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  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!
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)
Moving along! The glass tile in the shower is a 3×12 pale green we are orienting vertically. A shampoo niche is carved in to the wall opposite the showerhead, to be lined with rectangular glass mosaic tile in a blue/green/brown mix.
We’re using the same mosaic tile on the entire wall behind the new vanity, around the window, mirror and sconces.
The floor tile is 12×12 ceramic in a tan/green which blends in to the scheme of the room. The makore vanity cabinet from City Cabinetmakers picks up the brown in the wall tile.
The fireplace has been tiled. The new hearth stone – a limestone slab from Ann Sacks called Topo Azul – is put in place, and the new simple mantle built – to be painted. Finish details to follow.
We are also tackling the fireplace which the owners want to revamp. The white painted brick, the brass and glass doors (yikes), and the overall height don’t go with the low-slung mid-century feel of their living room.
We’ve removed the mantle, a few rows of brick, the pinkish stone hearth, and the doors.
The tile we’ve selected is Luxor Grey by Ann Sacks. It’s a long thin tile that will accentuate the horizontal lines in the room. I laid it out to get a good mix because the natural stone is slightly varied in color.
Now back to the bathroom: We’re down to the studs to install the new window, frosted glass for privacy. We’re going from horizontal to vertical with the window. Everything has been removed; the tile, the entire shower, the vanity.
We put insulation in where there was none before. More to come!
We’ve all seen one – or maybe even had one: a bathroom that just doesn’t work. Not plumbing-wise, but esthetically. Here’s one that clients came to me with that had a list of issues: a mirror / window confrontation, a tiny sink, low cabinet, claustrophobic shower, and tile of uninspiring color. Here’s what we were looking at:
It’s not certain if the window is original but if it is, you would have a nice view yet no reflection when standing at the sink. (Unless you mount a mirror as seen above.) Problem!
The phone-booth style shower, with an intimidating dropped-ceiling:
Overall, the bathroom needed some help. There used to be a door into another bedroom on the opposite wall which couldn’t be finished with the original tile so it was pretty glaring. The door from the master bedroom swung out into the room, which wasn’t preferable. The owners were just not in love with the buttercream and brick-red color scheme anymore… stay tuned –