This gut-remodel of a 1909 Victorian home in San Francisco’s recently designated Duboce Park Historic District was a masterclass in client collaboration. The new homeowners requested something that's become our specialty: connecting inviting, modern interior spaces with the California climate. We decided to give the south-facing rear of the house exterior decking, opting for balconies on all upper levels. The resulting layout required only minor changes to the building envelope, with a 75 square foot, single-story addition that extended the kitchen/dining area and a simple dormer setback capturing 600 square feet of attic space — without affecting the historic front facade. When we were through, all 4 levels boasted access to the outdoors.
A meandering ground-level floorplan and underutilization of light and outdoor space presented a formidable, but familiar, challenge.
An addition to the kitchen/dining space massively improved the flow of the home's first floor, while balconies rising above it brought more of the outside in without detracting from the iconic facade that we had plans to restore.
With four bedrooms sharing a single bath and two stairwells bisecting it, this floorplan was being stretched thin, with little consideration for flow or comfort.
Thanks to a new, dedicated master suite, consolidated stairwell, and the added laundry and bathroom spaces, this level of the house gained function, breathing room, and privacy.
The stairwell functioned as the backbone of the living space, but it needed some TLC in the form of a new railing and vertical reconfiguration that made it code-compliant. The attic, with added skylights and ease of accessibility, naturally became a more prominent part of the home.
The massing model of the finished design helped the owners better envision changes to be made, especially elements like the deck and balconies. This approach better defines expectations and often leads to more enthusiastic approval.
The way our client put it