Mid-Century Mash-Up

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photos by:
January 16, 2009
Originally published in Homes With History
Although postwar California modernism is generally associated with Southern California, the Bay Area’s own tradition has begun in recent years to be more widely acknowledged, and its surviving treasures have gained an appreciative audience. San Francisco’s modernists were faced with the issue of building within a firmly established stylistic tradition—think bay windows and gingerbread. Henry Hill’s 1947 renovation of a 1908 Victorian tucked away on an alley in historic Russian Hill provides a remarkable response to the dilemma.
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  Farnham walks the couple’s Vizsla, Kasia, down the sloped alley upon which the 
house sits. Hill’s renovation maintains some Victorian character in the decorative eaves 
and scaling, but the home is largely an anomaly for San Francisco.
    Farnham walks the couple’s Vizsla, Kasia, down the sloped alley upon which the house sits. Hill’s renovation maintains some Victorian character in the decorative eaves and scaling, but the home is largely an anomaly for San Francisco.
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  The mahogany-paneled vestibule features gently angled stairs that rise to the living area, which boasts an impressive atrium.
    The mahogany-paneled vestibule features gently angled stairs that rise to the living area, which boasts an impressive atrium.
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  Farnham and Kasia sit in front of the home’s most impressive feature: an enclosed atrium overlooking the living area. In 2007, Dale Loughins outfitted the atrium with all manner of exotic epiphytes and an automated misting system.
    Farnham and Kasia sit in front of the home’s most impressive feature: an enclosed atrium overlooking the living area. In 2007, Dale Loughins outfitted the atrium with all manner of exotic epiphytes and an automated misting system.
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  In the dining area, Metropolitan side chairs by Jeffrey Bernett for B&B Italia surround a Surf Table designed by Carlo Colombo for Zanotta.
    In the dining area, Metropolitan side chairs by Jeffrey Bernett for B&B Italia surround a Surf Table designed by Carlo Colombo for Zanotta.
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  A 1972 ticket to the Munich Olympics, a vintage lacquer plate, and Eva Zeisel salt and pepper shakers for Nambe perch in front of the atrium which abuts the kitchen.
    A 1972 ticket to the Munich Olympics, a vintage lacquer plate, and Eva Zeisel salt and pepper shakers for Nambe perch in front of the atrium which abuts the kitchen.
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  The bank of translucent glass windows diffuses light evenly in the living room and contributes to the sensation that you have left the world behind. Eames chairs for Herman Miller are accompanied by Italian manufacturer U-vola’s unique speakers from Elite Audio Systems.
    The bank of translucent glass windows diffuses light evenly in the living room and contributes to the sensation that you have left the world behind. Eames chairs for Herman Miller are accompanied by Italian manufacturer U-vola’s unique speakers from Elite Audio Systems.
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  Tidy shelving provides perfect storage for Phaidon’s Art and Ideas series. Joseph Albers prints hang in the background.
    Tidy shelving provides perfect storage for Phaidon’s Art and Ideas series. Joseph Albers prints hang in the background.
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  Farnham installed Cat6 two-gigabit ethernet throughout the home, the epicenter of which is this herculean massing of hardware.
    Farnham installed Cat6 two-gigabit ethernet throughout the home, the epicenter of which is this herculean massing of hardware.
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  Hill included a hidden turntable and mono speaker cabinet in the original design.
    Hill included a hidden turntable and mono speaker cabinet in the original design.
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  Built-ins in the bedroom echo the cabinetry from the great room.
    Built-ins in the bedroom echo the cabinetry from the great room.
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  Rice surfs the net at the built-in desk.
    Rice surfs the net at the built-in desk.
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  Atlas shelving provides the framework for Farnham’s entertainment center. Almost 100 square feet of Patricia Urquiola’s Tufty-Time sofa for B&B Italia provides ample space to stretch out.
    Atlas shelving provides the framework for Farnham’s entertainment center. Almost 100 square feet of Patricia Urquiola’s Tufty-Time sofa for B&B Italia provides ample space to stretch out.
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  Atlas designed the wet bar to meld seamlessly with the modular shelving that encircles the kitchen.
    Atlas designed the wet bar to meld seamlessly with the modular shelving that encircles the kitchen.
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  The miniature backyard was landscaped and now accommodates a Viking grill, a custom picnic table and benches by Ohio Design, and a nook which buttresses the small garden.
    The miniature backyard was landscaped and now accommodates a Viking grill, a custom picnic table and benches by Ohio Design, and a nook which buttresses the small garden.
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