It takes a strong vision to see the potential swan in an ugly duckling fixer-upper. It then requires incredible skill to bring that swan to life, especially when it includes gutting the house down to the studs, doubling the square footage and modernizing floor plans.
These major-scale renovations can be intimidating for even a seasoned veteran, but Designer Beth Daecher of bd home design + interiors saw the potential beauty in this house that hadn’t been updated since the 1940s. What the house had going for it was its location in San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood on the border of Noe Valley, a family-friendly neighborhood full of beautiful California Craftsman homes. The neighborhood features great parks and public transportation and is the perfect choice for families that commute to Silicon Valley.
“When I purchased this house, it was known as the ‘Pink Princess’ and had a pink facade with a crown on top that was not original to the home,” says Beth. “It was definitely a fixer-upper but it had the potential to be expanded into a good sized family home. The home had not been renovated since the 1940s—the kitchen featured laminate and formica and the bathrooms had very dated tile. The project had a lot of potential to come back to an old house on the outside but a new house on the inside.
“There were many challenges for this remodel! The first was working with the architect to come up with a cohesive expansion from 1,500 square feet to 3,400 square feet. Since the house was a complete gut renovation, while we weren’t able to retain anything from the original house – except a beautiful stained glass window – we wanted to retain the spirit of the house while fitting in with the neighboring houses.”
The home’s contemporary aesthetic is immediately apparent in the entry which is located on the middle floor of the three story house. Wide plank oak flooring from Sweden and unique, sometimes handmade lighting are used throughout the home to enhance the modern tone.
Pendant light: Worlds Away Emilio G pendant
Light: Arteriors Home Niles Pendant
Dark gray doors and neutral walls create a modern palette, while bold artwork adds drama to the ‘formal’ dining space.
“My favorite space is the open plan kitchen/family room which incorporates many of my favorite design features: kitchen island for casual grazing and/or socializing, a built-in bench for causal dining close to the kitchen and family room, a seating area around a cozy fireplace, and lastly a desk in the middle of the action for mom to use while kids play or for kids to use for homework. ”
The wide doors which open fully to an ample deck flood the great room with light and create an indoor / outdoor living space.
island countertop: Da Vinci Marble Calacata oro honed | backsplash: Walker Zanger Tangent mosaic calacata honed
“When it came to the finishes, I really wanted to differentiate this home from other remodels and put a design spin on it. I invested in luxury elements such as Waterworks fixtures and satin brass finishes in the kitchen. The cabinets in the kitchen and the family room are custom that I designed in quarter sawn walnut cabinetry.”
wallpaper: CASAMANCE ABSTRACT GÔNIA NOIR
The geometric, moody wallpaper in the powder room is beautifully accented with brass finishes.
light fixture: 7 Gods Lighting George pendant in walnut
This show-stopping chandelier required a simple backdrop which Beth created with a clean, modern staircase highlighted by airy metal spindles.
“Eleven skylights bring in ample light to all three levels of the home.”
Pendant light: RH Teen Camille customized by hand gilding interior of shade in gold by Caroline Lizarraga
On the top floor, the master suite is an elegant, serene retreat featuring a cozy seating area and gorgeous fireplace.
“I collaborated with decorative artist Caroline Lizarraga to create custom designs on the fireplace surrounds (hand-stenciled art on plaster finish).”
Perhaps the most amazing transformations in the home are the bathrooms. The stunning master bath is highlighted by unique lighting fixtures like the Arteriors Home Bilbao Fishtail pendant lights over the vanity and the central Newlyn Cadiz pendant fixture by Horchow. Walker Zanger Siena Silver light-honed tile surrounding the bathtub completes the refined space.
Even the guest bedrooms are carefully curated for comfort, featuring tufted headboards, beautiful artwork and elegant lighting.
A second family room on the ground floor is the perfect space for relaxing with comfortable seating, a dining space and access to the back yard.
“With accordion doors or sliding doors on every level in the back of the house, we were able to bring in both light and air – de rigeur for California indoor / outdoor living.”
Beth’s vision transformed a tired, outdated house into a beautiful, comfortable family home. Sanctuary Seekers – do you have your own ugly duckling-to-swan story to share?