Older homes often feature beautiful architectural details; however, they also contain the less desirable broken-up floor plans, which wasn’t ideal for this young San Francisco family. They sought to expand their classic one bedroom Edwardian to a three bedroom, two bathroom family home. The main living area was a series of smaller rooms, so part of this remodel included updating and reconfiguring their cramped, outdated kitchen and dining area along with their main floor powder room.
So they decided to enlist the talents of interior designer Katie Raffetto to help with this major renovation. And the end result? A bright and open, modern space that flows seamlessly through to their backyard.
“They had recently embarked on a second remodeling project to remove additional walls and open up the main living area to create a better layout for all to enjoy – but they needed help with the design details and that’s where we came in”, says Katie. “They wanted to create a beautiful space that they felt happy to be in, but also one that was functional, maximized storage, had a place for everything and was more suitable for their growing family.”
Now, as you enter the home, not only can you can see all the way through from the front door to the backyard, but there is a wonderful new hub for the family to spend time in, with a large kitchen and dining space that opens directly to the outdoors and an updated powder room that better suits their modern family. Katie Raffetto
“Our goal was to enhance this space and make it family-friendly while respecting its Edwardian architecture of the late 1800s. We went for classic and durable materials with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and interesting design details. For example, we chose classic white shaker cabinets, polished nickel hardware, and Heath Ceramics tiles for the kitchen backsplash, and then paired these choices with more contemporary lighting from Jonathan Browning, Roll & Hill and Apparatus to bring a modern touch to the space.”
Le Pentagone Light by Jonathan Browning | Folding door by La Cantina
“In the dining area we brought the upper cabinets down to the counters and added glass fronts, making it seem more like a traditional hutch, while the concrete style counter tops add contemporary clean lines throughout. The large accordian style folding doors extend the space beyond the house and allow for the type of indoor-outdoor living that modern families in California love.”
What is your design philosophy and how does it apply to this project?
“I love the design process with each client – getting to know them, how they want to use the space, what makes them happy, and then interpreting that into a beautiful space for them to enjoy every day. This project was perfect for that process. The client had lived in the home for a few years and had two children before starting the remodel, which gave them clear goals for the space. I had also lived in the same neighborhood in the same style of house and had similarly aged kids, which gave me a unique understanding of their goals. I worked closely with them to ensure every goal was met, and that the space functioned well as a place for them to gather and enjoy.”
Hanging Shelves by Godar Furniture
Were there any challenges during the design/building process and how did you overcome them?
“These older homes in San Francisco tend to have narrow lots, which limited us on the width of the kitchen forcing almost all the cabinetry onto one wall. To avoid an overbearing wall of cabinets, we made several material and design changes in the kitchen. For example, we wanted to create more of a ‘furniture feel’ to the dining room cabinetry so we bumped out the counter tops under the two glass front cabinets to accomplish this goal. We opted for open walnut shelving in the kitchen area and hung this from the ceiling, and then continued the tile backsplash all the way up the wall.”
Easton Pot Filler with Henry Cross Handle from Waterworks | Diamond Backsplash Tile from Heath Ceramics
This client was very collaborative while designing how their new space would function, but when it came to material selections and style, they really trusted my aesthetic. We had regular meetings and used Pinterest as a tool for communicating ideas that we both loved. The custom cabinet design in the kitchen was one of the most important elements in the overall design – we had numerous meetings with the client and cabinet makers to work through all the details here.
Endless Straight Light by Roll & Hill | Henry Faucet from Waterworks | Cabinetry from Sterling Woodcraft
“We also collaborated extensively on the details of how the space would be used on a day-to-day basis. The clients wanted to have a place for everything to be stored and easily tidied up as they knew this area would also be their primary room for entertaining. We worked with Neat Method to create a custom pantry wall to keep the family organized, and added a hidden recycling station, broom closet and a pull-out tool cabinet as well.
“We also designed counter height appliance cabinets to allow easy access to items they’d use every day, and we extended the countertop all the way through this area for easy clean up. We even added a hidden espresso cabinet in the corner so that not an inch of space was wasted! The owners love how all of the elements came together to create a home that is so family-friendly, while still being beautiful enough for entertaining and special occasions.”
Concrete Sink by Bohemian Stoneworks | Vanity by Sterling Woodcraft | Faucet: Tara by Dornbracht | Wall tile: Walker Zanger 6th Ave
“The other major design challenge in this project was in the downstairs powder room. It was a tiny space and we were incredibly challenged to create a functional powder room for family and guests to use. For example, the door placement did not allow enough room for a standard sized sink – something problematic with small kids whose hands need frequent washing! We overcame this challenge by having a custom concrete sink designed that was larger in the center, but with narrower sides that would not obstruct the tiny doorway. We also used wall-mounted faucets to further save on counter space. Another trick we used was to run our backsplash tiles all the way up to the ceiling to emphasize the room’s height. We added a tall, narrow mirror to further draw the eye upwards. Colors were kept light and bright with just a pop of deep blue on the vanity. An asymmetrically hung pendant by Apparatus Lighting completed this modern update.”
With the new design, they are now enjoying every inch of their home on a daily basis. Katie Raffetto