english tudor home renovations bay area

How to Modernize Your Bay Area Tudor Style Home

With their steeply pitched gables, beautiful masonry, and decorative half-timbering covers, Tudor-style homes have a lot of potential for design. The crafty homeowner might now be asking if it’s possible to bring some modern flair into a Bay area Tudor-style home.

If you’d like to bring a modern design to your Bay area Tudor-style home, you’ve come to the right place. In the following sections, we’ll break down what makes a Tudor-style home unique, as well as what kinds of things you can do to bring a modern style to yours. So if you’d like to shake things up and give your classic house a new look, keep on reading!


What Makes a House Tudor Style?

While it’s easy to spot Tudor-style homes with gut instinct–if you’ve been house hunting long enough–it’s a little harder to lay out the specific aspects of one that makes it Tudor. Before we move forward and break down all the ways you can modernize your Tudor-style home, it’s important we get a firm grasp on what makes your home Tudor in the first place.

This will both help you know what you can add that won’t take away from the home’s history, and the ways you can make yours more unique when you modernize it. Below we’ve broken down the 5 biggest things that make a house a Bay area Tudor-style:

  • Unique Decorative Roofs: One of the quickest ways to spot a Tudor-style home is to look at the roof. You will see a lot o front-facing, triangular points (gables) extending off the roof. These gables are often highly decorated. The entire roof itself will be steeply pitched, with a very sharp and defined look.
  • Usually made of brick: Most Tudor-style homes you see today are made of brick or stonework. They may not always look like it, however, because of the half-timbering added for decoration.
  • Half-timbering: Along with their unique roofs, half-timbering is one of the most distinguishing details that make Tudor-style homes what they are. Half timbering is essentially material that is placed over what the house is actually made of for decoration. For example, you could have wood half-timbering decorating a house made of brick.
  • Stone Chimneys: There is a lot of masonry that goes into creating Tudor-style homes. Particularly when it comes to their often complex and decorative chimneys. Along with their steeply pitched gable roofs and half-timbering, these stone chimneys are one of the most distinctive features of Tudor-style homes.
  • Stucco walls: The walls inside Bay area, Tudor styles homes are often stucco. This can help bring some texture to your modernist design.

It’s important to understand these key unique qualities of Tudor-style homes so that you can have an idea of what to accentuate and what to preserve when you modernize. The goal should be to keep the essence of the traditional Tudor style while bringing something new to the table with some modern flair.

tudor style home renovations bay area

Are Tudor Style Homes Popular?

Tudor-style homes were most popular leading up to the 1940s. Lately, they’ve made something of a comeback due to their fascinating designs and unique structures. Though the comeback is more about seeing what you can do with them than it is about enjoying them in their original form.


How Do I Modernize My Bay Area Tudor Style Home?

So now that we’ve got down exactly what makes your Tudor-style home a Tudor-style home, let’s look at some ways you can modernize it. Specifically, let’s look at ways you can modernize your home while still holding onto that special essence that makes it a Tudor.

Below we’ve outlined nine ways you can really modernize your bay area Tudor-style home:


Use Contrast On Your Tudor Home’s Half Timbering

The simplest way to do this is with black and white. The half-Timbering could be black against a white base. Additionally, any shutters or trim could also be painted black in this way to really accentuate the features of the house.

If your home is brick, you may want to consider using browns and cream colors to bring out the most in it. It will make your house look brighter and more inviting.


Create an Interesting Walkway for Your Tudor Style Home

A walkway is a great way to draw attention to the beautiful door frames many Tudor-style homes have. Depending on how your yard is situated, it could be a straightaway or a winding path through a small garden.

The path itself would look quite nice if it was at least outlined in stone. The stone you use would largely be determined by the material your house is made from and the color scheme you have chosen for the exterior. You want something that feels comfortable to walk in but really draws the eye to your beautiful home.


Stain or Paint the Front Door of Your Tudor Style Home

You can really make your house stand out (in a good way) by staining painting the front door to go with the color scheme you’ve chosen for your home’s exterior. Most Tudor-style homes have wooden doors that are perfect for this kind of project.


Redesign the Kitchen of Your Tudor Style Home

If you close your eyes and picture a modern style kitchen, you’ll probably see a place outfitted with a sleek new cooking space and lots of black and white so everything pops. It’s probably not the more traditional style kitchens you’re likely to find in a Tudor-style home that hasn’t been heavily renovated.

You’ll want to change everything from the countertops to your flooring in the kitchen. For the countertops and stove, you should look for metals that shout a modern look. This includes things like stainless steel, matte aluminum, brushed gold, and other similar sleek-looking metals.

For the floors, you’re going to want to go with some type of matte tiles. Coordinating this with what you chose for your countertops and appliances will be vital to creating the elegant look you’re going for.


Get Creative With the Shape of Your Tudor Style Home

Because of their highly decorative exterior that branches off into different shapes and gables, on the inside there are often interestingly shaped spaces near the corners of the house. Finding an odd corner to set up a small office, or a nook for brunch is a great way to bring more of that modern ingenuity to your Tudor-style home.

small tudor home bay area

Open Up the Living Space in Your Tudor Style Home

One of the key features of a modern look is the open floorplan. That open look makes your house appear bigger, brighter, and more elegant. It is known to also make your guests feel more at ease when they visit, as it escapes the cramped trapped feeling the opposite type of room can generate.

If your rooms are too cramped, you can consider knocking out a wall or two and opening up your living area so it can breathe. This will go a long way towards giving your home an authentically modern feel.

Of course, you should simultaneously make space for storage. When you decorate the living area, you don’t want it to be full of stuff you never use or look at. That will just make it look smaller and more crowded again.

Instead, you should use a light touch when it comes to what you display in the room. Make sure any piece of furniture or decoration adds to the open, elegant sense you’re trying to cultivate. Also, be sure to color coordinate in the placement of any decorations.


Remodel the Bathrooms in Your Tudor Style Home

Many Tudor-style homes were made during and before the 1940s. They therefore may not have the most modernistic designs in their bathrooms. If you’re going for a modern look, this is one of the places you can use to highlight it.

Like with the living room and kitchen, it’s a good idea to open things up. You can do that by converting an old bath into a walk-in shower.

The countertops will provide a perfect opportunity to place in some stonework. Something with a matte black look would do fine or you could go with something that has a glossy finish. It’s all up to you and your individual taste.

Many people find that using matte tiles for the floors helps them to really drive home that modern look. If that’s not your thing, there is always the option for authentic wood floors or paneling. Just go with what feels natural to your own sensibilities.


Find Original Pieces of Your Tudor Style Home to Restore

Though the Tudor style may be dated, there are some really interesting design choices that were made when they were popular. For example, some have leaded glass windows with geometric designs on them.

If you find things like this around your house, consider how you might be able to restore them and incorporate them into your more modern design. It’s okay to have some call backs to the house’s roots.


Do What Feels Right for Your Individual Tudor Style Home

Every Tudor home is going to be different. What looks good with one, may not work for another. Through all the tips we have provided, the most important one of all is to make sure you go with your gut and make decisions that make the most sense for your individual home.

If there is something unique about your home that you can make stand out, then do it! Perhaps gables and steeped roof of your house make it appear very castle-like. If that’s the case, and it’s appropriate for where you live, play it up.

Maybe your home has an interesting doorway you can choose to highlight. Find a way to really make it pop without distracting from the rest of your design.

The point is, there are things about your house that can’t be taken into account when giving general advice. Those are usually the things that make it really special. Find those things and focus on them.


So Really, How Do I Modernize My Bay Area Tudor Style Home?

Modernizing your home begins with understanding what makes it unique in the first place. Tudor-style homes are set apart from others because of their unique design and structure. They have steeply pitched roofs and gables, almost like a castle. They have unique exterior designs with the half-timbering they are decorated with.

When you go to modernize the home, use these aspects as a template for what you want to highlight. Chose an interesting color scheme for the outside, and then something that makes sense with that choice on the inside as well. Open up your living space and allow the house to breathe. Ultimately, you’ll be in a home deeply rooted in the past, that feels fresh as the future.

Element Home Remodeling of Walnut Creek is a home renovation contractor in The Bay Area specializing in Tudor style home renovations.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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