This Sculptural San Francisco Flat Is Anything But Cookie-Cutter

Haddock Studio preserves an apartment’s Victorian details while updating its interiors with custom furniture, an industrial kitchen, and a chiseled marble sink.
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Just a few years after getting married and settling down in Palm Springs, California, Keith Jordan and Aamer Mumtaz found themselves dreaming of the Bay Area. "We’re both urban people, and we wanted to live in a city again," Aamer says. "There’s just so much going on in San Francisco."

Returning to San Francisco, a city they knew and loved, Aamer Mumtaz and Keith Jordan decided to revamp an apartment they already owned in Lower Pacific Heights.

Returning to San Francisco, a city they knew and loved, Aamer Mumtaz and Keith Jordan decided to revamp an apartment they already owned in Lower Pacific Heights.

They’d each lived there in the past, and Keith still owned an apartment in an 1880s Victorian in Lower Pacific Heights, so they decided to return in early 2020. Perched on a corner lot, the building has a gray-and-white facade with classic detailing, tall windows, and a bright red front door. Inside, the living and dining areas have original molding and ceiling medallions with icing-like swirls, which Keith and Aamer love—but the 1,196-square-foot one-bedroom lacked key features.

In the living room, the black circle chairs are by Haddock Studio, the firm that did the redesign.

In the living room, the black circle chairs are by Haddock Studio, the firm that did the redesign.

Aamer’s paintings hang throughout the apartment, including over the refurbished marble fireplace. Haddock considered Keith and Aamer’s book collection and designed sleek floor-to-ceiling shelving.

Aamer’s paintings hang throughout the apartment, including over the refurbished marble fireplace. Haddock considered Keith and Aamer’s book collection and designed sleek floor-to-ceiling shelving.

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Since Keith, a mortgage banking professional, and Aamer, a digital healthcare entrepreneur, work remotely, they needed office space. Keith, who loves to cook, wanted a professional kitchen, and they also longed for a powder room for guests and additional storage space. A place for Aamer, an amateur artist, to paint would be a bonus.

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As they searched for an architect, a friend of a friend recommended Tommy Haddock—and the three clicked immediately. "Like us, he was eager to do interesting and offbeat things—nothing cookie-​cutter," Aamer says. "We hit it off."

"After our first Zoom meeting, Tommy came back with renderings that blew us away," Keith says. "He got what we were trying to do."

"After our first Zoom meeting, Tommy came back with renderings that blew us away," Keith says. "He got what we were trying to do."

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In the living room, Haddock refurbished the original marble fireplace surround and added a new steel insert. "I’d wrap this whole place in marble if I could," Keith says. The architect converted a closet in the dining area into a compact office sheathed in walnut, and he turned a hall closet into a powder room wrapped in cream-speckled vinyl.

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The dining room includes a 1980s Philippe Starck armchair. The trays, also by Haddock Studio, are part of a group of pieces made from old redwood boards found in the building’s basement.

The dining room includes a 1980s Philippe Starck armchair. The trays, also by Haddock Studio, are part of a group of pieces made from old redwood boards found in the building’s basement.

At the end of the hall, Haddock practically gutted the kitchen, removing the pantry and a large stone chimney to create more space and installing a semicircular granite tabletop and new cabinets with a forest-green stain that lets the wood grain show through. A massive, custom stainless-steel hood and appliances from Thermador, Bosch, and Zephyr give the room an industrial gleam.

The rugs in the living room and hallway were selected by Aamer in Pakistan and custom overdyed.

The rugs in the living room and hallway were selected by Aamer in Pakistan and custom overdyed.

"How do we make an art gallery? How do we make a chef’s kitchen? Those were two very important elements in the design."

—Tommy Haddock, architect

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The primary bathroom is Haddock’s favorite part of the redesign. "We did this big, chiseled sink that looks like sculpture," the architect says. There’s heated marble flooring and marble trim and gray ceramic wall tile. "It’s this calm little world that feels a bit like a cave," Haddock says.

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Keith is passionate about cooking, so architect Tommy Haddock designed an industrial-style kitchen to meet his needs.

Keith is passionate about cooking, so architect Tommy Haddock designed an industrial-style kitchen to meet his needs.

The home reflects who Keith and Aamer are and what they love. Aamer’s paintings hang on the walls, and rugs made in Afghanistan and custom dyed in Pakistan, where he grew up, lend warmth to the hall and living room. Keith, originally from Guyana, collects classic design pieces, including the Isamu Noguchi coffee table in the living room and the Philippe Starck dining set.

The sink in the tiled bathroom was hand-carved from a block of Carrara marble.

The sink in the tiled bathroom was hand-carved from a block of Carrara marble.

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"The goal was to make the apartment feel bigger without making it bigger," Haddock says. "We were frugal and careful and made everything fit," explains Aamer—and they did so while preserving the apartment’s Victorian details. "We’ve had a few dinner parties since the project finished," Keith says. "It’s great fun to have people over to just eat and chat—I think that’s what life’s all about."

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Laura Mauk
Laura Mauk writes about architecture and design for Dwell, Wallpaper*, the San Francisco Chronicle, Interiors and Luxe.

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