Ultra-Contemporary San Francisco Apartment by Butler Armsden

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How do you take an Edwardian-era interior and turn it into a sleek, ultra-contemporary apartment that can hold its own with any urban plan — but still is completely livable? You engage in a design like this one from Butler Armsden Architects. They were charged, primarily, with opening up the previously closed-in “feel” of the place so that the occupants could take full advantage of the views of San Francisco Bay and the Marin hills; this was accomplished when several exterior walls came down, supplemented by new hidden beams that enabled the architects to combine small rooms into larger ones and still maintain structural integrity. Other priorities for the client included accommodating a contemporary art collection and having enough space for convenient entertaining.

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With the new open plan, both of these goals took shape: the backdrop became a gallery-like pure white on the walls, complemented by vivid blue, a hue that works terrifically with an abstract of red and black in the bath. An expansive living/sitting room holds a blue lounge chair that plays nicely off the warm wood flooring. Touches of orange and red grace seating in the top-flight kitchen; bright blue on dining chairs, played against vivid red couches, bring a sophistication to the media and entertainment center. And there’s even ample space for a casual bar, with blue swivel stools fronting it and pastel abstract art on the wall. Did the plan succeed? Admirably: from both within the apartment and outside on the terrace, the panorama stretches out like an additional piece of art in itself, to the delight of both hosts and guests.

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