The recent history of Janna Stark's San Francisco flat, located in an 1890's Victorian house, is literally burned into the wall.
After the interior of the house was completely gutted by a fire in 2006, Stark decided to modernize it—but she wanted to retain an element of the past as well. "I was looking for some way to keep the memory of the fire intact and not just forget about what happened at this pivotal moment in my life," says Stark, a trend consultant.
Local architects Hulett Jones and Paul Haydu of jones | haydu sliced some of the house's charred framing into strips, revealing the intricate patterning of the old-growth beams. Used for interior paneling, the wood—with its burned edges—brings an unexpected texture to the newly streamlined open space. "And the exterior walls have been upgraded to their proper fire rating," notes Jones.