San Francisco, CA
The Sunset Residence is a complete remodel of the client’s childhood home in the Sunset District of San Francisco. The house has an unusual San Francisco condition in which there is an alley entrance to the back garden. Before the remodel, the lower floor was dark, jumbled and without a garage. The backyard was a mess with much of it taken over for parking and there was no connection between the inside and the outside of the house.
We successfully convinced the Planning Department to allow, not only a one car garage, but a two car garage as well as a deck on the main floor that spans from property line to property line. It was a long and arduous process to get approval for both from Planning but we persevered and were successful in the end. As a result, the lower level now has a spacious two car garage which means the backyard is opened up for use. In addition, in front of the garage is a small studio unit that can be rented.
The main floor, which previously was very compartmentalized and dark, is now a more open plan with much more natural light. The full width deck and stairs to the backyard helped not only get some nice usable outdoor space off the main floor but, with the large bi-folding door connecting to the deck, helped to bring in more natural light into the space. The result on this floor is a more open, free flowing, modern plan where all rooms visually connect to each other and the deck.
The upstairs was reorganized from its jumbled room layout into a simpler configuration with a spacious vaulted master bedroom, master bath and closet. The stair was also opened up and skylights were strategically placed in a way that allows for natural light to fall down not only onto the 3rd floor but also onto the main floor’s entrance area, which was very dark and cold before.
We also respectably modernized the front façade to keep its historic roots while still allowing for modern reinterpretation. This was another challenge with the Planning Department, but in the end, they agreed with our proposal and we were able to give the client an updated façade.