Our clients, Suneel and Kristen, had just purchased this home in the up and coming portion of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, but it was in a serious state of disrepair, as evidenced in the photos below. The reasons for the conditions of the house were twofold: 1) the building, although not deemed historic, was an early 20th Century structure that had been moved from its original location in the Mission District, with a multitude of home improvement projects applied to it over the last 100 years; and 2) it had been occupied as a rental property for decades, with just about all the habitable spaces being used as bedrooms. Needless to say, these both took their toll on the house.
Zero ten design was challenged with resuscitating the building and making it a bright and airy home for the young couple, their 5 year old boy and their cat. The budget was tight, the schedule tighter, so we made our goals modest. We desperately needed to open the floor plan up, which meant selectively demolishing a few key walls and introducing new, larger windows, doors and skylights everywhere we could. These simple moves changed the entire character of the house, and when coupled with Kristen’s desire for a wide-planked whitewashed oak floor throughout, the entire interior began to radiate with a diaphanous brightness that it never had. As a result, the rooms in the house now flow together, and the home feels bigger and more spacious than its footprint would suggest.
With the spaces opened up, we turned our attention to middle of the house – the kitchen. Sadly, it’s existing condition was depressing, with low ceilings, 70’s appliances and water-stained plywood cabinetry, all housed in a closed off room that turned its back on the rest of the house. However, we saw opportunity here, the opportunity to make this kitchen the real heart and soul of the home. So we raised the ceiling to 11′-0″, added an island and added some pops of blue to draw your attention into it. The result? A timeless, state of the art kitchen that complements the existing character of the older home, yet stands on its own as a new addition.
POTRERO HILL REMODEL Location: 23rd Street, San Francisco, CA Collaborators: ZFA Structural Engineers (structural), Mark Huff Construction (general contractor) Size: 2,100 square feet. Two floors. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath Remodel Scope : Kitchen, Bath, Living, Dining, Study, Exterior Duration: 6 months Completion: August 2015