Wood-Paneled Interior in a San Francisco Victorian

By Lydia Lee / Published by Dwell
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The recent history of Janna Stark's San Francisco flat, located in an 1890's Victorian house, is literally burned into the wall.

After the interior of the house was completely gutted by a fire in 2006, Stark decided to modernize it—but she wanted to retain an element of the past as well. "I was looking for some way to keep the memory of the fire intact and not just forget about what happened at this pivotal moment in my life," says Stark, a trend consultant.

Local architects Hulett Jones and Paul Haydu of jones | haydu sliced some of the house's charred framing into strips, revealing the intricate patterning of the old-growth beams. Used for interior paneling, the wood—with its burned edges—brings an unexpected texture to the newly streamlined open space. "And the exterior walls have been upgraded to their proper fire rating," notes Jones.

Janna Stark House - Charred Studs

Lydia Lee


Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lydia Lee is a writer and editor specializing in architecture and design, with a particular interest in sustainability. Currently, she is an editor at the California edition of The Architect’s Newspaper. Her writing has also appeared in Metropolis, the New York Times T Magazine, Dwell, Eco-Structure, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. Lee has also been on staff at California Home+Design, Salon.com, The Industry Standard, and NewMedia. She got her start as a technology reporter, and once got to interview Claudia Schiffer about her custom pink Palm. At home, one of her favorite possessions is a Milo Baughman recliner that she rescued from the sidewalk.

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