Modern Space-Efficient Family Home in San Francisco

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photos by:
October 20, 2011
Originally published in Smaller & Smarter
as
Level Headed

To convert a musty mid-century house with a nonsensical floor plan into a modern and space-efficient family home, three intrepid designers played a bit of architectural Tetris.

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  Architect Christi Azevedo, along with homeowners Lorena Siminovich and Esteban Kerner, transformed this 1,485-square-foot, multilevel, mid-century maze into a modern and efficient family home in just three months. “It was the craziest frickin’ thing,” laughs Azevedo. “It was like a Tetris game, putting it all together, trying to squeak out space wherever we could.” Purchased as if straight out of 1955, the home is now the ideal small space for Siminovich and Kerner to raise their young daughter, Matilda.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    Architect Christi Azevedo, along with homeowners Lorena Siminovich and Esteban Kerner, transformed this 1,485-square-foot, multilevel, mid-century maze into a modern and efficient family home in just three months. “It was the craziest frickin’ thing,” laughs Azevedo. “It was like a Tetris game, putting it all together, trying to squeak out space wherever we could.” Purchased as if straight out of 1955, the home is now the ideal small space for Siminovich and Kerner to raise their young daughter, Matilda. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  The exposed wooden rafters and grid of windows in the living room are original to the house.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    The exposed wooden rafters and grid of windows in the living room are original to the house. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  The couch and dining room table are from Room & Board; the Patrick Townsend Orbit Chandelier is from Velocity Art and Design.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    The couch and dining room table are from Room & Board; the Patrick Townsend Orbit Chandelier is from Velocity Art and Design. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  In the kitchen, artist Riley McFerrin installed custom floating shelves.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    In the kitchen, artist Riley McFerrin installed custom floating shelves. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  A wall-mounted oak bar is where Siminovich and Kerner drop their keys, pound away on their laptops, and occasionally eat a quick meal with Matilda, their two-year-old daughter.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    A wall-mounted oak bar is where Siminovich and Kerner drop their keys, pound away on their laptops, and occasionally eat a quick meal with Matilda, their two-year-old daughter. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  Custom cabinetry isn’t cheap, but squeezing every usable inch out of a small space is often worth the expense. Norodd Wellman optimized Matilda’s room by building a cabinet around pipes; soon, he’ll transform a hollow, under-the-stairwell storage area into a sliding shoe drawer. “Custom cabinetry can be a fairly affordable way to add interest, maximize storage, and upgrade your space,” advises Azevedo. 
noroddwoodworks.com
    Custom cabinetry isn’t cheap, but squeezing every usable inch out of a small space is often worth the expense. Norodd Wellman optimized Matilda’s room by building a cabinet around pipes; soon, he’ll transform a hollow, under-the-stairwell storage area into a sliding shoe drawer. “Custom cabinetry can be a fairly affordable way to add interest, maximize storage, and upgrade your space,” advises Azevedo.

    noroddwoodworks.com

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    Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  What was once a storage space is now a sun-drenched home office where the couple writes emails and stores their design magazines. The jute rug is from West Elm; the desk is a door on Ikea legs.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    What was once a storage space is now a sun-drenched home office where the couple writes emails and stores their design magazines. The jute rug is from West Elm; the desk is a door on Ikea legs. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  The ultra-organized Kerner has lots of sneakers—not to mention all those perfectly folded hoodies. To accommodate the couple’s clothes without adding clutter to their 130-square-foot bedroom, Azevedo carved out a 17-foot-long closet along the wall facing the bed. She built rolling wooden doors, and Kerner and Siminovich ordered custom shelving from EasyClosets. Total cost: $900. “They’re the cheapest way to go,” says Kerner. 
easyclosets.com  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    The ultra-organized Kerner has lots of sneakers—not to mention all those perfectly folded hoodies. To accommodate the couple’s clothes without adding clutter to their 130-square-foot bedroom, Azevedo carved out a 17-foot-long closet along the wall facing the bed. She built rolling wooden doors, and Kerner and Siminovich ordered custom shelving from EasyClosets. Total cost: $900. “They’re the cheapest way to go,” says Kerner.

    easyclosets.com

    Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  Though only two feet deep, the Ikea cabinet Azevedo bought for the guest bath didn’t quite fit, so she sliced off eight inches with a table saw. “It might be unorthodox, but it was just easier, faster, and cheaper to do it myself,” says the former furniture designer.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    Though only two feet deep, the Ikea cabinet Azevedo bought for the guest bath didn’t quite fit, so she sliced off eight inches with a table saw. “It might be unorthodox, but it was just easier, faster, and cheaper to do it myself,” says the former furniture designer. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  Designing two narrow bathrooms–one with an encroaching concrete retaining wall—required major creativity. A wall-mounted Duravit Starck toilet was a big space saver, as was the four-foot-long Kohler soaking tub, a foot shorter than the standard size. 
duravit.com
kohler.com
ikea.com  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    Designing two narrow bathrooms–one with an encroaching concrete retaining wall—required major creativity. A wall-mounted Duravit Starck toilet was a big space saver, as was the four-foot-long Kohler soaking tub, a foot shorter than the standard size.

    duravit.com

    kohler.com

    ikea.com

    Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  A pair of deck chairs from the Conran Shop brighten up a deck designed and built by Mark Congdon Landscape. Visible through the window are a Praying Mantis floor lamp from White Furniture and a fiberglass rocking chair from Modernica.  Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
    A pair of deck chairs from the Conran Shop brighten up a deck designed and built by Mark Congdon Landscape. Visible through the window are a Praying Mantis floor lamp from White Furniture and a fiberglass rocking chair from Modernica. Courtesy of ©2011 DANIEL HENNESSY PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC.
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  The Clipper Street home's plan.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    The Clipper Street home's plan.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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