Inside the Modern Transformation of an Old Victorian
A one-time traditional beauty was made over into a modern marvel.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:59 AM
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For architect Malcolm Davis—who is known for transforming one-time run down historic gems into sleek, modern showcases—the charming Mission District Victorian had serious potential. The bones of the 1890 property were the perfect canvas for Davis, who likes to pay homage to the original era a home was built in addition to incorporating contemporary details and finishes throughout. “We wanted our work to play off the original Victorian character but in a more modern way,” says Davis.
To start, the home was completely renovated, an updated kitchen and bathrooms were then added. The one-time “warren of weird, little spaces,” says Davis, was transformed into a more seamless and open layout that allowed the family more space to entertain and spread out.
The addition of the exposed steel moment frame opens up the spaces while adding seismic safety and the kitchen feels more like a glassed-in porch in the garden, both details that took advantage of the original home but were modernized with Davis’ slight changes. The high contrast of black and white throughout is instantly made warmer with the coupling of natural wood, a design aesthetic that the architect is especially keen on.
The furnishings were the work of interior designer Ian Stallings, who, like Davis, saw the potential in the space for minimal furniture and textiles and, above all, comfort. “The clients were adamant about having a home that contained comfortable, deep, overstuffed seating, and a large expandable dining table to support many large dinner parties with their friends,” says Stallings, who installed plush, comfortable sofas with oversize pillows that were complemented by sleek, low-back chairs in a similar hue to keep the look minimal yet comfortable.
One of Stallings’ favorite rooms is the dining room where his clients pushed beyond their comfort level resulting in a space that has now become their favorite, as well. “I pushed the clients slightly out of their comfort zone to embrace a bold, somewhat bright color to turn the dining room into the focal point,” says Stallings. “This, in turn, created a jewel in the center of the house that ultimately took the entire interior design of the home to another level.”