Berkeley, California is known for its Craftsman homes. These modest-sized, simple homes are full of charm and even in the already booming Bay Area housing market are in high demand. Of course, many new homeowners are looking to balance preserving the home’s original detail and updating it to include modern amenities and lifestyles. And when they do, many find themselves turning to Lane McNab Interiors

Lane first discovered her interest in interiors when she and her husband purchased their first home in San Francisco in 2001. She says, “I started buying design books, both inspirational and technical, and began my foray into learning about and indulging in this newfound passion.” At the time, Lane was busy with a career in opera. A few homes and renovations and three kids later, Lane found herself designing kitchens and bathrooms for friends which became friends of friends which became… Lane McNab Interiors, which opened in 2012 and now includes a team of designers and assistants who design residential and commercial projects all over the Bay Area and beyond. 

This story is one that many designers have shared with us (minus the opera singing) and Lane points out “something that doesn’t get talked about a lot is the fact that interior design has become widely embraced as a serious career only in the last several years. My feminist nature realizes that it’s no accident interior design, a field historically dominated by women, is only recently entering the vernacular as a legitimate career and art form (unlike architecture) and that this is coinciding with an overall emergence of the leadership of women in our society and culture.”  

“Beyond the trends of the day however, there’s nothing more personal and statement making than what people choose to do with their homes. As a gen-Xer and a woman, it was freeing and empowering to realize there was validity and purpose to the art of creating beautiful spaces. I really see my entrepreneurship in a field I am passionate about reflecting my own personal journey as a woman.”  

Unlike many of Lane’s renovations, for this Craftsman there was little to consider preserving. The home had been largely destroyed by a fire and the homeowners, two working doctors nearing retirement, were looking for a renovation that would work for their new phase of life. Recalling the home at the start of the project, Lane says, “It was an empty shell of framing! Most of the damage from the fire had been removed and the open concept proposed by the architect to highlight the glorious view was underway.” 

In the end, the renovation recognized bythe City Planning Department for Best Overall Reconstruction. Take a tour of the award winning home in the slideshow – and get Lane’s advice for renovating a period home!