written by:
August 24, 2009

In the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, what started off as a decorating job turned into a full-blown renovation for Nicole Hollis, founder of Nicole Hollis Interior Design. "When I walked inside, I knew it needed to be redone," she recalls. "The cabinets were made of plastic laminate that was peeling off, it was really small, and the rooms just didn't fit."

<p>Hollis designed the kitchen--which features a <a href="http://www.boffi.com/">Boffi</a> kitchen system and <a href="http://www.gaggenau.com">Gaggenau</a> appliances-- as three zones. The first centers around the stainless-steel-and-Zodiac-stone island,

Hollis designed the kitchen--which features a Boffi kitchen system and Gaggenau appliances-- as three zones. The first centers around the stainless-steel-and-Zodiac-stone island, which is topped by a custom beaded chandelier by South African company TeamTwo Design. This zone functions as a place for food preparation, cooking, serving, and socializing. The second zone is the clean-up area, and the third is the bar.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
1 / 10
<p>The wet bar at the end of the kitchen is equipped with a spout for filtered water, ice maker, wine fridge, and over-sink shelving--and is the happy-hour hotspot.</p>Photo by <a href="http://www.benmayorgaphoto.com">Ben Mayorga Photography</a>

The wet bar at the end of the kitchen is equipped with a spout for filtered water, ice maker, wine fridge, and over-sink shelving--and is the happy-hour hotspot.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
2 / 10
<p>The kitchen opens up to the dining room, where Hollis played with size and shape. She designed the solid French oak dining table and bench, which were fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural Design, and flanked the table with a Host and Host

The kitchen opens up to the dining room, where Hollis played with size and shape. She designed the solid French oak dining table and bench, which were fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural Design, and flanked the table with a Host and Hostess chair from Coup d'Etat San Francisco. She hung two Piet Boon-designed drum pendants over the table and placed a large mirror on the wall to extend the space so that the person sitting on the bench can see the living room fireplace in the reflection.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
3 / 10
Open gas fireplace.

The living room and dining room were originally separated by a central fireplace, which Hollis removed to create this great room. She installed a custom eight-foot-long open gas fireplace in the living room (equipped with sensors that automatically turn it off when someone gets too near to the flames).

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
4 / 10
<p>Hollis outfitted the living room with a sofa and lounge chairs from <a href="http://www.minotti.it">Minotti</a>, a coffee table from <a href="http://www.hollyhunt.com">Holly Hunt</a>, and custom built-in bookcases (see previous photo) by <a href="http:

Hollis outfitted the living room with a sofa and lounge chairs from Minotti, a coffee table from Holly Hunt, and custom built-in bookcases (see previous photo) by CHM.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
5 / 10
<p>At the end of the kitchen opposite the dining room is the family room. It looks back to the kitchen and acts as a breakfast nook on a day-to-day basis and provides an intimate area for smaller, more casual entertaining. Hollis used a black silk and woo

At the end of the kitchen opposite the dining room is the family room. It looks back to the kitchen and acts as a breakfast nook on a day-to-day basis and provides an intimate area for smaller, more casual entertaining. Hollis used a black silk and wool shag rug from ABC Carpet to pull together the Casa Milano sofa, and B&B Italia lounge chairs and ottoman.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
6 / 10
Modern San Francisco media room

The media room is all about relaxing, whether in the nine-foot-long, extra-deep sofa from Minotti or the lounge chair from B&B Italia.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
7 / 10
<p>The master suite was relocated from the upper level to the lower level to separate public and private spaces. Hollis designed the custom white-oak bed and suite headboard with built-in bedside tables (fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural

The master suite was relocated from the upper level to the lower level to separate public and private spaces. Hollis designed the custom white-oak bed and suite headboard with built-in bedside tables (fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural Design and upholstered by Kroll Furniture) and opened the room to the backyard garden to extend the space.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
8 / 10
<p>In the master bathroom, Hollis designed a custom floating oak vanity with two sinks, outfitted with <a href="http://www.boffi.com/">Boffi</a> fixtures.</p>Photo by <a href="http://www.benmayorgaphoto.com">Ben Mayorga Photography</a>

In the master bathroom, Hollis designed a custom floating oak vanity with two sinks, outfitted with Boffi fixtures.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
9 / 10
10 / 10
<p>Hollis designed the kitchen--which features a <a href="http://www.boffi.com/">Boffi</a> kitchen system and <a href="http://www.gaggenau.com">Gaggenau</a> appliances-- as three zones. The first centers around the stainless-steel-and-Zodiac-stone island,

Hollis designed the kitchen--which features a Boffi kitchen system and Gaggenau appliances-- as three zones. The first centers around the stainless-steel-and-Zodiac-stone island, which is topped by a custom beaded chandelier by South African company TeamTwo Design. This zone functions as a place for food preparation, cooking, serving, and socializing. The second zone is the clean-up area, and the third is the bar.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography
Project 
Pacific Heights Residence

The resident, a young banking professional, wanted his home to be a place to entertain friends, which was difficult with the existing layout of intertwined, oddly positioned private and public spaces. Hollis left the 1940s exterior intact but "blew up the upstairs to put in a new kitchen upstairs and move the master suite downstairs."

The renovated home, which is entered at a middle level with stairs going up and down, places the private spaces--the master suite, guest room, guest bathroom, workout room/office, steam room, and laundry room--on the lower level, and the public spaces--the kitchen, living room, dining room, family room, and media room, plus a bathroom--on the upper level.

Downstairs, Hollis situated the master bedroom next to the exterior patio with a large sliding door between the two in order to open up the space. The renovation also included adding structural steel supports so that the resident can build a third level in the future and move the master suite to the top floor. "He was really nervous about moving the bedroom to the lower level," Hollis says, "but because of that, we were able to put in an exhibition kitchen and now he's been able to have so many parties, though he worries that the neighbors won't approve a plan if he does ever want to build upward."

<p>The kitchen opens up to the dining room, where Hollis played with size and shape. She designed the solid French oak dining table and bench, which were fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural Design, and flanked the table with a Host and Host

The kitchen opens up to the dining room, where Hollis played with size and shape. She designed the solid French oak dining table and bench, which were fabricated by B Serota Furniture and Architectural Design, and flanked the table with a Host and Hostess chair from Coup d'Etat San Francisco. She hung two Piet Boon-designed drum pendants over the table and placed a large mirror on the wall to extend the space so that the person sitting on the bench can see the living room fireplace in the reflection.

Photo by Ben Mayorga Photography

The new upper level is a mix of large and intimate public spaces. The kitchen features a main cooking and entertaining area that flows to a built-in bar and out to the living and dining rooms, which work together as a great room. At the other end of the kitchen, there's a small family room for quiet conversation. The media room is connected to the living room with a door that closes for someone to enjoy a movie or read a book without disturbing anyone else in the house.

For the furnishings, the resident knew he wanted a modern aesthetic. "He kept presenting very European, minimal-design advertisements to me," Hollis remembers. "He was born in Japan, his parents are from England, and he was raised in California, but he has a very European sensibility. He knew he wanted something modern but had no idea how to get there." Click the "Slideshow" button at the top right-hand corner of this post to view more photos of the house and read about how Hollis outfitted his home.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Kogan designed a number of the built-in furnishings, including the headboard and cupboard in the master bedroom.The cupboard is deliberately reminiscent of a mid-century stereo speaker. The vintage lounge chairs are by Percival Lafer.
Need to relax? Make your bedroom an oasis from the rest of the house.
February 11, 2016
Modern Florida seaside home with corian island, dornbracht faucet, cees braakman combex chairs and marble knoll table in the kitchen
Read more about Knoll's impressive career here, but in the meantime, explore just a few of her works in these contemporary homes.
February 11, 2016
Modern small box home in Mexico
Letting the warm climate indoors is a common thread through these diverse dwellings.
February 11, 2016
Modern white cabinets under the stairs with skylight above
What could be better than a modest-sized house in a quaintly historic city?
February 11, 2016
dining room lighting
These renovations connect rustic, classic, and modern design in Italy.
February 10, 2016
12362509 211441865858796 1743381178 n1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 10, 2016
modern outdoor garden room plastic polycarbonate
From colorful living rooms to a backyard retreat, Belgian designers reimagine vernacular forms and materials for the modern world.
February 10, 2016
Tel Aviv kitchen with custom dining table and Smeg fridge
Would you go for an out-of-the-box palette for your major appliances? See how these kitchens tackle the trend.
February 10, 2016
Exhibition view, of Klaus Wittkugel works at P! gallery, New York
On view through February 21 at New York's P! gallery, a new show explores the politics of Cold War-era graphic design with a presentation of works by Klaus Wittkugel—East Germany's most prolific graphic designer. Curator Prem Krishnamurthy walks us through the highlights.
February 10, 2016
Reclaimed cedar and gray-stucco home outside San Francisco.
The new kid on the block in a predominantly Eichler neighborhood, this Menlo Park home breaks the mold and divides into three pavilions connected by breezeways.
February 10, 2016
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
From modern interiors hidden within historic structures to unabashedly modern dwellings, these seven renovations take totally different approaches to San Francisco's historic building stock.
February 10, 2016
Delphi sofa from Erik Jørgensen and gyrofocus fireplace in living room of Villa Le Trident in the French Riviera, renovated by 4a Architekten.
The Aegean's all-white architecture famously helped inspire Le Corbusier; these five dwellings continue in that proud modern tradition (though not all are as minimalist).
February 10, 2016
San Francisco dining room with chandelier and Eames shell chairs
Brooklyn-based RBW's work—from diminutive sconces to large floor lamps—shape these five interiors.
February 09, 2016
Glass-fronted converted garage in Washington
These garages go behind parking cars and storing your drum sets.
February 09, 2016
Modern Texas home office with sliding walls, behr black chalkboard paint, concrete walls, and white oak flooring
From appropriated nooks to glass-encased rooms, each of these modern offices works a unique angle.
February 09, 2016
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house
From chandeliers to pendants, these designs make the dining room the most entertaining space in the house.
February 09, 2016
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
February 09, 2016
Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016
Montigo gas-burning fireplace in spacious living room.
Built atop the foundation of a flood-damaged home, this 3,000-square-foot Maryland home features vibrant furniture placed in front of stunning views of a nearby estuary.
February 08, 2016
Studio addition in Seattle
An architect couple sets out to transform a run-down property.
February 08, 2016
West Elm coffee table, custom Joybird sofa, and matching Jens Risom chairs in living room of Westchester renovation by Khanna Shultz.
Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite fans and experts on Twitter to weigh in on trending topics in design.
February 08, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment living room vertical oak slats
For the modernists among us, these spare spaces are a dream come true.
February 08, 2016
The square fountain at the courtyard's center is a modern rendition of a very traditional feature in many Middle Eastern homes.
From a large gathering space for family or a tranquil sanctuary, these seven designs feature some very different takes on the ancient idea of a courtyard.
February 08, 2016
stdaluminum 021
Since windows and doors are such important aspects of your home, it’s always a good idea to take the time to evaluate how they fit within the lifestyle you want. Whether you’re in the middle of constructing a new home, or you’re considering replacing your current setup, there are multiple elements to consider when it comes time to make the final decisions. Milgard® Windows & Doors understands how vital these choices are to the well-being of your home and has developed ways to turn the process into a journey that can be just as enjoyable as it is fulfilling. Not sure where to start? We gathered some helpful insights from their team of experts to help us better understand what goes into the process of bringing your vision to life.
February 08, 2016
modern fire resistant green boulder loewen windows south facade triple planed low-e glass
These houses in Broncos Country prove modern design is alive in the Rocky Mountains.
February 08, 2016
french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016
senses taste products
Ambience is a key ingredient to any meal—materials, textures, and mood all impart a certain flavor.
February 07, 2016
senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016