Tag Archives: san francisco

DWELL MAGAZINE

MCELROYARCH

WE’RE IN DWELL! I was flipping through the pages of the latest issue only to see a photo I submitted of our office via Instagram… Yep, our rinky-dink little office storefront with the turned-sideways door numbers here among the sexy modern lines of international designs … it’s in the “Your Rooms We Lovespecial issue. That means even if you already subscribe to the magazine, you won’t receive this – so you all have to run out and buy it. Once I was able to actually turn my new favorite page, looking further through I spotted a photo I submitted of my friend’s front door entry near Ocean Beach.

FRANCES HOUSE

Wow, 2-for-1 publishing / free promo! This will lead to great things……It certainly doesn’t count as my big publication in Dwell, which will happen sometime in the future…stay tuned. After all, this isn’t technically one of our projects, though we did ‘design’ the storefront display and door numbers.

Now for some gratitude:

Thank you to the person who kicked in the glass of our office front door last year and tried to break in. (they didn’t make it inside) If not for their mischief, we never would have boarded up the door, painted it black, and added the oversize, rotated numbers on it. The perfect silver lining!

Thanks to Randy for collaborating on the storefront tools.

Thanks to FJ for painting her entry alcove an obnoxious lime green that I love (keep saying No to the person who wants to change it!) I believe I encouraged this color so I’ll take some credit – and I still think you should paint the front door lime as well. Colorblocking is all the rage.

Thanks Dwell! You can publish more of me anytime!

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laurel heights mystery

In old homes, items found during renovations may tell us something about the house’s past.  Cryptic paintings found in this new project’s cellar may tell of one involving – a shootout with aliens?  Being a horror movie fan, I jokingly suggested a possible message in the paintings but the owner said “I don’t want to know!”

Message or not, the house does have a ‘choppy’ past; we figure the garage level used to be the main living level as there is baseboard, wainscoting and wallpaper found in the garage and other rooms on that level, possibly 1890s-1900s.  The top floor with lower ceilings, is a typical ‘marina style’ 1920s-ish home, probably added around that time.

The ‘rear’ door as seen below, caked in layers of paint, was likely the front door – mail slot, and a knob shifted way up.  We plan to reuse this as a door in the house somewhere, as with other random items as we can.

A great rear yard, but a boring rear facade!  The new owners want to bring this home into the 21st century, and our plans call for a big remodel to the studs of course.

A lightwell above, to be filled in behind the kitchen with a new stair to the first floor.

Existing kitchen above and entry hallway below, with 2-dimensional railing cutouts…

more to come – soon (demo already started)

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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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..pac heights progress..

Things are buzzing along, the crew is staying dry inside while the rain continues.  I did a drive-by today to take some photos and see the tile on the wall…wow.  This glass tile is in the master bathroom – ‘Repose‘ by Waterworks…no grout yet.

The main hallway: We’re using the original picture rail as a guide for establishing the tall door heights. (8′-4″).  Other doors – closets and bathrooms, will be shorter.  The bay window below – not a great place for a fireplace!  -but a good nook for a construction catch-all.  I don’t think the shutters will last the remodel, but there is something interesting about this scene.

A tv niche over the fireplace (the two have become rivals for our attention).  The cove around the fireplace is being patched. 

The slate tile floor is laid but not grouted – it gives the room a sense of geometry.  At right, the stubs for the kitchen island.

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starting the finishes…

It’s something (scary?) to see the drawings jump off the paper and into real life: the entry stair gets the gridded walls we laid out.
The rooms are coming together and some early finishes are being installed, like tile and stone.

Chicken wire!  And pavers from American Slate.  (there’s radiant heat below, so it won’t freeze the feet..)

Bathroom floor marble tile (upper) and glass wall tile (lower).

Below: when the old brick fireplace was removed we found that the it used to vent directly into the attic: there is NO existing chimney!  The new gas fireplace will go in the same location-with a chimney.  At right, a new 8′-4″ door opening looking out to one of the original doors being reused.

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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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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?

walls

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.

barnrafters

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