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September 22, 2009

It's rare that in a resident-architect collaboration, the resident picks the more dramatic design scheme than the architect. But the homeowners of this recently renovated San Francisco Victorian, originally built in the early 1900s, "were pretty adventurous," says architect Bassel Samaha, of Samaha + Hart Architecture, the firm he runs with his wife, Heather Hart.

In 2006, when couple Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg hired Bassel Samaha and Heather Hart, of <a href="http://samaha-hart.com/">Samaha + Hart Architecture</a>, they came to the husband-wife design team with big plans. The couple wanted to keep the existi
In 2006, when couple Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg hired Bassel Samaha and Heather Hart, of Samaha + Hart Architecture, they came to the husband-wife design team with big plans. The couple wanted to keep the existing facade as well as the two rooms that flanked the front door true to their early-1900s design, but completely renovate the rest in a modern style. "They were pretty adventurous," Samaha recalls. "They wanted what was new to be really different."Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
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Like their request, the design the couple chose, the more dramatic of those proposed by Samaha and Hart, called for a complete renovation of the home, save the two front rooms and front facade. "The house has a split personality," Samaha says. "We kept th
Like their request, the design the couple chose, the more dramatic of those proposed by Samaha and Hart, called for a complete renovation of the home, save the two front rooms and front facade. "The house has a split personality," Samaha says. "We kept the front the same, but tried to make it look even better than before, then opened up the rest of the house and brought in a lot of light."Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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One of the goals of the renovation was to open up the space to the surroundings. "The old master suite was totally bizarre with its back to the view," Samaha recalls. The bathroom, then located where the master bedroom's wall of windows is now, had but a
One of the goals of the renovation was to open up the space to the surroundings. "The old master suite was totally bizarre with its back to the view," Samaha recalls. The bathroom, then located where the master bedroom's wall of windows is now, had but a tiny opening to the outside. Samaha and Hart flipped the placement of the bathroom and bedroom and installed a corner glass window in the latter.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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Back in the master bedroom, the designers installed Tolomeo wall sconces by <a href="http://www.artemide.us/">Artemide</a> next to the bed and placed a bench next to the door made by Hart's uncle, Peter Czuk of <a href="http://www.czukstudio.com/">Czuk St
Back in the master bedroom, the designers installed Tolomeo wall sconces by Artemide next to the bed and placed a bench next to the door made by Hart's uncle, Peter Czuk of Czuk Studio. The bedroom door, which is rarely closed, is the starting point for the continuous flow of movement and light from the top of the house to the main level and down to the bottom floor.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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Samaha and Hart wanted to bring in as much light as possible and therefore created an operable skylight above the stairwell, which also provides natural ventilation. The view here is that from the master bedroom.<br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://www.sh
Samaha and Hart wanted to bring in as much light as possible and therefore created an operable skylight above the stairwell, which also provides natural ventilation. The view here is that from the master bedroom.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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The view of the stairs from the dining room on the main floor highlights the stairwell's function as a lightwell. Samaha and Hart chose one-inch-thick Ecorsein by <a href="http://www.3-form.com/">3Form</a> for the treads and risers, as it was the most tra
The view of the stairs from the dining room on the main floor highlights the stairwell's function as a lightwell. Samaha and Hart chose one-inch-thick Ecorsein by 3Form for the treads and risers, as it was the most transparent, scuff-resistent finish they could find. For the handrails, they used painted steel; for the center panel, a mix of acrylic and steel.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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Before the renovation, the house was composed of dark, discreet rooms that lacked connection to one another or the exterior. The view here is from the front door toward the back of the house.<br /><br />Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
Before the renovation, the house was composed of dark, discreet rooms that lacked connection to one another or the exterior. The view here is from the front door toward the back of the house.Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
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The first floor, post-renovation, offers open spaces that are full of light. This photo was taken from the same place from where the previous image was captured.<br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://www.sharonrisedorph.com">Sharon Risedorph</a>
The first floor, post-renovation, offers open spaces that are full of light. This photo was taken from the same place from where the previous image was captured.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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Before the renovation, the dining room led into the kitchen, which was the only way to get to the stairs up to the top floor. "It was crazy," Samaha says. He and Hart opened the main floor into a great room that combines the living room, where the kitchen
Before the renovation, the dining room led into the kitchen, which was the only way to get to the stairs up to the top floor. "It was crazy," Samaha says. He and Hart opened the main floor into a great room that combines the living room, where the kitchen used to be (pictured here in this "before" short), and a new kitchen with an island parallel to the living room.Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
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Grist and Goldberg wanted an open kitchen so their guests could gather around a beautiful space without feeling cramped in a tiny room. Goldberg instantly fell in love with an <a href="http://www.annsacks.com/home.html">Ann Sacks</a> glass tile backsplash
Grist and Goldberg wanted an open kitchen so their guests could gather around a beautiful space without feeling cramped in a tiny room. Goldberg instantly fell in love with an Ann Sacks glass tile backsplash that Samaha and Hart showed the couple during the design process, but she wasn't willing to spend $100 per square foot on the product. Instead, Goldberg had their contractor make three panels of cement board that would fit in the backsplash space and she and a friend spent their evenings gluing on glass tiles that she purchased online. When they finished, the contractor came back, installed the panels, and Goldberg filled in the gaps. Outside, chairs from Ikea and an Inox table from DWR provide a space to sit on the deck.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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The living room, opposite the kitchen, provides a lounge area outfitted with a Womb chair and ottoman and Tulip coffee table by Eero Saarinen for <a href="http://www.knoll.com">Knoll</a> and a Delano sectional sofa by <a href="http://www.spheredesignsfurn
The living room, opposite the kitchen, provides a lounge area outfitted with a Womb chair and ottoman and Tulip coffee table by Eero Saarinen for Knoll and a Delano sectional sofa by Sphere Designs.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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The main-level bathroom is finished quite similarly to that of the master suite: an Arcitec sink and Stark 2 toilet by <a href="http://www.duravit.com/">Duravit</a>, a crystal sconce by <a href="http://www.eurofase.com">Eurofase</a>, and tiles by <a href=
The main-level bathroom is finished quite similarly to that of the master suite: an Arcitec sink and Stark 2 toilet by Duravit, a crystal sconce by Eurofase, and tiles by Bisazza.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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Before the renovation, the bottom floor consisted of dark, unfinished rooms. To brighten the space and create an extension of the public areas above, Samaha and Hart extended the stairwell to the bottom floor and created a cantilevered deck to eliminate b
Before the renovation, the bottom floor consisted of dark, unfinished rooms. To brighten the space and create an extension of the public areas above, Samaha and Hart extended the stairwell to the bottom floor and created a cantilevered deck to eliminate barriers that would obstruct light from infiltrating the space.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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The game room extends outside to the backyard but inside, Girst, Goldberg, and their guests lounge on the couple's Florence Knoll sofa from <a href="http://www.knoll.com">Knoll</a> and a Jens Risom chair.<br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://www.sharonrise
The game room extends outside to the backyard but inside, Girst, Goldberg, and their guests lounge on the couple's Florence Knoll sofa from Knoll and a Jens Risom chair.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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Though the renovations inside were dramatic, the change to the south-facing facade is where the remodel really shines. This image was taken before the renovation.<br /><br />Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
Though the renovations inside were dramatic, the change to the south-facing facade is where the remodel really shines. This image was taken before the renovation.Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
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Post-renovation, the back of the house now opens up for the couple to take in the surrounding views--though the updated home itself is pretty picturesque.<br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://www.sharonrisedorph.com">Sharon Risedorph</a>
Post-renovation, the back of the house now opens up for the couple to take in the surrounding views--though the updated home itself is pretty picturesque.Photo by Sharon Risedorph
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In 2006, when couple Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg hired Bassel Samaha and Heather Hart, of <a href="http://samaha-hart.com/">Samaha + Hart Architecture</a>, they came to the husband-wife design team with big plans. The couple wanted to keep the existi
In 2006, when couple Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg hired Bassel Samaha and Heather Hart, of Samaha + Hart Architecture, they came to the husband-wife design team with big plans. The couple wanted to keep the existing facade as well as the two rooms that flanked the front door true to their early-1900s design, but completely renovate the rest in a modern style. "They were pretty adventurous," Samaha recalls. "They wanted what was new to be really different."Photo courtesy of Samaha + Hart Architecture
Project 
Grist Goldberg Residence

Husband-wife team Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg purchased the house in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood in 2004. Two years later, they approached Samaha and Hart with an ambitious idea: to keep the facade and two rooms inside that flanked the front door true to their early-1900s design but completely renovate the rest. The goal: to create a modern space that would take advantage of the views and enhance opportunities to gather guests at their home. "They wanted what was new to be really different," Samaha says.

Check out this slideshow of the home and the story of the design changes.

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