Tag Archives: 1950s remodel

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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Filed under 1950s Time Capsule, Mid-Century Remodel

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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1950s mid-century: demo

Permits in hand, lot-split done, demolition has begun on the “1950s time capsule” as posted back in August.  Kitchens, bathrooms, carpeting (ew), doors, windows, rotten framing, etc, all being torn out.  Being a fan of most things mid-century, it’s been bittersweet to watch this phase.  They’d probably have my head over at Save the Pink Bathrooms knowing what was done here! (we demo’d 5 of them)  But we’re going at it green: we’ve found new homes for most of the furniture, cabinets, appliances, and cars (there were 2 ’60s T-birds and a Datsun in the garages).   I couldn’t resist taking an aquamarine refrigerator to use as our liquor cabinet.

Some random objects among the dust and debris.  The 1980 election bumper sticker is a sign of the last time this place was lived in – 30 years ago!  The brown-green couch may look stylish, but its cushions are rock-hard.  And then there’s that smell pictures can’t show…

Rough electrical is almost done, and rough plumbing has begun – we’re upgrading where it needs doing.   There was a good amount of rot in the subfloor plywood which created a spongy walking experience.

There’s a long way to go with this remodel – as seen below the buildings are pretty cracked-out!   No pun, the stucco is actually cracked.  We’re in the process of ousting the nasty pigeons from the balconies.  Those plywood ‘railings’ and flimsy windows’ days are limited.   I really like the trees in the rear yard and we intend to keep them.  More to come!

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1950s bathroom [and fireplace] updated

That dim ’50s bathroom in pale yellow and brick-red tile?  Not so tired anymore – refreshed with a modern look but keeping close to the midcentury lines of the house that first attracted its owners.

A wall of glass mosaic tiles gives energy to the small room while the simple arrangement of components keeps a sense of order.  Given the new vanity’s storage capacity (plus a new wall-hung cabinet above the toilet) we decided to forego the traditional recessed medicine cabinet.  The shower stall ceiling was raised to full height, and the entire width opened to the room with a frameless glass door from Empire Shower Doors.  We decided to use the mosaic tile again in the shampoo niche.

The opening of the cramped shower makes the room appear larger.  The new glass door, glass 3×6 tile on the walls, 12×12 porcelain tiles on the floor and chrome fixtures mix together to create a soothing feel.

City Cabinetmakers made the flat-front, clean and simple vanity in makore veneer.  The warm cabinetry color picks up the reddish-brown random tiles that appear in the mosaic backsplash.   The sparkly countertop slab that contains bits of mirror glass is ‘quartz reflections‘ from Caesarstone, which is from their recycled product line.  Chrome hardware ties the piece back in to room.

In the living room, here is the fireplace with new stone tile, slab hearth and mantel.

Ann Sacks “luxor grey” limestone tile and “topo azul” slab and a wood mantel painted in a similar grey give the fireplace a subtle presence in the room, toned down from the stark white it was previously.

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