House of Light and Shadow

WDA’s newest residential design is the captivating House of Light and Shadow, a remarkable transformation nestled in the center of San Francisco that spans 3,758 square feet.

When the clients originally purchased the Victorian four-bedroom, 3.5-bath home, with a ground-floor in-law unit, its interiors were stripped bare of any original details, leaving only the historic era façade remaining. As design enthusiasts, the clients sought a home that felt like a work of art, blending period details with their modern family lifestyle. The resulting design is a harmonious interplay of traditional and modern aesthetics, light and shadow.

Notably, the rear façade underwent a remarkable transformation, transitioning from a flat, nondescript structure to a modern gem with a vaulted space on the upper floor, covered in custom Western Red Cedar siding and oversized glazed units. The mix of materials brings warmth and modernity that extends throughout the house. Furthermore the new rear façade offers a decidedly modern juxtaposition to the front.

The home’s three main programs are thoughtfully distributed across floors, with the first-floor entry level featuring period details connecting to the historic front façade. The transition between design styles is marked by the ornate trim being interrupted at the bedroom door alcoves with framed blackened steel wraps and modern chevron flooring, creating a dynamic visual experience.

The top floor ‘great room’ embodies the concept of a light and airy space, with tall vaulted ceilings and expansive sliding glass doors connecting to the city skyline. Sleek casework, stone boxes, and HenryBuilt Black Walnut cabinetry, wrapped again in blackened steel, contribute to the aesthetic.

Technology seamlessly integrates into the design, with discreet lighting, hidden heating vents, and custom shaped brass electrical outlet covers. Sustainability is prioritized with solar panels, a Tesla Powerwall, and a radiant heating system.

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The lower floor in-law unit, bathed in natural light, hosts recreation activities and utilities. Every detail, including a primary suite walk-in closet and a top-floor guest room transformation, was carefully considered to tailor the space to the family’s needs.

A signature highlight is the expanded balcony equipped with lighting, electrical outlets, and a hose bib, providing an outdoor oasis envisioned by the clients. The House of Light and Shadow is a testament to thoughtful design, modern living and a harmonious blend of past and present.

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