A Moody Palette and Black Marble Touches Give This Vintage Victorian New Life
The San Francisco home had been abandoned for years, and was falling apart inside when the homeowners found it.
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Interior designer Senalee Kapelevich’s clients had wanted to move to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for a long time before finally finding their dream home. The only catch: It had been abandoned for years before they came along.
“The home had been neglected for a long time,” says Kapelevich. “But even through the peeling paint and rotting floors you could see the old bones of the house. From the beginning, this renovation was about restoration, and not about creating a white modern box behind a Victorian facade.”
The 1900-era crumbling interior required a complete gut remodel, and the architect, Troy Kashanipour, kicked off the project in fall 2017 after submitting plans to the city; renovations began in early 2018. The remodeling process took about a year, with a few pauses along the way to get neighborhood and city approval for moving windows and doors.
The completed home comprises four bedrooms and more than 5,500 square feet total in size after enlarging rooms like the home office and bathrooms.
Kapelevich describes the finished remodel in a few different ways. “I like to describe the home as modern, gothic, and Victorian,” she says. She also loves how the dark blue-gray paint choice affects the home. “Going dark blue-gray on the trim in the house was a huge risk, but I think the payoff is spectacular. It really makes the house feel grown-up and rooted in the past,” says Kapelevich.
The living room was designed around enjoying foggy evenings near the fireplace, and Kapelevich loves how it came together. “My favorite part of the home is the black metal mantel, black marble, and black herringbone tile fireplace in the front living room,” she says. “I love how stately yet modern this ensemble ended up feeling.”
“Don’t underestimate a good white kitchen,” says Kapelevich. “The star of the kitchen is the gorgeous white marble. This marble has to be maintained every year by sealing it, but the extra work is worth it! This kitchen is designed to age beautifully; it should feel just as classic in twenty years as it does today.”
The dining room, however, is a celebration of a different material. “I love mixing woods, and this room shows that off beautifully,” says Kapelevich. “We have stained oak on the floors, walnut on the bar, and a bleached walnut for the dining table.”
“When we started the process, there were several details that we wanted to keep, like the original staircase,” says Kapelevich. “But it wasn’t up to code, so we had to rip it out and create a new staircase that had to look like it had always been there. We wanted to keep a lot of the anaglypta wallpaper that lined the staircase and the entryway, but it started to fall apart as soon as we tried to repair it. When things aren’t cared for over time, it is really hard to preserve them.”
One room in the house skipped the gothic memo. “We went really feminine with the [primary] bedroom, and I think it is a great contrast to the masculine feel of the rest of the house,” says Kapelevich. “The star in this room is definitely the bed by Jacob May. It’s a little art piece unto itself.”
But one of the coolest features in the home is the primary bathrooms—yes, plural. “One of the fun things we got to do in this home is his and hers bathrooms,” says Kapelevich. “I love how these bathrooms play up the masculine and feminine extremes.”
In the hers, the feminine feel of the bedroom flows into the all-white bathroom with a soaking tub and tiled shower, with black touches that tie it into the super moody feel in his. There, an all-black subway-tiled shower packs a punch, while white hexagon flooring gives a little homage back to the rest of the suite.