Sansome Project Sketches …Storage Solutions

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?

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5 thoughts on “Sansome Project Sketches …Storage Solutions

    • Thanks Brooke – this one is a tad more challenge than I thought thanks to the odd HOA and the sheer amount of custom storage the client has requested. Fingers crossed!!!!

  1. I had to read that a couple of times. The whole apartment is just 650 sq. ft.?!??!!! At first I thought you were saying that it had one bedroom and that bedroom was 650 sq. ft. which sounded right to me. Then I figured out that you meant the ENTIRE living space equals 650 sq. ft. Wow! That’s a real challenge!!! I feel cramped in 3100 sq. ft!!! The ideas you have, though, are really fantastic for making use of the vertical space which is all there really is to work with. Getting rid of that breakfast bar could open up all kinds of possibilities, and I love your ideas for carving out some office space!!! If I could have one piece of storage added to my home, it would be a 1200 sq. ft. warehouse that looks like a carriage house. I would have floor to ceiling built in storage that accommodates the various tabletop items I need to store. It would have library ladders AND be able to have one of those big rolling platform ladders like they use at Lowe’s. It would have 2 dedicated rooms for tablescaping. One of the rooms would be able to accommodate a table for up to 12 as well as the peripheral furnishings that one would normally find in a formal dining room. The other room would be a bit smaller and able to accommodate a table for at least 8. There would also be a small office in the “carriage house” for me to work from so that I could free up this guest room I have overtaken as my office. 🙂

    • 3100 square feet? That is pretty much DOUBLE my condo – and your dream storage (which actually is a house but that is for another time) sounds amazing. I hope I get to design it for you 🙂


  2. My house is approx. 1900 sq.ft. and was built in the 60s. So, the bedrooms are small, the closets are small, and there aren’t enough of them. What I would kill for is a mud room. I have thought about it over and over to see if I could squeak it out of part of the garage, but without bumping out the side of the garage and expanding it, I just don’t have the space to do it. We have to make use of a tiny closet (I mean super tiny) in the family room off of the garage as our mud room/back pack storage/cleaning supply storage. We (5 of us) have lived here for 14 years and made do, so I guess we are fine~esp. since my oldest has one more year until she leaves for college. Maybe I can turn her bedroom into a gigantic closet some day 🙂

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