Elizabeth Street

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Residential Design

Elizabeth Street


San Francisco is full of chopped-up old houses in need of some love. This 1930s Mediterranean was no exception. We removed a wall between the Living Room and Dining Room and most of the wall between the Dining Room and kitchen to make the most of a reasonably small space. I have a great plaster guy who recreated the cove ceiling detail in the new combined room so we kept the character and people are shocked that it wasn’t always like that.

We also rebuilt the fireplace surround to better balance both sides of the Living Room. In a small house, the decision to paint the walls dark surprises some people, but dark rooms make the edges of the room disappear and the effect is to make the space look larger. This works as long as there is good natural sunlight. The result is a colorful, warm space that feels much bigger than it is.

Contractor: ABA Custom Homes, Santa Rosa (ABAcustomhomesinc.com)

Photography: Julia Sperling, San Francisco (JuliaSperling.com)