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December 30, 2015
In a place where real estate and rent prices are among the highest in the USA, these projects reinforce the wisdom of working with what you've got.
Black and white steel in white oak apartment, flanked by glass bricks, designed by Erica Severns

Among the directives for architect Erica Severns from her client, John Parker Willis, was “some chaos in the kitchen design” of his home in a converted San Francisco garage. Others included saving the old concrete walls and uncovering the history of the building, which Willis, a developer, divided into eight units, keeping one for himself.

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Originally appeared in A San Francisco Renovation Mixes Industrial and Refined Materials
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Glass-walled hallway renovation

In Menlo Park, California, a retired couple set out to add space and function to their cute but compact 1950s ranch home. Knowing the original house needed structural improvement, the owners were also motivated to create more living space in an easily accessible addition that would remain on one level. The pair, avid gardeners, also wanted a greater sense of connection to the outdoors.

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Originally appeared in An Indoor-Outdoor Renovation for a 1950s Ranch House in the Bay Area
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Wood, Cor-Ten, and acrylic stucco facade of San Francisco renovation and addition by Zack | de Vito Architecture + Construction.

Principal Jim Zack had an idea when he first saw a small cottage in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. The old cottage was situated on the far end of a 25-by-100 foot lot, and Zack knew the space would allow for two units. So, alongside Lise de Vito, the other principal of Zack | de Vito Architecture + Construction, the firm renovated the cottage and built a complementary second property.

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Originally appeared in A San Francisco Renovation Creates Two Apartments from One
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Living room with Eames Sofa Compact in Bay Area Midcentury Modern renovation by Buttrick Projects.

For Jerome Buttrick of Oakland-based Buttrick Projects, the aim of this renovation was simply to update an already well-designed midcentury home. Situated on a steeply sloping lot, the home boasts views of the Bay from the comfort of a sheer buttressed living room, a move inspired by the one from the original plan. Keeping much of the original layout, the extensive remodel involved replacing almost every wall to introduce modern insulation, appliances and materials. 

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Originally appeared in A Bay Area Renovation Keeps its Midcentury Modern Roots
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San Francisco white exterior with large windows

Architect Karen Curtiss of Red Dot Studio transformed a one-bedroom San Francisco house into a three-bedroom without increasing space. 

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Originally appeared in One Bedroom Became Three in This Space-Efficient San Francisco Renovation
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This San Francisco home in the Theatre Lofts building, built in 1926 as a movie palace, was given a sophisticated upgrade by LOCZIdesign.

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San Francisco residence with a cedar and tile exterior

Architect Cary Bernstein worked with resident Scott Croyle to transform a 1930s fixer-upper in San Francisco into this luminous, storage-savvy home. Bernstein reconfigured the entryway to the street level; guests ascend to the main living space. Ironspot clay tile and FSC-certified cedar clads the facade. 

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Originally appeared in A Meticulous Renovation Turns a Run-Down House Into a Storage-Smart Gem
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Modern renovation in San Francisco with second floor entrance and facade

Architect George Bradley and his husband, Eddie Baba, renovated this 1941 home in San Francisco. The house gained a mere six inches in height and now rises just above the tree canopy, allowing it to blend into its setting despite having increased from its original 2,800 square feet to 3,800. The redwood cladding continues inside, becoming a wall of the entrance hall, a double-height space brightened by floor-to-ceiling glass and European white-oak flooring.

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Originally appeared in A Home with Eclectic Style Looks Just Right
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Black and white steel in white oak apartment, flanked by glass bricks, designed by Erica Severns

Among the directives for architect Erica Severns from her client, John Parker Willis, was “some chaos in the kitchen design” of his home in a converted San Francisco garage. Others included saving the old concrete walls and uncovering the history of the building, which Willis, a developer, divided into eight units, keeping one for himself.

Photo by Kat Alves.

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