Tag Archives: pacific heights

pacific heights part deux

birds eye view

It’s always a treat to return to a house and start the second phase of a project you designed a master plan for. In this case I worked on an interior to-the-studs remodel of this house back in 2009 – see it here in our portfolio and here on the blog as it was ripped apart. This was a fun collaboration with Ian Stallings Design. Above you see an aerial view of the house as it was recently, with a low pitched roof and attic above the main living space. I was thrilled when the new owners contacted me and expressed that they now want to add the top floor.proposed rendering

We worked off the old plans and made some modifications for the new owners. See renderings of the proposed top floor addition – an elegant, flat roof structure with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office space and large outdoor decks that will tie right in with the existing house. The front deck is largest since here in SF you’re encouraged to set back top additions so they’re not competing with the original facade… like it or not!  Below is a view of the rear of the house, with the new intimate master bedroom deck overlooking the existing courtyard space below.


roof removal

We’re working with Cook Construction for this project – a team we’re very happy with. The demolition of the old roof, its 5 layers of asphalt shingles plus original wood shingles, went pretty swiftly. Above, looking toward the front of the house, below, the rear. old attic

redwood framing

A view from within the front part of the attic looking back – you can see all the recessed lighting, wiring, and ducting from the 2009 project.

top floor addition

Just a short time later, the new floor level was framed in. pacific heights

At the very front of the house, you see the old boards of the cornice / parapet. The views open up in this direction.


Above left – the opening for the new staircase. On the right, the only part of the new roof that is sloped is over the master closet, a result of negotiating with neighbors who were concerned by potential impacts to light. They’ve since moved away. front facade

A little over a week later, the top floor has been mostly framed and plywood is up. This is the front wall. master bedroom

Above is the wall of doors and windows from the master bedroom. new view

Lastly, the beautiful view from the office / hallway area, between two adjacent buildings to the hills beyond. Stay tuned – this one’s moving fast!

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pac heights winding down

It’s down to the last touches on this project; the owner has actually moved in among the dust of the punch-list tasks.  These books were saved from the house before the project – and add a musty sense of history to the place!  I think they look great in the painted shelves.  The ‘library-style’ lights above each shelving bay will cast light on the books and other items.

These adjustable lights are hardwired, mounted at the top of the built-ins.  This is part of the Dining Rm that will also be used as a home office / library.  The view from the entry hall seen below (photo is slightly blurry; this project hasn’t been professionally photographed yet – this is still my point+shoot)…. I like this light fixture – I’ll find out where the owner got it.

The kitchen / great room seen below has french doors opening to the rear patio, with a continuous slate floor from American Slate.   (among other punch-list details, the threshold here will be modified to better ‘disappear’).  The simple, geometric stainless steel hood is by Viking.

Below is a sketch of an alternating tread stair I designed to access a raised sleeping loft in the guest area of this house.  These types of stairs take up half the length of a typical stair and are good for space constraints, as we have here.   This hasn’t been completed yet, or photographed – more to come!

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pac heights paint!

The painting has started and the colors are looking great.  This is the Dining Rm / Library with shelves on most of the walls, in a purple-grey color.  My designer pal I’m working with, Ian Stallings, has chosen a palette of deep, bold colors throughout.  This room finally received its south-facing, fire rated window – positioned with a centered view between two adjacent buildings seen below.

The front hall and stair walls are a deep brown-plum color.  (names to come soon) The soon-to-be-installed rail curls to a finish, as seen below.

The Kitchen/Family Rm at the back of the house is painted a more neutral tone to go with the carrara marble and walnut.   The new plate shelves in front of the windows were built slightly thicker than drawn. . I don’t love them yet but they may ‘soften’ once the kitchen is completed.

The north-facing windows have no view beyond a neighboring wall 4′ away so the shelves don’t block anything.  More to come!


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walnut, tile, etc

The kitchen cabinetry is being installed – custom walnut built by a carpenter here in San Francisco.  I prefer the ‘true’ brown tone that walnut has over other woods.  Not too yellow, not too red, so it won’t compete with the greenish floor tiles – or art, furniture, etc.

The island with space for stools sits opposite the counter at the wall.  There will be open shelves in front of the windows (no real view out them so it’s OK); the only upper cabinets are to the side above the refrigerator.  A range and hood will sit in between the windows.. can’t wait to see it.

The space for the refrigerator and surrounding cabinetry.  The penny-round tiles (almost the color of old pennies!) are in the hall bathroom outside the kitchen.  More penny rounds – white – in a guest bathroom seen below.   Shown next to the entry steps clad in the same slate as the kitchen/family room.

The built-in bookcases in the Dining Rm are of MDF and poplar, built into 3 sides of the room.

We’re waiting on a fire-rated window in the Dining Rm. . a little snafu with the paint color. .

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Pac Heights insulated

We’ve got the rough plumbing, electrical in place (mostly!) and insulation has been stuffed in.  The owner chose to have all walls -including interior- to be fully insulated for sound absorption.   We’re using EcoBatt throughout, a formaldehyde/petroleum-free product that contains post-consumer recycled glass.   The holes are for blown-in insulation in the [very few] exterior walls that were not opened to the studs.  This bay is at the front that isn’t changing much.  At the rear of the house family room / kitchen we’ve opened up the walls with windows and doors coming from Sierra Pacific:

The lattice at the rear garden isn’t intended to survive this remodel…..The symmetrical windows will be above the kitchen counters with the range and hood in between.  These two windows are from Loewen.  The sink will be on the island across from them.   This window below has a spectacular view –

Actually this is just an old closet soon to be laundry room. . so no worries about the brick wall view!   Exterior below – siding removed at rear; side alley with new foundation / broken sidewalk out toward the street. 

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pacific heights studs exposed

Motoring ahead with this project, we’ve gotten much of the walls, ceilings, floors opened up as needed.  The new concrete foundation has been poured.  This photo below shows framing that we think may be from 2 windows – and possibly the original front wall of the house.  Now there is a living room on the other side of it.  See the rectangles framed toward the sides of the image.  plaster lathe

You never know what’s behind the walls. . as seen below.  On the left is an old exterior door that was simply closed, boarded over and became part of the exterior wall for who knows how many years.  There’s even an electrical outlet and a duct carved through it!  On the right is the inside of a closet that was probably part of a hallway or room; why would a closet interior have wainscoting, picture rail and a door crown?


The view up the stairs, now that construction has started: stair

Old San Francisco houses with their deep, dark redwood framing:  when the finished plaster is peeled away, they remind me of barns.  There’s also a spooky appeal in seeing the nooks that haven’t been exposed or inhabited – in close to 100 years.


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pacific heights

Here’s a house in Pacific Heights.  I’m collaborating with a designer friend Ian Stallings on this project.  It looks ok from the street, but a thorough study shows that it needs a new foundation, floor plan reworking, and upgraded interiors.  The blank area above the garage door could use something too.


The back of the house has a wall of ’70s sliding doors which is a great to capture light, but at the low standard 80″ height, the blank wall/gable above gives a top-heavy feeling.


The rooms seemed to be carefully set up – but much of this funky look won’t last through the remodel.  The dropped ceiling, the (smoke and) mirrors, applied wall brick…

orangelvg rmkitchen2

Mustard yellow and dark brown 70s kitchen scheme – making a comeback?  Maybe, but this one didn’t hold up enough to stick around.

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