A Turn-of-the-Century House in San Francisco Gets a Modern Remodel
The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake took many beautiful buildings with it, but the event also spawned a period of rebuilding that left the city with some of its most distinct architecture: Edwardian homes. Despite their beautiful detail, these turn-of-the-century structures don’t always suit modern-day living. Thus, S.F.-based interior designer Lauren Geremia, who recently renovated this 1908 Mission District home, had a golden opportunity: highlight its best architectural features and preserve its charm, while instilling a new sense of sophistication and modern taste.
Geremia was first hired to collaborate with a local developer to renovate the home after it was damaged in a fire. The team redefined the layout of the space, which had been divided into units, and converted the space into a single-family home. The attic floor was reimagined as master suite with “dramatic San Francisco views in every direction,” combining “a bedroom, ample walk-in closets, a lounge with fireplace, and a bathroom with custom marble,” the designer shares. After the new homeowners, New York City transplants, purchased the property, they invited Geremia’s firm to bring the interiors to life.
Functionally, Geremia sought to make each room “purposeful and supportive of the clients’ needs.” To that end, she converted the building’s in-law unit into “an expansive wine room to accommodate the homeowners burgeoning collection of regional and global wines.” Since her clients travel frequently, they also “wanted a home that wasn’t too fussy or required much upkeep,” she says. Low-maintenance furniture and décor rose to the task.
The designer tells us her “primary aesthetic goal was to complement the client’s existing art collection,” which includes concentric abstract black-and-white worked by celebrated S.F. artist Richard Serra. “Since the palette was fairly monochromatic and graphic, Serra's charcoal prints were well presented and highlighted,” Geremia says. Using a fairly neutral palette, Geremia and team embraced their clients’ modern aesthetic, while softening the space with textural elements and adding intrigue through unusual surfaces like the white poured-concrete counters and planked marble backsplash in the kitchen.
“We gained initial inspiration for the darker hues in the palette from the client’s Richard Serra charcoal prints and the charred wood from the home’s historic fire,” says Geremia. Meanwhile, some of the richer hues were inspired by the original stone and wood-shingled façade, and “soft whites and muted greens,” were influenced by the nearby Dolores Park, she tells us.
From the hallway, with its bronze and walnut console table by De Sousa Hughes, to the master lounge, with its chainsaw-carved stools by Fort Standard, each room is punctuated by designer furnishings that give the space a distinct quality. Complementing carefully selected furniture is an equally curated art collection: Pieces like Jeff Zimmerman’s “Multiverse Hanging Sculpture,” (the chrome sculptural in the living room), and Luca Dellaverson’s “Untitled” (the shattered mirror in one of the bedrooms), make every turn of a corner feel like a walk through the SFMOMA.
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