Monthly Archives: July 2011

duboce triangle urban views

Views:  this is urban living so we see our neighbors and that’s part of the experience in a city we love.  Duboce Triangle condos, well into framing.  The exterior walls have been significantly peeled away to pick up views, bring in light and create outdoor decks.  This is the new third floor that was inserted in the upper area of what used to be a double-height space.  The brick church and steeple dominate this southeast view.
Urban archeology:  when we cut open the massive wall on the east side we discovered there was a green building behind it.  Hi neighbor! The cut area will provide a recessed area for windows and a small deck on the lower level.   Looking west, much of the perimeter wall has been cut away for new decks and windows, leaving this remnant segment.  Not only will this create comfortable interior living spaces but it’s improving the neighbors’ experience by reducing the overall massive bulk of this building. Here is another west view at the surprisingly symmetrical arc of Buena Vista Park.  Another view to the west, toward Corona Heights with the summer fog starting to roll in…studs!  Reused old redwood framing in a future hallway.  Here’s a view of an existing alley between this and a neighboring building toward the street.  The photo was taken from a new deck that was formerly a solid property line wall. Looking out the front of the building which is located at a T intersection.  This is a section of the existing fascia that was removed as part of the remodel.  Some interest has been expressed in this mistakenly described ‘historic’ element, which as seen is nothing more than chips of wood tacked on to evoke dentils.  Nothing more than a painted wood wafer…..….for the birds!  More to come!

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apartment design

A break from the usual studly projects, today this is a posting of photos of the apartment. Come on in!  I’ll muse about decor with street-finds, garage sale items and recycled things.  The dresser above, a Danish-modern wannabe, I found on the sidewalk here in San Francisco years ago.  Being on foot at the time, I grabbed as many drawers as I could (figuring the next person wouldn’t want an incomplete piece) carried those home and returned with a handtruck to get the rest.  The carpet is Flor tiles.  I created the bar code with painters tape when I did the red. The bedside lamps were rescued from the 1950s building that I worked on last year.  The mirror above (not following earthquake rules!) is the door of an old wooden medicine cabinet that I found on the street.  Found night-tables were originally white but we spraypainted them black.  We kept the pointy gold feet.  The old rotary telephone is from the same place as the lamps. There are succulents in boxes on the window sills – our ‘garden’.I picked up this Eames fiberglass chair in a barn for $5 en route to visit Fallingwater; I had to replace the rubber shock mounts but it’s held up otherwise.  It has a paper Herman Miller label on the underside.  This carpet is also Flor tiles.  The shelf is from the aforementioned 1950s building, the orange pot from a San Jose flea market.  Bambi came from Wisconsin via eBay, was silver-leafed and properly displayed.  We had the wood floors painted white when we moved in. Here’s the walnut slab table I posted about last year.  I was given the couch by someone who didn’t like the feathers coming out, which, we live with but I now understand!  The painting above is from the annual Open Studios at Hunters Point.  This room was probably intended to be a dining room because of the high plate rail with grooves in it for displaying your finest china.  We painted the bookcase the darkest color in the same range as the wall gray, so it looks more like furniture than a built-in clunker.  The wall color was suggested by a friend in New York. I originally looked for old lucite lamps, but decided on these glass ones from Target (I know, I know) for much cheaper than vintage goes for – they do the trick!  Those are Heath Ceramic tiles used as coasters.  I guess you could say the jumbled pieces in this room are mid-century meets Hollywood Regency.  I don’t claim to be a decorator, I just end up with what looks and feels right!Here’s the mini-chaise, affectionately nicknamed the ‘dog chair’ by a friend and I who rescued it from the street in the Marina.  It’s diminutive but very comfortable, and I would eventually like to have it recovered.  Upholstery isn’t cheap though.  I got the chrome lamp on Avenue A in New York, which I believe is an Arredoluce knockoff.  I didn’t know that until just now when I looked it up online – real ones fetch $1000s but mine’s not marked. The kitchen is also somewhat of a style jumble, farmhouse to 1950s.  The table is from a sidewalk sale in the neighborhood.  The bistro or Number 14 chairs are from an estate sale up the street, which were unpainted but we spraypainted black and put new pleather coverings on. This is one of two triangle-seated stools we rescued from the 1950s building – I couldn’t resist the turquoise color and shape.  Garage sale Pyrex mixing bowls and some new Fiestaware.  The primary-color set is very old (1940s?) I read because of their non-numbered imprint on the bottom; the pink ones are from the 1950s/60s.  I need to find the two larger ones to complete that set.The rest of the old medicine cabinet now lives by the toilet and holds the essentials.  I used some pretty volatile stuff to strip off several layers of paint down to the original douglas fir.  The paint color on the right is what I found to be the closest match to the Tiffany blue color:  Scuba Green from Benjamin Moore.  Here are two Warhol Marilyns gracing the first half of the 48ft hallway!  The apartment is a shotgun layout with the hallway entirely along one side – (different from a railroad layout) known as a Romeo flat in San Francisco due to the stairway at the front center of the building.  These [grainy!] photos were actually taken over a year ago, and I’ve been meaning to put them up – hence the Christmas lights along the baseboard in this photo.   As some things have changed, more to come!


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These aren’t quite dormers by the book definition, because they aren’t protruding from a roof.  They are probably considered bay windows, but their roofs do intersect the main house roof above.  Either way – they’re intended to increase living space, provide windows for views, light, and add architectural elements to the front of the house. Maybe they’re ‘segmental’ as seen above.  The roofs of these will be up-slope which i can’t find any examples of online.  We chose this because the house is mainly viewed from below and had such overbearing roofs, that the up-slope is like a ‘get off my back’ punching gesture to break through. The slope is seen in the photo at right.  We also flattened the top portion of the lower roof, so it’s flat right outside the dormers.  That was another move to reduce the dominating roof.  The views from the dormers include Tiburon, Angel Island and even San Francisco from some angles.  Not a bad view to wake up to…The side of house was extended out to create a continuous gable end, instead of being split like it previously was. The roof came off during a surprise late spring rainy period which was an adventure for the homeowners (who are camping inside during the project).  More to come!

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