Sea Cliff Preppy Contemporary

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Though her work in real estate had brought her to countless bay area homes, our client knew something was different when she toured this 1920s fixer-upper in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood. Drawn to the elegant curve of the entry staircase and the traditional moldings throughout the ground floor, she saw a space that was brimming with potential. She and her husband purchased the house and embarked on a full-scale renovation, seeking to blend her preppy aesthetic and his love of modern elements. Through the process, we helped them find a cohesive balance between their style preferences, creating a sophisticated, contemporary residence for our clients and their young daughters.

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In the living room, we took a tone-on-tone approach, painting one accent wall and all of its traditional, existing, trim one color: a dramatic, deep, navy blue. We recovered the room’s existing sofa in a dark blue fabric to continue the monochrome effect. To give this classic room some additional modern edge, we upholstered two Marco Zanuso Lady chairs in a vivid red-orange fabric from Hermès. In the family room, we updated an existing Wink chair with new upholstery in playful shade of yellow. Paired with a plush, bright blue rug, it gives the space an upbeat, modern feel, that perfectly balances the classic crown moldings and linen sectional.

Heirloom, antique furnishings are used throughout the home alongside more contemporary design choices that keep these spaces feeling fresh and bright. Just off the entry, a glass-fronted armoire stands in a particularly airy corner, filled with porcelain pieces and surrounded by a gallery of family portraits. We gave this piece a modern spin by replacing its existing felt lining with a more unexpected black velvet. In the entry, a neoclassical pedestal table makes a dramatic impression in a light-filled alcove to the right of the staircase. The light-wood finishes, white walls and minimal styling elsewhere in the room keep this piece feeling current.

Architect: Robert Stiles Architecture, Contractor: Jeff Fitzsimmons, Photographer: Suzanna Scott Photography

 
 

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