Who We Are
 House Talk
 Before & After
 Contact Us


1960 Mountain Blvd.
Montclair CA 94611
(510) 339-0400 x346
fax  (510) 339-9129


3070 Claremont Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 652-2133
fax (510) 652-0114


House Talk

No. 9 - April, 2003

Color is the Key
A talk with Adele Crawford

In our on-going series of interviews, we are privileged to present the views and opinions of homeowners who have made creative and amazing transformations within their living spaces. In today’s hectic world, it is a definite bonus when a home can be a source of peace, beauty and inspiration; artistic homeowners approach and achieve these qualities in different ways. In a recent interview with Adele Crawford, a local artist, we learn that working with color is her creative springboard.

Upon entering the Rockridge home on Chabot Road that Adele Crawford shares with her husband, Jim, (and Zydeco, their wonder dog), one is immediately astounded by the daring use of color everywhere! The walls of the first floor rooms are all painted amazing colors reminiscent of a Mediterranean landscape. The entry hallway is a soft green, leading to the living room in a warm butterscotch, followed by burnt pumpkin in the dining room and daring orange in the kitchen! Taking inspiration from an American elm tree that grows near their house, Adele created a peaceful color scheme of pink, beige and green for the master bedroom – interpreted in glazed nine-inch stripes painted in each of the three hues. Adele’s home office is blue, Jim’s office is yellow and the surprise color is the purple/lavender of the bath, but the overall effect is one of harmony and connection. Adele created a sense of continuity throughout all the rooms by painting the trim the same color - a pleasing and comfortable warm white. 

Adele admits, “I take some chances but the process is a lot of fun, and the results are rewarding. Also, since we’re talking mostly about paint, I can make changes easily and often – and I do!” The visual delight continues throughout the house with the eclectic and exciting furnishings; Adele continues to use a rainbow of colors that magically enhance and compliment each other. A two-hundred-year-old wood frame sofa is splashed with an array of contemporary and colorful cushions and pillows. The hardwood floors are scattered with woven Turkish rugs in a variety of patterns and colors, the walls are hung with old prints that belonged to her grandmother, and shelves display an array of contemporary hand-blown glass pieces from nearby CCAC (California College of Arts and Crafts) in Oakland.

The Crawfords previously owned another Rockridge bungalow on Mendocino Avenue which they used as a rental. Before finding a tenant, Adele broke all the unwritten but closely followed “rules of what color to paint rental property – white!” She laughed when she said, “People paint everything white out of fright but introducing color can make a huge difference.” In analyzing the house, she found that the floor plan was boring and the boxy rooms needed a boost, so she delineated the predictability of the spaces with, yep, you guessed it – lots of different colors! She studied the rooms and then provided each one with its own personality by mixing the paint colors herself. All of her friends had advised her against it, but after the project was completed, they had to admit they were amazed with the results. When the house went on the market a few years ago, it received rave reviews and sold for an amount considerably over the asking price.

Adele’s background has contributed to her innate and intuitive sense of color. She grew up in Philadelphia and used to watch her grandmother make quilts in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. The result was that even as a child, she was dazzled and fascinated by the dance and interplay of colors, textures and patterns. Although she has always had a strong sense of color, she continues to study and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at CCAC. However, in between her class schedules, she continues to work as a color consultant and faux finisher and is available for private consultations. 

Adele Crawford may be reached at 510-420-0709 or by email at adelecrawford@earthlink.net.

Back to House Talk

For further information or questions for our House Talk column, 
please contact Glass/Sabine by email:  Sheila@GlassSabine.com
or call us at 510-326-5055.

  The Glass-Sabine Team is Number One!