San Francisco Two-Story Renovation, Buena Vista, by Feldman Architecture

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This San Francisco renovation started as an effort to transform a segmented two-story residence into a contemporary garden house, with the idea of taking advantage of outdoor space and natural light. Enter Feldman Architecture, with a plan to expand the space in an unexpected way: by reclaiming an unfinished basement and part of a deck, they devised an entirely new living area. Down a short stone staircase, an al fresco entertaining spot is surrounded by a high retaining wall and sports its own “lawn” of blue stone beneath. The modern kitchen is bright, open, and airy, connected to both the living area and — through oversized pivot doors — the garden as well; the transition from one area to another is easy and seamless. Now, the view of the city is one of the “star” attractions here.

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Even in the sitting room/office combination, it’s a prime focus — although the shelves, full of art, books, and memorabilia, also hold their own. One thing to love: the neat “niches” in what would otherwise be an unbroken wall of bedroom windows. The little “jogs” add character and charm to a space that is already welcoming, with its deep blue-gray color scheme and gossamer draperies. Dark ceramic tile in the en-suite bathroom contrast with clean-lined white fixtures and a deep soaking tub with its own window. That window looks out onto the shelving area and brings in its own influx of natural light, turning attention back again to the skilled blend of outdoors and in. Buena Vista is a splendid example of what “repurposing” can do with a focus on blending indoor and outdoor living — and succeeds with style.

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