Category Archives: Mid-Century Remodel

mid-century remodel buzz

I’m excited to say that Curbed SF posted a blurb about my remodel project and it was complimentary if not funny!

“570 Corbett was a shitshack. Then in 2010 it was renovated from the foundation up. Now it’s packed full of fancy finishes and smooth ceilings with recessed lighting and everything else you’d think a homeowner would put in a house if they wanted to get a spread in Dwell magazine. The building’s exterior still has its Mid-Century modern feel, as the house was originally built in 1959. But again, once inside it’s a contemporary wonderland. We never thought we’d type this, but the four different tiles in the master bathroom work really well together. The deets: it’s a 3-bed, 2-bath house in Twin Peaks for $995,000. You get 2-car parking with interior access. Property highlights include open living spaces and a gorgeous backyard that’s perfect for entertaining.”

I love that they say the house used to be a shitshack.  In truth, it was.  They never mention architects, oh well – SEE HERE

Also recently the developer / my client Rick was featured in a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.  It was mostly about his shift in career from set design / producer to residential developer.  There were a couple of photos of this house and – don’t blink! – a mention of yours truly as the architect.  May be the only time I’m ever mentioned in the same article as Liza Minelli:

“…he was building sets for stage productions and live musical shows for artists such as Liza Minnelli….Tom McElroy was the architect on the project..”

SEE HERE

 

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mid-century remodel

Where have I been?  The blog took a hiatus in December, so now it’s time to start tracking the projects again – we’re off to a running start in 2011.  This 1959 building left alone for a few decades is now waking up.  [nice blaring parking sign, and unpainted vents etc]  Here’s a quick recap of the facade up to now: I was inspired by a photo to try a green & brown earthy color scheme at the front, but we never loved the brown.  The Eichler color chart is mostly earthtones – though this is clearly far from an Eichler, not even a Likeler!  The tiled area to the lower right was intended to be a material ‘accent’, and after many suggestions were scratched from my list we settled on the 8×16 ceramic tile in ‘lavagna mood’, a purple-grey from Ceramic Tile Design.  Once the tile went in it was apparent that the brown had to go, so we matched the garage area in paint, just going up yesterday.   I drew this simple steel planter to fill in some of the corners a the facade, and eliminated the red brick planter.  The steps to the front door will be tiled soon.  The interior is almost finished – Lots of shapes in the light fixtures – the George Nelson Cigar bubble lamp, a flying saucer-shaped pendant from PLC, and cylinder pendants at the kitchen.  Details left to do, including a dark outlet plate @ the peninsula!  [alas, we had to go with a track for the kitchen pendants due the steel beam in the ceiling…]Walnut kitchen from City Cabinetmakers, 2×12 tile from Heath Ceramicstriangle tiles from Heath Ceramics behind the double-wide sink… & the drought-resistant garden seen from the new first floor bedroom.   More to come!

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open house!

The time-capsule apartments are 99% finished and ready for the open house wine & cheese…. 9/8/10 at 6pm.  Sale listing seen here.  (disclaimer:  I didn’t select the furnishing for ‘staging’ the apartments for sale – I do like the mod one, the other one is … *blecch*)  Here, the main living space of the west side apartments, with white tiled kitchens.  (these photos were taken with my point & shoot – not really portfolio quality – but blog quality!) Check back soon in the Before & After to see how far we came with this.

The 1% includes the glass of the balcony handrails – a nice view and a loong way down!   Below, the east side apartments’ view and kitchen – a mix of blue-grey tiles.  Kitchen donut ‘Tessera’ light fixture by PLC.

And below, a typical bedroom.  Lower windows are frosted so you can walk around bottomless. (they’re also not quite cleaned yet..)  Light fixture by Jonathan Adler.

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1950s apartment remodel continued..

Kitchens started going in at the apartment building, and I love the color!  The laminate finish is ‘Asian Night’ by Wilsonart with a contrasting edge band, which gives it a geometric look.  These kitchens being smallish, with 1950s 8′ ceilings, we ran the cabinets all the way to the ceiling.  Tile is continuing at the bathrooms, starting with the showers.  Here are the (2) schemes we have, a green and a blue.  The green photo is awful and has some reflections going on –

The colors of the shower pans will continue across the room floor in a larger tile.  Backsplashes will be a third color.  Exterior paint has started on the rear side of the building – using Kelly Moore.  I was pushing for a bold, dark grey scheme; but I compromised and the main body color is very light.   Up close the contrast is glaring but we’ll see from the street below once the scaffolding is down.  The wood flooring is an engineered prefinished FSC-certified white oak glue-down by Berg & Berg.   There is a sound-mat below the flooring to reduce noise transmission – important in apartment buildings…! Better photos of that to follow.. Down at the single-family house, things are on a slower schedule so we can finish the apartments first.   The steel was installed.  The large triangle to the left was fabricated to avoid having a post sticking out in a bedroom; but the triangle will be visible near the ceiling – maybe as a painted accent in pink?


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mid-century remodel….construction

STEEL!  Here are a couple of beams ready to be installed in the ceiling/roof of the mid-century house, so we can remove most of the walls in the living areas.  (quick reminder: this project consists of [2] buildings on a lot – a single family house, and a 4-unit apartment building on the other end.  as part of the project, the lot was split into 2)

It’s exciting to see these big structural pieces arrive so the spaces can start to take shape.  Below is a slot cut in the ceiling for one of the steels where the rafters crossed.

The sheetrock crew is up in the apartments on their stilts, mudding and taping the walls.  (There’s still evidence of that robin’s-egg blue that was throughout the buildings, seen below.)

Boxes of tiles in various colors and shapes from Heath Ceramics in Sausalito.  The outside of the buildings will start to shape up soon – windows arrived this week.  Sliding doors from IWC were installed in the apartments last week.  (we don’t love the curved handles and will swap them out!  it seems the ‘standard’ is almost always less preferable)

Another fairly foggy day so the view isn’t visible – but it’s a beautiful one.  We chose a dark bronze anodized finish to give them more contrast and accentuate the lines in this geometric 50s building.   Below, at the house, we’re closing up one of three garage doors to create living space – a new footing will be poured.  Who needs three cars?   Stay tuned!

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Mid-Century construction progress

Things are moving ahead at the 1950s remodel where we’re concurrently doing 2 buildings on one lot.  Above, the single family house ceiling is taken out to install new recessed lighting.  The aluminum window, single-paned and very breezy, is a goner!  (to be replaced with a larger, new aluminum window from Gerkin)

I like the look of the exposed rafters but this is just temporary, to be re-sheetrocked.  Quite a heap of debris here in the future master bedroom..

The original roof plank sheathing looks like concrete forms – how thrifty of the builders to recycle them! Note the absence of any insulation in this ceiling – typical of many ‘older’ buildings in San Francisco, even from 1959.

Above, some slightly mod original details from the apartment building, unit #2.  There are some cool shapes here and the materials are pretty cheap, but I thought I’d document the 1950s efforts.  Below, we inserted a PSL into the ceiling to catch the joists, which will give us a flush ceiling surface.  There was originally a dropped soffit between the kitchen and living room, which we’re opening up.

Above is the (foggy) view out over San Francisco.  The scaffolding is up to install the new windows and siding.  We opened up this view wall to have all sliding doors out to the balcony – previously there was a smallish window at waist-height.  The balcony will have glass guard rails to maintain the view.

And despite our efforts, a few pesky pigeons have managed to infiltrate and set up roost!  Ew…

More to come!  (work, not pigeons)


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