Beaux-Arts Flat

BEAUX-ARTS FLAT   /   San Francisco, California

Our charge on this project was to harness the elegance inherent in the bones of this 1920s apartment while modernizing the private spaces to meet the needs of a young family.

The apartment had been substantially demolished when our clients found it: all of the floors, many walls, the electrical and plumbing systems, the kitchen and bathrooms, and even the fireplace mantels were gone. We retained most of the original wall locations but updated the space by opening the original primary bedroom on to the living room, claiming space that had been a maid’s room and bath to create a larger kitchen and family room, and adding a powder room in what had been a hallway.

We commissioned chinoiserie murals for the foyer—painted on canvas coated with layers of cracked gesso and glazed to appear elegantly aged. New floors of white oak laid in a herringbone pattern feel as if they could be original to the space and draw attention to a dramatic enfilade we created across the full length of the building. Tall pairs of mirror-paneled doors enhance the effect of the enfilade and height of the rooms. This remarkable public space, with its two antique French fireplaces, can accommodate large cocktail parties and dinners, but also has intimate spots for reading.

The clients’ passion for antiques inspired the décor of the public rooms, which are formal yet inviting. The private spaces are far more relaxed and casual.

Photos by Grey Crawford

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