If there were a theme song for architect Christi Azevedo’s rehabilitation of the crumbling 1885 abode she purchased in San Francisco’s Mission District, it would have to be “Love the One You’re With.” Instead of an extreme makeover, the self-described modernist undertook a thoughtful refurbishment—–preserving trim, 

retaining the layout, making furniture from framing lumber excavated from the site, and fabricating new elements as needed. Musing on the Victorian hybrid that she shares with her partner, Katherine Catlos, Azevedo notes, “I think the world will look more and more like Blade Runner, where you have an old Chevy Nova as well as some crazy thing flying through the air. There’s room for both.”
If there were a theme song for architect Christi Azevedo’s rehabilitation of the crumbling 1885 abode she purchased in San Francisco’s Mission District, it would have to be “Love the One You’re With.” Instead of an extreme makeover, the self-described modernist undertook a thoughtful refurbishment—–preserving trim, retaining the layout, making furniture from framing lumber excavated from the site, and fabricating new elements as needed. Musing on the Victorian hybrid that she shares with her partner, Katherine Catlos, Azevedo notes, “I think the world will look more and more like Blade Runner, where you have an old Chevy Nova as well as some crazy thing flying through the air. There’s room for both.”
With a presence in three centuries, Christi Azevedo’s Victorian survived the 1906 San Francisco quake and served as a laundry before its rebirth as a well-lit hybrid of old and new. Photos by: Dave Lauridsen
With a presence in three centuries, Christi Azevedo’s Victorian survived the 1906 San Francisco quake and served as a laundry before its rebirth as a well-lit hybrid of old and new. Photos by: Dave Lauridsen
San Francisco architect Christi Azevedo built her kitchen very affordably, thanks to a sanded acrylic sheet used as a countertop, flooring made of cheap HardiPanel exterior siding (just $1 per square foot), Ikea pendant lights, and a reconditioned vintage stove snagged on Craigslist for $15. Azevedo put her metalworking skills to good use creating the open shelving out of hot-rolled steel. A rolling ladder ensures access to the highest shelves. Tour the entire house here.
San Francisco architect Christi Azevedo built her kitchen very affordably, thanks to a sanded acrylic sheet used as a countertop, flooring made of cheap HardiPanel exterior siding (just $1 per square foot), Ikea pendant lights, and a reconditioned vintage stove snagged on Craigslist for $15. Azevedo put her metalworking skills to good use creating the open shelving out of hot-rolled steel. A rolling ladder ensures access to the highest shelves. Tour the entire house here.
Azevedo made the platform bed and side table in her master bedroom, and bartered furniture for the mural by artist friend Mike Stern.
Azevedo made the platform bed and side table in her master bedroom, and bartered furniture for the mural by artist friend Mike Stern.
Sparky the wirehaired fox terrier takes a load off in front of one of the cherry-ply cabinets with sanded acrylic doors that Azevedo built for the kitchen.
Sparky the wirehaired fox terrier takes a load off in front of one of the cherry-ply cabinets with sanded acrylic doors that Azevedo built for the kitchen.
The media room, which formerly housed domestic help, is illuminated by a George Nelson Saucer lamp. Azevedo designed and built the cabinetry and the daybed and couch.
The media room, which formerly housed domestic help, is illuminated by a George Nelson Saucer lamp. Azevedo designed and built the cabinetry and the daybed and couch.
Now rented out as an office/retail space, the downstairs contains a kitchen, which is fitted with Ikea lamps and steel shelving by Azevedo. For the flooring she glued down fiber-cement HardiePanel siding more commonly used for building walls, both because of its resemblance to concrete and its price of one dollar per square foot.
Now rented out as an office/retail space, the downstairs contains a kitchen, which is fitted with Ikea lamps and steel shelving by Azevedo. For the flooring she glued down fiber-cement HardiePanel siding more commonly used for building walls, both because of its resemblance to concrete and its price of one dollar per square foot.
Azevedo installed her home’s new kitchen where the laundry porch used to be, but retained a sense of the former openness with a wall of south-facing windows. “Anywhere else this might have been crazy,” she says, basking in the culinary warmth, “but in San Francisco, it’s really quite nice—–even in summer!”
Azevedo installed her home’s new kitchen where the laundry porch used to be, but retained a sense of the former openness with a wall of south-facing windows. “Anywhere else this might have been crazy,” she says, basking in the culinary warmth, “but in San Francisco, it’s really quite nice—–even in summer!”
Azevedo shoehorned a small bathroom next to the kitchen, under the dormer. The etched translucent glass lets light into the main living area and serves as one side of the shower. Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
Azevedo shoehorned a small bathroom next to the kitchen, under the dormer. The etched translucent glass lets light into the main living area and serves as one side of the shower. Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
In 2008, when Azevedo arrived on the scene, the carriage house "was a shell with a holy roof, no gutters, and a partly rotted floor. The house was pretty leaky but because there was no insulation or plaster all the water just kind of ran through." Beneath all the peeling paint, the 7/8-inch redwood shiplap siding was actually in pretty good shape.
In 2008, when Azevedo arrived on the scene, the carriage house "was a shell with a holy roof, no gutters, and a partly rotted floor. The house was pretty leaky but because there was no insulation or plaster all the water just kind of ran through." Beneath all the peeling paint, the 7/8-inch redwood shiplap siding was actually in pretty good shape.
Defauw stands at the front door to his humble abode, accessible via a flight of galvanized steel stairs that Azevedo fabricated. The redwood treads are recycled, snagged from another staircase on the property.
Defauw stands at the front door to his humble abode, accessible via a flight of galvanized steel stairs that Azevedo fabricated. The redwood treads are recycled, snagged from another staircase on the property.
The bathroom was a "total scavenger project," says Azevedo. The flooring is a scrap of linoleum left over from another project, and the wall is clad in colorful strips of tongue-and-groove wood salvaged from the basement of the main house. "But we didn't cheap out: the toilet is a dual-flush Toto Aquia." Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
The bathroom was a "total scavenger project," says Azevedo. The flooring is a scrap of linoleum left over from another project, and the wall is clad in colorful strips of tongue-and-groove wood salvaged from the basement of the main house. "But we didn't cheap out: the toilet is a dual-flush Toto Aquia." Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
With two sides made of etched glass, the shower enclosure is "a cool green lantern when lit from within," says Azevedo. The recessed stainless steel shower pan is a custom design made by a Bay Area fabrication shop that's no longer in business. Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
With two sides made of etched glass, the shower enclosure is "a cool green lantern when lit from within," says Azevedo. The recessed stainless steel shower pan is a custom design made by a Bay Area fabrication shop that's no longer in business. Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
Club NOX in Recife, where two rivers meet the Atlantic in Brazil. Dominated by planes of changing, pulsating light both outside and in, the club was designed by Juliano Dubeux, João Domingos Azevedo and Lívia da Costa Brandão of Metro Arquitectos and José Rafael Souto Maior de Brito.
Club NOX in Recife, where two rivers meet the Atlantic in Brazil. Dominated by planes of changing, pulsating light both outside and in, the club was designed by Juliano Dubeux, João Domingos Azevedo and Lívia da Costa Brandão of Metro Arquitectos and José Rafael Souto Maior de Brito.
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.
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.
Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante, tech industry veterans from Silicon Valley, called on architect Christi Azevedo to rebrand a fusty house in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, starting with the street view. Cedar boards, charred using the Japanese technique shou sugi ban, replaced plywood siding.
Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante, tech industry veterans from Silicon Valley, called on architect Christi Azevedo to rebrand a fusty house in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, starting with the street view. Cedar boards, charred using the Japanese technique shou sugi ban, replaced plywood siding.
Christi Johnson
Christi Johnson
Tasked with transforming a 93-square-foot brick boiler room into a guesthouse, architect and metalworker Christi Azevedo flexed her creative muscle. The architect spent a year and a half designing and fabricating nearly everything in the structure save for the original brick walls. "I treated the interior like a custom piece of furniture," she says.
Tasked with transforming a 93-square-foot brick boiler room into a guesthouse, architect and metalworker Christi Azevedo flexed her creative muscle. The architect spent a year and a half designing and fabricating nearly everything in the structure save for the original brick walls. "I treated the interior like a custom piece of furniture," she says.
An enclosed courtyard, bordred by ipe, is arguably the most distinctive feature of the house that the Phil Kean Design Group created for Adriana De Azevedo, Daniel Coelho, and their two daughters in Winter Park, Florida.
An enclosed courtyard, bordred by ipe, is arguably the most distinctive feature of the house that the Phil Kean Design Group created for Adriana De Azevedo, Daniel Coelho, and their two daughters in Winter Park, Florida.
Azevedo left the staircase mostly untouched, a rare exception in her to-the-studs renovation. From the gray leather Roche Bobois sofa, one can take in a view of the surrounding city via a television wired to a rooftop camera. The control center for the home’s automation systems is concealed inside a nearby cabinet.
Azevedo left the staircase mostly untouched, a rare exception in her to-the-studs renovation. From the gray leather Roche Bobois sofa, one can take in a view of the surrounding city via a television wired to a rooftop camera. The control center for the home’s automation systems is concealed inside a nearby cabinet.
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.
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.
Christi Johnson makes botanical dyes from plants grown outside her studio, Mixed Color, in Sullivan County, New York. She sells her fashions online, teaches workshops on textile arts and natural dyeing, and is the author of <i>Mystical Stitches: Embroidery for Personal Empowerment and Magical Embellishment.</i>
Mystical Stitches: Embroidery for Personal Empowerment and Magical Embellishment.
The three levels of the house transition from public to private: The ground floor is composed of the kitchen and living-dining area; the bathroom and closet occupy the mezzanine, accessed by a ship’s ladder; and the sleeping loft hovers a couple steps above. The seminal 1970s tome A Pattern Language, written by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, inspired the layout. “I’m a huge proponent of the [book],” says Azevedo. “I like the ideas of a bed as an alcove, natural light on two sides of a room, varying ceiling heights, and different levels of privacy.”
The three levels of the house transition from public to private: The ground floor is composed of the kitchen and living-dining area; the bathroom and closet occupy the mezzanine, accessed by a ship’s ladder; and the sleeping loft hovers a couple steps above. The seminal 1970s tome A Pattern Language, written by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, inspired the layout. “I’m a huge proponent of the [book],” says Azevedo. “I like the ideas of a bed as an alcove, natural light on two sides of a room, varying ceiling heights, and different levels of privacy.”
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
Here's Defauw in his living room. He and the rest of the renovation team patched and refinished the original fir floors. The walls are inexpensive pine siding sprayed with white oil paint. The shelves above are 1/4-inch plywood perched on makeshift rods made from 1/2-inch conduit stuck into the studs. "It's all very low-tech and kind of hilarious," says Azevedo. "We were kind of winging it because there wasn't a client per se." Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
Here's Defauw in his living room. He and the rest of the renovation team patched and refinished the original fir floors. The walls are inexpensive pine siding sprayed with white oil paint. The shelves above are 1/4-inch plywood perched on makeshift rods made from 1/2-inch conduit stuck into the studs. "It's all very low-tech and kind of hilarious," says Azevedo. "We were kind of winging it because there wasn't a client per se." Photo by Susanne Friedrich.
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
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