairs room was converted into two smaller bedrooms and a study. The present owners installed a wood floor and stairs (originally linoleum) and remodeled the bath.

stairs

The new master bedroom, off the kitchen, was a spare bedroom, with a door originally leading to the dining room as well as to the laundry. The current owners enlarged the brick patio. The original owners had a victory garden at the back, planned from the beginning; the original site plan labels it as "Orchard/garden."

dining room
detail early photo

Early photograph

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2250 Byron Street

2250 Byron

Built 1938 for Harlan Smith, this house was later owned by William and Flora Hewlett. The Hewletts expanded the house considerably. They converted the garage to living space, and purchased a portion of the lot next door to build a new garage. Once the Hewletts had moved out, the house spent many years as a rental for Stanford-affiliated tenants, and needed work. The present owners bought and remodeled the house in 1990. The resulting I-shaped plan forms a series of distinct three-side courts.

modern windows
  courtyard

The present owners installed windows on the south side for more light, and replaced french doors with sliders. The v-groove pegged oakflooring is original, but was lightened. The used brick fireplace features the small adjacent window that is a Stedman and Stedman characteristic. The public, more formal court off the living room is paved in used brick, a Stedman preference— note the "Oakland" and "Livermore" stamps on some.

modern windows

recycled bricks

The dining room was enlarged with a nook that incorporated an entry closet; it was detailed to echo the cabinetry in the hall/gallery space beyond.

dining table

The kitchen, earlier opened to the converted garage by the Hewlett family, now has views of the family room added by present owners. The original kitchen cabinets have an extra unit built to match. The bay at the breakfast nook may have been added by the Hewletts; it doesn't appear in the original plan.

kitchen

Knotty pine shelving embellishes the hall/gallery; note different tile sizes on the window sill. The Hewletts added a hallway and exit to the left of the gallery, plus a second bedroom. The present owners have opened up the two into one, leaving the exposed hip ceiling framing. The master bedroom was originally half its size until an addition by current owners. The room retains its original used brick fireplace. The center beam marks the original extent of the room. The master has a charming private garden court at the back of the property. The painting on the outdoor wall (see photo below) is by Palo Alto painter Marguerite Fletcher, done for the present owners.

corner fireplace

ceiling and glass hallway bookcases
Fletcher painting  

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2240 Middlefield Road

entry

This charming house was built in 1938 for Mrs. Katherine Emery, who appears many times in Stedman & Stedman's list of clients. Her son was a real estate agent in town. It seems likely that she commissioned houses and had her son sell them. (2245 Webster, featured on the tour, was also one of her commissions.) The present owners are the second generation of the family to live in the house.

sketch

The exterior is a mixture of board and batten siding with Stedman's signature used brick laid in a rustic fashion. The small front-facing windows and gated courtyard wall convey privacy to the street, while the back of the house embraces a sunny southeast facing garden. Note the wrought iron hardware and light fixtures, used both inside and out.

entry

The living room features a classic Stedman brick "beehive" fireplace with built in shelving, wide plank pegged floors, and generously scaled front door. As part of their recent remodel, the owners added three skylights to the living room's open-beamed ceiling. To provide more livable space, they relocated the original front door closer to the back of the house. The coat closet is original. Notice decorative attic access door above the dining area opening. New Loewen windows replace steel casements throughout. French doors were replaced with sliders in the dining room to save space.

beehive fireplace

The kitchen was expanded by borrowing part of the garage, and the wall that divided it from the dining area was removed. A new bay window at the sink incorporates the original kitchen window.

skylight

Note: A second–story addition was completed in 2015. The brick exterior now dominates the house.

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2245 Webster Street

entry

This house, like 2240 Middlefield, was built on "spec" for Mrs. Katherine Emery, who appears many times in Stedman & Stedman's list of clients. Doris Tucker Shepherd, known as Tuck, sold it to the present owner. The house has a simple rustic fagade. The large overhang at the front porch is an addition: a photograph taken just after construction gives a good view of the compact little house with a deep doorway acting as a covering from the rain.

      bathroom

The house retains many of its original elements, such as steel casement windows with pull-down screens, tile sills, and v–groove pegged oak floors. The present owner has remodeled twice, once to expand the kitchen and open up living space, the second to add a master bedroom and bath at the back.

Back of house

The original front door and living room window have been flipped, and a service closet removed, to make a dining nook. A French door and a window were added to give a better view of the garden at the back of the living room. One suspects that a ceiling may have been installed over the beams in the living room, and possibly in the study. The study originally had a door through to the entry. The kitchen was opened up with an arch to the family room (originally the dining room). The laundry area was removed to lengthen the kitchen. The owner recalls that the original kitchen had white painted cabinets, a black and white tile backsplash, and linoleum flooring. In the hall bathroom, note elements of both small bedrooms combined in its decorative concept. The master bathroom features soothing multi–hued tile with a frosted glass door at the closet that lets the closet skylight illuminate the bath area.

Kitchen
Desk area fireplace decoratsed for Christmas

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2343 Webster Street

2343 Webster

This house was built for Jim Stedman's in–laws, the Hill family. The Hills sold to the White family, and the current owner is a White descendant. Present owners added on the den, study, and bath at the back of the house in the mid–1980's. They closed off a door to the garage at the entry and built in a desk area that mimics the theme of other cabinetry in the house.

2343 Webster living room ceiling
kitchen eating space

The house features the classic Stedman generously scaled front door, and steel casement windows with pull-down screens. The living room has v–groove pegged oak floors, and knotty pine ceilings and wall paneling.

2343 Webster entry

The living room holds a fine example of a typical Stedman used–brick fireplace with thick wood mantle, and small adjacent window. It has its original vaulted, beamed ceiling. In the dining Room, the owners added a practical shallow china cabinet in passage to addition, as well as a useful serving nook. French doors were added at a former window location to allow access to the sunny outdoor dining area. The den/study addition repeats familiar themes of wood paneling and open-beamed ceilings. The kitchen was expanded by incorporating a deep closet off the dining room, as well as part of the garage.

2343 Webster fireplace

According to the owner, the property had been part of a truck farm, whose well still existed in a corner of the yard when they moved in. With a young child in the family, they quickly filled it in. When they installed a new fence, they found that the property bordered not three properties but four—they shared a few feet at the back with 2330 Byron, the James Stedman House—the Hill's and Jim Stedman made sure that their lots overlapped so that mother, daughter, and grandchildren has the shortest route possible to visit each other—through a gate between their back gardens!

2343 Webster french doors

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shoes Christmas tree
sofa cookies

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