Before & After: A San Francisco Gem Goes From Funky & Disjointed to Enviably Cohesive

Before & After: A San Francisco Gem Goes From Funky & Disjointed to Enviably Cohesive

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Tess Wilson
Mar 19, 2018
(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

This San Francisco home has so much going for it—tons of windows, lots of built-ins, interesting woodwork, an extraordinary tree just outside, hardwood floors, and approximately 20 times the amount of space one expects in the Bay Area—but can it get even better? For Susie Novak of Susie Novak Interiors, who was determined to make it more lovely and livable, the answer was yes.

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Take a look:

Isn't this renovation by Susie for a pair of newlyweds glorious? The minimal palette and restrained lines of means that the focus remains on the outdoor beauty where it belongs, while the intricate floor adds interest and texture. The new banquette creates a charming breakfast nook, and the stove is no longer stranded alone:

"This project is located in Bernal Heights in San Francisco. It's owned by a young couple, who were married actually during construction! They bought the three-story fixer and hired me to help renovate the main floor."

That's right: all of the photos here are only one of three floors!

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

This is the opposite side of the kitchen: more green, a great built-in, and absolutely no counterspace. Perhaps the former residents had a stand-alone island?

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Now there's ample counter space and just as much storage, thanks to the cabinets and drawers below and open shelving above (even if we personally mourn the built-ins a bit). The new placement of the stove creates a perfect cooking triangle and allows for an integrated vent hood. While the work triangle is definitely smaller than it was when the stove was across the room, now the kitchen features plenty of room to cook and a dining area. That seems like a major upgrade.

"We did a complete gut renovation of the main floor and expanded the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen has a modern yet bohemian vibe with the awesome geometric tile and wood cabinets. We all love how the kitchen turned out!"

Cabinets: IKEA with Semihandmade fronts. Backsplash: Clé Tile. Decor: Target, Atomic Garden, Room & Board. Floor Tile: Exquisite Surfaces.

It's smart that the banquette is made of easy-to-clean wood rather than being upholstered; the throw pillows add coziness and comfort while being much easier to wash and replace.

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Here you can see the formerly divided bathroom; separating the bathtub/shower from the sink/toilet is actually incredibly helpful in homes with only one bathroom, but I'm guessing a house of this size doesn't have that issue. This room has an amazing amount of storage, but all the doors and shelves are a bit chaotic.

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Now the bathroom is totally serene, and, like in the kitchen, the simplified decor allows the view of the outdoors be the star, while the plain white walls let the subtle hues of the marble, wood and tile shine.

"There were quite a few challenges with this project as it is a narrow space with a tub in a separate room from the main bathroom and a lot of walls. For the new space, I was inspired by the San Francisco fog — cool and muted blue and gray tones."

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Here's the former tub nook; while the original wood paneling added some charm to the kitchen, it feels inappropriate in a bathroom.

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Now that the bathroom has been unified, the space flows so well. That floor is absolutely perfect; it doesn't distract from the other materials, but it has a quiet beauty of its own.

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

The dining room features another built-in; hopefully all of them were salvaged somehow—is that even possible?

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

With the chair rail and oversize baseboard (and possibly paneling) removed, the emphasis in the dining room is now on the decor. Between the bar and the turntable and major speakers, this room was clearly designed for serious relaxation and entertaining. Those sconces are perfect for mood lighting.

"We added a really fun bar space with black tile and a butcher block countertop; perfect for a mezcal cocktail! The look of the space is inspired by the couple's well-traveled lives and South American, Texan and New York backgrounds."

(Image credit: Patrick Posta)

Finally, here's a glamour shot of that absolutely enviable bar complete with wine fridge. The black palette contrasts wonderfully with the pale wood floor and adds plenty of drama, with the fabulous wood and tile providing texture that rewards a closer look. If you have room in your home for the best bar in town, definitely go for it.

Thank you, Susie Novak Interiors!

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