Modern residences are the norm in San Francisco. I’ve spent many years exploring the architecture of the city, in just about all of its neighborhoods, and you really don’t get tired of seeing such incredible designs. What you don’t often get to do is to see inside of the homes that you admire, so fortunately, we get to do so today.
This house was designed by Studio Vara, a San Francisco-based firm headed by Christopher Roach and Maura Fernández Abernethy. I think you’ll agree, this Noe Valley home is a great blend of open, livable space anchored by a beautiful staircase and that wonderful kitchen. Feast on the images and then check out the handmade picks inspired by this stunning home.
A research scientist with an eye for detail approached Studio VARA with a modest vision and a couple of basic practical needs: First, transform a 1908 Noe Valley cottage– with a history of subpar alterations – into a cohesive modern dwelling. Second, provide an enclosed garage in a neighborhood with tough parking. The result is a quiet house of 3500 sq. ft. with two distinct faces; one that provides privacy from urban street traffic, and another that opens up to expansive Bay views.
Traces of the original cottage are preserved in the massing and circulation of the final building. The grand stair marks the separation between public spaces to the south and private spaces to the north. The new garage is incorporated into the “public” massing, with guest suites both above and below. To the north, the open living area at the heart of the home expands past the folding window wall to the east-facing deck beyond, where one can bask in the panoramic views of the City and East Bay, or contemplate the juxtaposition of urban and natural in the garden below. Above this main space is the master suite, which takes advantage of even grander views through both framed openings and a lofty private deck.
From inside to outside, the architectural/engineering team provided full-services every step of the way, from initial concepts to final completion in 2013: City planning, building permits, and all phases of design and construction oversight, including architecture, interiors, furnishings, landscape, and lighting. The team consistently worked toward creating a calm and peaceful retreat, with a balance of restraint and supple details sure to be appreciated by a client with a discerning eye. The project’s success lies in the judicious use of these carefully executed “moments” –natural wood screening at the master bedroom window which reinterprets an existing invasive tree; a wall of custom cabinetry that unifies the kitchen and living room, clad in veneer hand-picked by the client; the dance of metal and glass on the main stair guardrail; the subtle palette of “warm” mixed with “cool” that recurs in both tone and materials: wood juxtaposed with glass, metal against stone.
Clockwise from top left: Concrete Handing Lamp [T3] by Gant Lights, Table Lamp in Oak by Habitables, Solid Oak Hayward Credenza by Hedge House, Concrete Chair by Concrete Project, 48″ Round Dining Table in Walnut, Maple & Steel by Stylo Design, Ceramic Espresso Cups by OneandMany, Set of 3 Porcelain and Cotton Rope Hanging Planters by Light and Ladder.
About the collection:
- Concrete Handing Lamp [T3] by Gant Lights: The triangulated hanging lamp [T3] is cast from gray concrete . It combines noble gold with rough concrete into a timeless and exceptional designer lamp . The high quality gilding the insides of them gives off a pleasant warm light. With an edge length of 21 x 21 x 17,5 cm, the lamp is both individually , as eye catcher but also about them in series over a dining table, a long table , a sideboard , a desk , a bar or anywhere in the room to set the scene. Due to its minimalist design and contrasting materials, concrete and gold, can be combined with any style of the designer lamp . The Handmade lampshade is supplied ready for installation with an E14 brass socket , strain relief , and 1.8 meters of black fabric cable , mounting hardware and black canopy.
- Table Lamp in Oak by Habitables: Solid iron tube. Solid brass tube. Oak wood finish in oil. Wire and lamp shade made of cotton. Color White: High resistance lacquer. Black: in solid galvanized iron pipe. Chrome: chrome tube of solid iron or zinc. Iron and brass
- Solid Oak Hayward Credenza by Hedge House: Call up your friends and break out the 50s barware—the Hayward is in the house! This classy credenza gives a nod to the mid century era, while retaining its modern elegance. Silky sleek lines and flush front, grooved pulls—it’s practically asking to be topped with your finest party offerings and shown off to your friends. Features include dovetailed drawers, an adjustable shelf behind each door and self-closing, smooth glide slides mounted under drawer boxes.
- Concrete Chair by Concrete Project: A modern concrete chair. A hand cast, engineering composite concrete shell sits upon a harmonious relationship of wood and steel. Clean lines, honest materials, contemporary design.
- 48″ Round Dining Table in Walnut, Maple & Steel by Stylo Design: This dining table is 4′-0″ (48″) in diameter and will comfortably accommodate up to 6 people. The top is made of solid walnut, and the legs are made of solid maple. Custom made steel struts tie the leg structure together, ensuring a very rigid and solid table. A durable, satin, waterproof finish offers the highest level of protection. Custom variations of this table are available, as it can be made as small as 42″ in diameter, or as large as 54″ in diameter. I accept custom requests to make this table in any choice of domestic or exotic hard or soft wood. The actual table in the picture has been sold, but I take requests to build a table that is just as beautiful. The estimated lead time from time of order to arrival at your residence is 4 to 6 weeks. This piece is shipped using a white glove service, and is brought right into the room where you would like to have it. No assembly is required.
- Ceramic Espresso Cups by OneandMany: Ceramic espresso cup in gray with glossy glaze. The cup has a unique and modern look. Makes a great gift for Christmas for coffee lovers. The cup is made in slip casting technique. Each cup is treated separately and burned to high temperature.
- Set of 3 Porcelain and Cotton Rope Hanging Planters by Light and Ladder: Add some vertical greenery to any wall in your home. The hanging ceramic planter hangs from twisted cotton rope. High fired porcelain creates a white smooth matte look. Curate your own organic installation, grow an herb garden on your kitchen wall or use to store small notions above your desk. Each ceramic container is handmade and a great way to add a little greenery to any room in your home. Ceramic planter measures 4.25″ high x 4″ wide. Total height with rope 13″ high.