Historic San Francisco Loft remodel
I am exploring the feasibility of a complete remodel of a Loft space in San Francisco.
Background: This Unit was built in 1992 as part of the renovation of The Clocktower Building (built in 1908, San Francisco Historic Landmark Building) in what is now the South End Historic District (Part of the SouthBeach Neighborhood, along the waterfront--although this Unit looks SW). It is one of the few authentic loft conversions in San Francisco (i.e., this is housing converted from a factory, not housing built in a loft-style from the ground-up). The Building comprises a 6-story tower building and a 3-story courtyard building. This Unit sits on the top floor of the courtyard building. It has two large windows with a ~SW Exposure. There are two skylights. No additional holes may be placed in the roof, but we can generally do what we want within our walls. We have only Electric lines (no gas). The space is registered with the city as 1396 sq. ft. with perhaps two-thirds of that on the main floor. The space might be expanded in ways that I will make clear below.
Motivation: The problems with the space are tightly related and perhaps summarized in the first point: 1) the space is worth ~3x what it was in 1992 and the quality of construction details reflects that (see the IKEA kitchen and the detailing on floor edges); 2) there is a lot of dead/wasted space that needs to be reclaimed (see unhelpful stair placement); 3) we need a space that is easier to live in for two adults (e.g., storage that is both easier to access and more abundant) and more soothing to the eye; and 4) While the current kitchen might be nice for catered meals in that it is closed off from the rest of the house, a more open floor plan is possible.
Goals: A Two-Phase remodel.
For our purposes, this is a multi-use space that has simultaneous needs to be balanced. Renovating to an modern IKEA standard is probably not worth the hassle, but this needs to be budget-appropriate to the value of the space. (We are painting & upgrading the existing IKEA cabinets as a starter that we may all find to be a satisfactory solution for that space. As a standard that I think may work, think the brand ‘Arclinea’ or 'Scavolini' as an appropriate kitchen cabinet price range, not ‘Bulthaup’. This is a real design challenge.
1) Living. Two people (w/animals) living here most of the time. Overnight guests (couples?) a few times each year.
2) Work. Two people working here 1-2 days/wk.
3) Entertain. The space should reflect the potential as a ‘wow’ space that people enjoy visiting & comfortably hanging out in.
We want to see a complete design for the whole space. We want to execute on this for a full remodel, ideally. Depending upon where the final construction cost comes in, we may do this in phases.
The whole design can include furniture considerations. I have my ideas here that are nearly complete. The redesigned space *must* include a fireplace of some sort (probably an ethanol one b/c we do not have exhaust). As a design sensibility, we want the space to reflect what it is: a Loft in San Francisco. We don’t want to this to look like a generic high-end high-rise or a synthetically created (read: newly constructed) Loft. If people confuse it with a great Loft in any Global City (think: NYC, where we also have a home), that could be fine. Confusing it with a Four Seasons Hotel Residence or with pretty much anything in L.A. would be very bad. Our Dining table is a good reflection of the aesthetic for which we are aiming. Also see our favorite SF-based design store Coup d'Etat (http://coupdetatsf.com/, but you may get more from a google image search) or (maybe) the SF coffee bar Sightglass (http://bit.ly/OCKQdy), although we want to look like a grand home, not a retail space.
We may just update the bathrooms and add a fireplace with only minor kitchen revisions (e.g., counter, backsplash). We want the kitchen/stair redesign to not necessarily be linked to all of the other work.
See details by room in the last section of this write-up.
It needs to be functional for two adults in every way. Some specifics:
There is a terrible use of space in both bathrooms and the integration with the Laundry and Kitchen.
1) ideally sharing bathroom space in the morning and evening upstairs. If there is _not_ enough space for two people in one bathroom, then the other bathroom needs to function as a daily livable bathroom while masquerading as a little-used powder room for entertaining. (We don’t want people at a dinner party seeing any of the qualities of a daily-use bathroom). There should be ample make-up lighting in the Master Bath. There should be ample toiletry and make-up storage in both bathrooms. There should be a place for all manner of electronic gadgets in both: razors, toothbrushes, Clarisonics all should have outlets for charging while (in the MasterBath) hairdryer & curling.
Best use of the space v. the cost to get us there
Grand Home. Did we get there?
Must have a fireplace
Bonus points for elegantly incorporating model ships (one of them as large as 30"x25"x13"), roomba, cat litter box, etc.
Exact measurements and existing floorplans from original design are in Sketchup model on Dropbox folder in this brief.
I am looking for an eye-level and birds-eye view of different parts of 1st and 2nd floors with a text description of the materials/changes to be done.
- PLAN DRAWING: Scale 1/4"-1' (or 1/50)
- ELEVATION VIEW(S): Scale 1/4"-1' (or 1/50)
- PERSPECTIVE/AXONOMETRIC VIEWS (where appropriate)
MATERIALS FROM CLIENT:
For detailed plan, section, elevation drawings, pictures, please visit [https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8r330vs23bkwvvy/EPvBvCte6U/Remodeling%20Project]
The stairs are currently placed in a way that cuts off the kitchen from the rest of the unit. It also creates an under-used space between the stairs and the wall. The winning design will think creatively about this mis-use of space. If you want to consider circular stairs (it is probably the best idea), we don’t want them to be too tight. We like these: http://bit.ly/SX8bJZ. Space under pantry needs to be reclaimed. Another remodel in our building put in circular stairs and recaptured the floor space for the 2nd floor.
+++Kitchen (with excruciating detail to the extent that it is valuable)+++:
With the stairs moved and potentially taking up much less space, there is room for the kitchen to expand. I am currently extending existing IKEA cabinet profile higher. The kitchen could also wrap around the wall shared with the downstairs bath. The wall separating the kitchen from the downstairs bath has dead space. Light from skylight is currently blocked by Laundry. Laundry could be reconfigured in its location and access. Maybe a big kitchen island? With much higher cabinets is there a built-in mechanism possible to reach them?
Like most people, the kitchen is a big deal that serves several purposes. For entertaining it needs to be at once grand and welcoming. It needs to be effective for smaller groups to participate in the cooking and hanging around, but also appropriate for occasional catering. It needs to be at once easy to use & clean on a daily basis for two people, but also sleek and elegant by default.
I have a Miele DiamondG5975SCVi dishwasher (the SS panel can we switched out to panel-ready). I prefer to keep my Magic Chef Wine refrigerator. I’ll keep my Hansgrohe faucet. I prefer to keep my knives & espresso machine. Ideally, I want to use these and the food processor every day, but I don't want to see them as some sort of decoration.
---Details on Appliances---
Cooktop/Oven: I don't yet know between a cooktop (induction, can't get gas) or a range (viking has induction range)
Refrigerator: I am strongly leaning toward something that is counter depth. I would otherwise prefer to get stainless steel v. panel ready to keep costs down (but otherwise, I prefer a panel ready.) By default: Bosch 800 Series B22CS80SNS; maybe a AGA
I will need a range hood. **A big deal on the renovation**. The ventilation needs to be thought through as there may be an available shaft behind the laundry, but it will probably need to go up to the skylight above the downstairs bath.
I want trash can and recycling can hidden somewhere.
Somewhere in this area you will probably need to construct the hidden cat litter box. I currently have it in the pantry through a vertical trap door. The best solution I have seen is the cats coming into a (large) drawer through horizontal opening disguised by a high baseboard.
Somewhere we also need to hide the Roomba (vacuum robot)
Lastly, we need magnetic wall or a chalkboard. Maybe part of the cabinetry. Maybe on a wall.
_I think_ that the best solution is for the kitchen to look like it is an extension of the living room. For us, this is where many, many, many homes, even very expensive homes, start to look like hotels. Kitchens purchased out of a catalog. This is not to say that we want something fanciful or trendy. We are thinking dark cabinetry and thin counter-tops. We are so over stainless steel (for appliances, not counters), but we are open if the budget requires it. Gloss or Matte cabinets?
To get more light in from the skylight, you may want to consider pushing the laundry back and possibly reversing it into the downstairs bathroom. There is a problem in reducing the current 'library' area in that it now accommodates a 8x10 rug and is getting a custom cabinet. In any case, we need to clean this area up.
We must have a fireplace. We don’t have ventilation, so Ethanol will work (e.g., EcoSmart). This loft heats up easily and cools down slowly. This means the fireplace will be on less than we might like so it should have something that still oozes ‘cozy’. This might be inherent in your larger design. It might be reflected in decorative metal work directly on the flame element. We don't want an off-the-shelf installation from ecosmart. Our default idea is for a fireplace which is a steel platform about 1'x3' suspended by 10' rods from the top beam. Just an idea, but one that we are pursuing in absence of a better design from this competition. We are open, but we must have a fireplace. Locate it wherever in the LR or DR that you think works best to create a warm (figurative, not literal) environment. I put some sketches in the dropbox folder.
---Other details: We have a large white (leather wrapped) floor light here that we really like, but we are not wedded to. We are installing a 106" electric rolled screen and projector. Do you mount this in front or behind the beam so as not to interfere with the Fireplace? (Small issues on which opinions are welcomed: We have Art, in the form of four blue square paintings (shown) that we would like to find a home for, possibly on this wall. Where will the projector go (probably upstairs and key-stoned)? )
Big deal in the LR: We have this sofa coming from Holly Hunt: http://bit.ly/NYBZGC. What is the best lighting solution for the LR? Recessed in the ceiling? We like the Ligne Roset grey facet arm chairs that you see in the photos.
This part feels almost complete, but not quite. We are in the process of replacing the pendant with something more industrial. We have a direction in which we are going unless the winning design gives us something better.
+++(Library/Secondary seating area)+++:
We are getting a custom bookshelf unit here.
Here is a similar unit from our building: http://bit.ly/NE8DaO
You can see several elements that are attractive and impact this area of the unit. Recessed lighting. Taking the ceiling up slightly. You can keep our existing seating design here or replace it with something else.
This is far too big in space, but low in practicality. We could deal with ¾ bath here instead of a full bath. This is a challenging bathroom because it both sees daily use and needs to look effortlessly flawless and welcoming for guests. It needs to be able to store all the necessities for daily life without guests feeling like they are peering into the daily drudgery of daily (private) life.
Same for upstairs bath: It should have ample mirror and appropriate lighting. It should have electrical that allows for everything to be regularly charged (toothbrush, multiple razors, iPod & speakers) without being seen.
For this bath, there is a huge untapped space above the toilet. We want to recapture this area as a seasonal storage space with a sort of trap-door entry from the upstairs bathroom (our best idea for the space so far). The skylight that you see in this part of the Unit may need to be reclaimed for the stove ventilation from the Kitchen (plan on that). This new storage space will hopefully capture (at least) the luggage currently on top of our entry closet and additionally our seasonal clothing currently in off-site storage.
Could we put the laundry where the sink is and turn the tub location into a closet? What happens to the bathroom entry now? Through a pocket door moved closer to the front door?
The lighting is dated. The closet is very useful, but if we can reclaim the space elsewhere, we can consider getting rid of it. Can we otherwise make the entry better? We do enjoy having a place for coats here, but also shoes and all the necessities of daily work (bags, essentially a large-scale in/out box).
Our Flooring looks dated. We can rip up the existing flooring or put something on top. We could also just stain the existing installation. We have explored the idea of ripping out the flooring to bare concrete for polishing. This is possible, but sounds expensive. The existing flooring appears to raise the floor more than necessary so there might be additional benefits by ripping it all out as much as possible. Cork? Tile?
+++Upstairs BR, Bath, & Closet+++:
We have a King Bed http://bit.ly/NyQ6Tk from DWR. We want more closet and drawer space. We need better lighting for getting dressed. What do you want to do with the walls upstairs? They could be made thinner by using tempered glass. The upper floor might be able to be extended toward the stairs if circular stairs are used.
+++Upstairs bathroom+++: We want more storage space. More counter space. We want a tub if possible (but not necessary ; perhaps this will be upstairs now rather than downstairs. We need ample counter space and better lighting for makeup. We need better lighting (recessed?) in the whole area. We want to bring in more light from the skylight.