Tour A Modern Apartment In San Francisco

This apartment revamp blends modern fittings with antiques, art and Art Deco pieces...


A full-floor penthouse modern home at 1940 Vallejo Street, one of the oldest co-op buildings in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. The apartment was very traditional, and the owners wanted to create an architecturally modern interior that would highlight their art collection and the stunning city views, so the couple tapped local architect Stephen Sutro (known in the city for his modern aesthetic) and interior designer Alison Pickart to pull it all together.


The project included entirely gutting the 7th floor of the building down to the concrete slab. Architecturally, Stephen Sutro and Alison Pickart worked to reroute the unit’s main utility (ductwork, electrical panels, AV equipment, etc.) into a ‘Central Cube’ of paneling that surrounds the one element they couldn’t relocate; the service elevator. In creating this ‘central cube’, they were able to open up the entire front half of the apartment into one huge space for the couple to be able to entertain with the most incredible access to their view of the Golden Gold Bridge, Presidio, Bay Bridge, City and Marina.

The envelope of the apartment was kept neutral but with bronze and blonde tones so the art that was curated from their private collection between their homes in Sonoma and Mill Valley, could really shine.

The interior design references their love of art as (almost) every piece placed was customised or designed specifically for them. The brass base Koumac chairs are from Holly Hunt.

Pickart says the one piece that set the tone and direction for the whole project was a moonstone and gold fire screen from Come FR that she had found in an auction booklet. She had a hunch that the owners would like it and during the architectural process she brought it to a meeting to share. The home owners fell in love with it and from that point on, no piece was considered that did not have its own artistic merit.


A dining area sits within the main living room, separated by a sideboard.

The kitchen is tucked behind the dining space, with white marble worktops and white bar stools to tie in with the rest of the scheme.


The kitchen features a marriage of blonde wood and white marble, for a relaxed but chic vibe.

Matte surfaces and handleless cabinetry create a soft look.

White bar stools at the breakfast bar complement the white seating in the dining and living areas.


There's a separate study, with curvaceous armchairs, a chevron patterned velvet sofa and a plush rug, making this an inviting and cosy nook.


The master bedroom is made to feel more like a master suite, with its own living area.

Hanging cluster pendants are an unusual lighting choice, but the frosted glass and brushed brass are a lovely, soft combo.


The master bathroom features a his 'n' hers vanity, with more handleless storage. The geometric marble tiled wall makes a gorgeous feature.


The master bathroom opens into a dressing room, where a statement chandelier hangs above a clever piece of bespoke furniture, incorporating table top, chair and storage in an island.

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.