I recently signed a new client who lives in a great building in downtown San Francisco’s Financial District. He is currently a single guy playing bachelor who secretly would like nothing more than be settled down. However, his current condo doesn’t necessarily scream “family man” – mater of fact, the place is just screaming…..for help. While the building has great bones, many of the design shortcuts that the building took to come to market (i.e. ceramic tile kitchen countertops, carpet on the floor, no overhead lighting) have left something to be desired. But enough through it all, the one thing that the client’s space lacks is storage. Seriously, the poor man has a coat closet and a half of a bedroom closet since a large vent runs through the middle of it.
So one of the big things on my list aside from furnishing is to see how much usual space can be carved out of a 650 sq foot one-bedroom. In a case like this where space is an issue, I always look up to see how much vertical space we can borrow and there is a lot, starting with adding in a second box over the existing kitchen cabinets. In his bedroom, he has a blank wall that is begging for a set of built-ins …
In my ideal world, we will be able to take the PAX system from Ikea, use the closet system to gain storage and retrofit in a small area for an office. Since the system won’t fit exactly, I am asking the contractor to add in open shelving for books and whatnot. Above are two quick sketches I did to think through the design. I am still not 100% on it but I am close.
In his living room/kitchen/dining (aka the not so great room) the client has requested space for his bike. Yes, he is an avid biker and wants to be sure his bike is safe ….
So the thinking here is to notch out the drywall to give me an extra 3-5″ of space which will allow the bike to be flush and not have the handle bars stick out into the hallway. I am thinking about lining the niche with extra flooring to give it some design consistency but also to protect the walls. I toyed with the idea of building a pony wall and inserting shallow shelving, plexi with botanical or doing a hemp rope screen to shield the view. However, I am now thinking, add a spot light and just like the bike be a testament to urban living.
Again, trying to borrow space that isn’t being utilized, I am proposing ditching the breakfast bar. The client doesn’t use it and it eats valuable floor space….
I think that area could become a great seating area or nook complete with bar storage by building two boxes to support the overhang and installing adjustable glass shelves . The overhang is plenty deep for the typical bottle of booze and should he give up his drinking ways, the shelves can easily accommodate books or decorative elements.
The one final thing that needs to happen in the “great room” is adding in a window bench for the dining area. It adds storage and more seating than any chair can provide. I still need to sketch out this idea because there are some elements I think I want to tweak to make it less ho-hum.
So we met with the contractor yesterday to walk through the site and get his feedback. Overall, it went well but my gut tells me that we may need to scale back on some items to hit budget. Personally, I would scale back on the decor and stick with the remodel because a good remodel is always a better return on investment than a fantastic sofa.
But in the defense of sofas…….
Okay, I need to get into gear! Today I have a play date with three adorable kids and their awesome Mom. But before I head out, I am curious, if you could have one piece of storage added to your home, what would it be?