A historic San Francisco home is updated with chic and modern new look

This historic San Francisco home has been restored back to its former glory, but with modern lighting, art, and bold pops of colour...

historic San Francisco home
(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

The property

A young family relocating  to a historic San Francisco home to embark on transforming it into a modern house (opens in new tab) with classical touches enlisted Eche Martinez (opens in new tab) to lead the redesign. 

The five-bedroom residence presented a once-in-a-career opportunity to return grandeur to a 1926 Presidio Heights residence, which, over time, had been stripped down to a series of “white box” rooms, devoid of character or architectural interest. 

The main goal of the project was to re-inject its lost sense of classical elegance, and to create a showcase for the owner’s extensive contemporary art collection. 

The 6,500 square foot home incorporates some traditional details, like chequerboard floors, a sweeping staircase (opens in new tab) and wood panelling in the library (opens in new tab), but the rest of the home is all modern, from the contemporary white kitchen (opens in new tab) and white living room (opens in new tab) to the freshly designed bedrooms and bathrooms.

See Also: See inside this colourful, contemporary home in the heart of San Francisco
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Hallway

The entrance hall (opens in new tab) features a sweeping staircase and classical-inspired chequerboard floor. A discombobulated sculpture gives a modern twist on the traditional, while a vintage Curtis Jere brass pendant adds a glam edge.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Flooring is New Nero Marquina and Carrara marble. Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Simply White / OC-117.

Staircase

The grand, wrought-iron curved staircase (opens in new tab) was restored to its former glory.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Hand-sawn oak flooring runs throughout the rest of the home. A crisp, monochrome-based palette gives the main areas a modern feel.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Library

The entrance hall (opens in new tab) features glass doors that open up into a smart library (opens in new tab) and home office (opens in new tab).

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

A wood panelled wall, traditional painting light, dark wooden floor and vintage rugs create a traditional-inspired backdrop, but unexpected art keeps the mood light.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Inside, a black painted ceiling (opens in new tab) and navy walls add to the cocooning, den-like atmosphere.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint is Benjamin Moore / Night Horizon / 2134-10. Swivel armchair is from Poltrona Frau - DZine, desk is from Michael Dawkins, Persian rug is from 1stDibs.

Kitchen

The contemporary white kitchen (opens in new tab) features a striking modern kitchen island (opens in new tab) with breakfast bar (opens in new tab), and kitchen island pendants (opens in new tab) that are disguised within a frame from which to hang pans.

Seamless cabinetry and kitchen storage (opens in new tab) creates a sleek and streamlined look.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Simply White / OC-117. These are the Black Beetle Counter Chairs from The Future Perfect. Marble surfaces are Calacatta Gold, Integrated Resource Group

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Dining room

The white kitchen (opens in new tab) flows into a dining room with striking statement light (opens in new tab).

The vintage Italian mid-century brass and opaline glass lighting and vintage table and chairs create a Mid-Century inspired look (opens in new tab).

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Simply White / OC-117. Collection of 9 Opaline glass and brass ceiling fixtures from Denmark designed by Bent Karlby and manufactured by Lyfa from the 1950s, via 1st Dibs. Mahogany antique dining table, also from 1st Dibs. Rug from Joseph Carini Carpets.

Living room

Incorporating vintage pieces was a key interest of the homeowner. The vintage Cassina sofas in the living room were air-freighted from Amsterdam and locally restored. 

The designer installed a gold-plated three-tier chandelier by Delightfull for a glamorous statement.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Bit it's the bold, bright red artwork in this white living room (opens in new tab) that makes the biggest impact in this space.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: The pair of chairs are Jacques Adnet, circa 1940’s.

Cloakroom

A 3D patterned wallpaper in the cloakroom (opens in new tab) tricks the eye and makes a fun feature.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

See Also: Cloakroom and powder room ideas: small spaces, big patterns
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Childrens' bedroom

A plain wallcovering from Ralph Lauren lets the rest of this kids' room (opens in new tab) do the talking. The rug and colourful wall sconces create a subtle Mondrian-inspired look. 

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Wallcovering is Kravet / Ralph Lauren / Drummond Platinum / LWP6272. Scandinavian rug is from 1stDibs. Antique twin beds from Chairish. Pair of multicoloured brass, white, and yellow 1950s Italian articulated sconces from 1stDibs.

Guest bedrooms

There are not one but three guest bedrooms (opens in new tab), each with its own style and look.

A striking sleigh bed reupholstered in red velvet punctuates through the pastel pink backdrop of the first guest bedroom.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Wallcovering is Phillip Jeffries / Watermark / 4726 Dust. Bed reupholstered in Reupholstered with COM Kirkby Design / Ice Tomato / K5159/45. Rug from 1stDibs.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

A green colour palette sets the scene in the second guest bedroom, which features lots of antique furniture pieces – some of which were already collected by the homeowners.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Paint colour is Benjamin Moore / Tarrytown Green / HC-135. Vintage pieces pre-owned by the homeowner. Rug, dresser and mirror from 1stDibs.

An old armchair was re-upholstered in a fresh green velvet to give it a fresh new look.

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Desk and desk chair both from 1stDibs.

Finally, the third guest bedroom features a modern, monochrome palette and a modern four poster bed (opens in new tab).

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Get the look: Four poster bed from CB2, bedside lamps from West Elm, the rest is vintage or antique.

Master bedroom

In the master bedroom (opens in new tab), original Stilnovo pendant lights are paired with antique Biedermeier nightstands. The room also features Modigliani etchings and a Milo Baughman chest of drawers. 

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

historic San Francisco home

(Image credit: Christopher Stark)

Interior Design: ECHE

Builder: Larkspur Builders (Owner Josh Grout)

See Also: Explore A Historic Farmhouse In Provence With Modern Rustic Interiors
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