New kitchen opens to airy living spaces

Before & After: See how this remodel turned a dark home into an airy platform for relaxed living

After: Bright, airy living

"My friends thought I was crazy," recalls architect Malcolm Davis about his purchase of this turn-of-the-century home in San Francisco.

It had been plagued by numerous unsympathetic remodels. "Most prospective buyers had walked in, looked at the home in disbelief, and left."

But where others saw an eyesore, Davis found beautiful bones.

He opened up the main floor, creating one large kitchen-dining-living space running from front to back.

The view-facing wall at the rear opens through three tall French doors to a balcony off the dining area.

A breakfast nook occupies an adjacent glass bay. A wide bay window captures sunshine from the south-facing front of the house, helping to balance the light.

Davis used an understated palette of materials in keeping with the straightforward character of the original house, including honey-toned fir cabinetry and stainless steel counters.

Next: Key elements of the remodel

  • Bottle and vase collection

    Elegant focal points

    "I love to see through things," says Davis. His collection of clear bottles and vases in a pleasing variety of shapes and heights reinforces the point and underscores one of the goals of the remodel, which was to open up views.

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