Designer Carisse Lynelle threads Japanese design, incredible woodwork, and ample storage into a renovation in Oakland, CA.
Photos by Cia Gould
There are many bits of advice couples receive throughout their lives, insider secrets of how to make a marriage work. Don’t go to bed angry. Have a date night once a month. Happy wife, happy life.
Find a bathroom that allows you to cohabitate peacefully should be top of the list.
For’s clients, their 2,800-square-foot dream home came with one issue: bad bathrooms. Thankfully Homepolish could help them renovate the dated Craftsman into a smartly organized, modernist stunner.
“The couple was looking for someone to help them renovate a dated bathroom and add a second bathroom to an attic space off the master bedroom,” Carisse explains. “They came to Homepolish for the ease of working with a designer that they felt connected to, who would listen to them and help make their aesthetic a reality. We worked well together and ended up adding additional spaces throughout the home—an office, half-bath, kitchen updates, etc. “
Carisse and the homeowners were lucky enough to have some good bones to work with. But it was some work getting there.
“The home has a lot of charm, an old Craftsman with high ceilings, lots of light, and open space,” she says. “However, the bathroom on the main level had nothing exciting—old vanity and light, cracked tile, odd layout, a door would not open all the way, and zero storage. The ‘upstairs bathroom’ was simply an attic.”
The couple had clear aesthetic ideas—they knew they wanted a modern style with clean lines and quality woodwork, something that balanced warmth and practicality with the unfussy feeling of Japanese design. Oh, and did we mention storage?
“It was sort of funny how storage became a joke with the homeowners,” Carisse says. “They had been sharing this small, dated bathroom with zero storage so the need became the most important to the husband. I included better shower niches and inset cabinets that took advantage of the vertical space between framing.”
The bathroom overflows with clever details that do more than just provide places to stash necessities: a surprising vanity sans counter, unlacquered brass hardware that will age beautifully over time, a skylit that takes advantage of the attic bathroom’s high ceilings. Each choice, from the lines to the color scheme, feels perfectly aligned with the home’s natural character.
“It’s always important to make a new space feel as if it’s been there,” Carisse says. “In the bathrooms, we selected rich natural colors that vibed with the home and felt really good in the space.”
In the rest of the house, the hues add layers that keep the home from feeling to freshly renovated—deep blue kitchen cabinets (Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur) pair with brass accents and butcher block counters. Honeyed woods flow throughout, keeping the home feeling light and bright. Here a designer’s eye proves not all tones are created equal.
“I generally pivot towards lighter woods, like ash or white oaks and, in fact, I did keep the bedroom built-in a light maple so it would not feel heavy,” Carisse says. “The clients had noted loving Douglas Fir and the warmth it provides. It also patinas into a rich honey tone which lends to the character they wanted in the spaces. Light wood wasn’t feeling right—the bathrooms needed a warmer tone to play well with the deep green and the deep blue tiles, which the Douglas Fir does so well.”
In the end, the woods work and so do Carisse’s many smart storage solutions.
“They love their new spaces,” Carisse says. “The funny part is now they have more storage then they need which is a nice ‘problem’ to have.”
Ready to have that kind of “problem” in your space? Sign up for Homepolish today.