San Francisco Master Bath & Deck

This San Francisco apartment’s master bathroom layout did not maximize the existing space.  It had a single sink situated in an overly deep vanity, which made it difficult to reach the mirror.  The minimal counter space was relatively unusable because some of it was interrupted by the toilet’s location.  All these things contributed to a challenging shared bathroom, which had the potential to be far more functional.    By reconfiguring the layout and moving the toilet, it became possible to provide two sinks, more counter space and storage.  Therefore, turning a once dysfunctional layout into a highly efficient space for two people to share.


Original vanity wall with single sink, small counter and toilet in original location and existing shower below.IMG_6660




In addition to the revised layout, the selected palette adhered to mostly white and light grey tiles, with a white slab counter and painted vanity, which all contributed to the bathroom appearing lighter and brighter.


White shower tile with grey small hex on the floor and niche.


Double vanity with additional storage between the sinks, as well as 2 Roburn mirrored medicine cabinets for additional storage.


Just outside the master was a sunny deck space that was unfinished and underutilized.  Because it was in such close proximity to the master, we wanted it to really feel like an extension of the space and provide ample seating space.  The original outside space had an unfinished flooring, so we introduced a floating ipe decking, which then wrapped up to become the fixed outdoor bench built-in.


View from master bedroom to new floating ipe decking with ipe built-in bench.

03 DECK REMODEL _ Layout



Photography by Muffy Kibbey

December 16, 2015


Russian Hill Twins Girls’ Room

Situated in a traditional 1920s San Francisco 10-story building, this apartment’s girls’ bedroom needed to transition from baby room to big girls room, while still blending with the original details of the space.  It was critical to respect what was unique about the existing space, but modernize it in a way that would work for growing toddler girls as they matured out of their baby room and were ready for their big girl room.  But, not only did we want to select the look and style to fit within the apartment, but we wanted to choose items that struck the balance for what was appropriate for toddlers, but also would last for years to come as the girls matured.

In order to accomplish this, my client and I steered clear of fabrics or images that were associated with animals or figures, but instead chose colorful pillows with abstract bright flowers and a modern side table lamp to liven up the room.  However, we kept the rest of the palette relatively simple, with mostly white and grey, allowing the flexibility to swap out pillows or lamps to make an easier change down the road.  I believe keeping the longer lasting items, like the bed and dresser, in neutral tones as the ‘backdrop’, while still allowing the flexibility to swap out pillows or lamps to quickly change the look and feel of the room without having to replace the big ticket items.

The apartment has original crown moldings and baseboards, paneled doors and glass door knobs, which all recall the traditional elements of when the building was constructed.  However, my client had already successfully set the tone in the apartment to introduce modern elements with art, furniture, light fixtures throughout that beautifully strikes the perfect balance between new and old.  So, for the twin girls’ room, it was only natural that we also complement the traditional elements with more modern selections with the light fixtures, clean lines of the furniture and bedding.


Schematic image board of selections






Rosen65F2 Rosen46U2





This room remodel captured the perfect balance between playful for the girls to enjoy and be comfortable, but also sophisticated enough that was consistent with the style of the home and a room that could grow with them.


Photography by Muffy Kibbey

November 19, 2015


Pacific Heights Kitchen and the 21st Century Edwardian

Some of what makes San Francisco Edwardians charming a century later are the moldings, window and door casings, paneling, large windows and detailed baseboards.  It’s a hundred years later and those details remain sacred and worth protecting.  However, in the need to modernize a dated Edwardian kitchen, dining space and improve a poor layout, it was critical to strike the right balance between what is new and fresh and what is worthy of maintaining.  It’s really the details of the Edwardian era that have remained timeless and worthy of accenting.  The baseboard, window and door casings, crown molding details from the original apartment got incorporated into the newly renovated space, providing a common thread between the old and new.

Although the details deserved reclaiming, the kitchen and adjacent spaces were in need of some reconfiguring.  The original layout had converted a porch into an enclosed dining space, which also served as the exposed laundry zone.  The washing machine and dryer sat below a small window, which was poorly positioned see out of, but managed to have one of the best views of the city.  In addition, there was a small pantry space that was accessed by the kitchen, but not well utilized.  The original kitchen layout was lacking in counter and storage space and had overall inefficient flow.  By opening up the kitchen layout and closing off the door to the pantry from the kitchen, it became imaginable to gain storage space, provide a return counter for bar stool seating and still keep the open feeling between the kitchen and dining spaces.  The once open laundry room graduated to its own space in the converted pantry, separating it from the dining space.  And, therefore, opening up the wall where it once lived to allow for larger windows, overlooking the city, additional storage, wine fridges and serving counter space.

The photos and plans below walk you through the existing, demolition, proposed plans and finished spaces.


Original kitchen after demolition


Original dining space with laundry exposed and small window towards city view.


View towards original dining space with single paned, leaky windows, sloped floor and no insulation.


Existing/demolition plan

New floor plan layout


View towards re-built dining space, new skylights, and kitchen with counter return for storage and seating.


View towards new sink location at window, vertical pantry storage, floating stained oak shelves and carrara marble backsplash and counters.  Shaker cabinets were selected to be traditional, but still modern with square edging and no beading detail.  The floating oak shelves are modern, while the marble is a traditional material, but delineated in a modern way with a square edge counter.


View towards previous laundry and water location. A fogged glass pocket door opens to new laundry room.  The pocket door casing matches the existing from the apartment, but the glass door is a modern selection.


Choosing to reveal and maintain original brickwork, along with crown molding and baseboard to match existing were details selected to preserve, while the waterfall marble counter is a modern detail with traditional materials.


Re-built dining room with new skylights, windows and detailing to match existing elements of the house.







View from media room, looking into remodeled kitchen showing existing door casing, paneling and baseboard from the original Edwardian.











October 22, 2015


Designing Around Constraints: Modern Loft Nursery

Home remodeling projects often have their challenges.  But, building constraints can also evoke creativity.  Adding a floor within the framework of an existing apartment, while still cooperating with exterior window locations that had to remain, were hurdles to overcome to make this nursery project a success.

With a new baby on the way, this couple’s modern SOMA loft needed an additional bedroom to make room for their upcoming arrival.  Given the restrictions of an existing apartment building, growing the footprint to gain another bedroom was not an option.  The only way to increase square footage of livable space was insert a floor within the double height space.  The least disruptive location for this was to infill over the double height kitchen in order to maintain the openness of the rest of the loft the living and dining room.

The existing small mezzanine floor had a large beam extending to the exterior wall, which was then used to span across to the exterior wall to create the floor of the new bedroom.  This chosen location to add the new room had two existing exterior windows.  However, because of the restrictions of the existing apartment building, we could not alter any of the existing exterior windows, their location, type or add any new exterior windows.  Those limitations impacted the layout of the room and relationship between existing and new windows.

Lowering the ceiling in the kitchen to a single story height also had it’s obstacles as it was going from a double height, light filled space to then a more enclosed room.  Recessed lighting was then added in the new floor cavity at the bedroom addition to remedy the reduction in natural light.

Elevations showing the new bedroom and view from living room towards kitchen and new windows above.


haswell existing plan

Original floor plan at mezzanine, overlooking the previous double height kitchen.

haswell proposed plan

New plan at bedroom.




View from living room, looking up at enclosed mezzanine and new bedroom over kitchen.


Construction Haswell Project_0001_Layer 11

View down to original kitchen and surrounding soffit prior to new framing install.


The goal was to add the bedroom, but make it appear as though it always existed.  Details and elements were selected to match the apartment.  The new interior windows were added to match existing windows in detail, size, height and relationships.  The new internal windows provided light and ventilation to the new room bedroom and mezzanine space.



A look in the nursery, towards the new window over-looking the loft below. The window above the small couch is an existing exterior window.

Instead of your typical baby room, filled with pastels and rattles, this nursery was to be a sophisticated baby zone, brimming with American and British regalia.  Huxley’s creative parents paired pillows, a British flag mini-sized couch, books from London, photos from Montana scatter the room as a reminder of his meaningful roots.


Existing exterior window overlooking apartment courtyard.


Every remodel has its obstacles.  The existing framework of this apartment building possessed many challenges, but also provided an opportunity to draw on existing elements to incorporate into the new room.  This nursery addition project was born out of necessity for space, but ended up being a natural addition to the loft, while also creating cozy nursery which appeared to have always been there.






October 6, 2015


Bungalow Bathroom Update

This bungalow had its original bathroom, with an awkward and tight layout.  All original finishes and plumbing were still in place.  The main goal towards redesigning this bathroom was to allow for a more open layout, brighten up the space and provide a generously sized walk-in, curbless shower.  In addition, the ceiling was popped up to 9′-0″, which made the space also feel larger.



By removing the stand alone tub and moving the shower to the window side of the bathroom, it allowed to open up the floor space around the vanity and provide a large, walk-in shower, which was one of the primary design goals.






Tile flooring was used throughout the bathroom and directly into the shower, which gave the floor space an even more open feeling.  A clear glass panel separates the open the shower from the rest of the bathroom so that the natural light from the window provides the rest of the space with light.






Photography by Muffy Kibbey

February 9, 2015


Bungalow kitchen revamp

This 1940s house was originally built with a more formal floor plan and had a separate kitchen and dining space.  Today, entertaining is less formal and having an open kitchen to your dining room allows for more interaction between cooking and guests and family while still prepping dinner.

Originally, while standing in the kitchen, you would be completely closed off from the dining room and living space.  The desire was to open up this space by demolishing the walls that divided these spaces, while at the same time filling in the existing opening to the kitchen off the main hall, in order to provide a separation between the more public and private spaces.









The new layout provides an open kitchen and dining space adjacent to the living room. After exploring multiple layouts, this galley kitchen optimized space and having a counter for shallow seating provided more counter space and storage below.










Photography by Muffy Kibbey

February 9, 2015