Design house: A former rental home was given a fresh update, fit for family life

A breezy palette of white and blue evokes serenity and stillness in this calming space.

This classic Victorian home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights was given a fresh update with clean, soft neutrals taking advantage of the abundance of natural light that fills the space.

The homeowners are a young couple that were friends of Margaret Ash and her husband Jonathan before they became clients. They are both in the real estate business and when their rental apartment became available to purchase, they immediately signed the papers and called on Margaret to bring breathe new life into this former rental home. An open concept floor plan and all the necessary amenities added value and convenience for their growing family.

We speak to interior designer, Margaret Ash, about the design house.

Photography: Julia Sperling

THE PROPERTY

The clients wanted to incorporate a variety of soft grey tones as an ode to the quintessential San Francisco fog. We also wanted to include touches of blues and greens to further accentuate the Bay Area’s nature-inspired colour palette.

LIVING ROOM

The living room scheme was based on the client’s existing art by Matthew Cusick. Another requirement was that the husband wanted to keep his favorite leather arm chair. As designers, we have to balance our vision for the space with the sentimental needs of the clients and their attachments to certain items.

Victorian home

Photography: Julia Sperling

See: Design house: This Spanish-style home beautifully blends rustic design with modern elements

MEDIA ROOM

Evoking purity and cleanliness alongside confidence and sophistication, white is a wonderfully versatile colour for interiors. Accents of blue and earthy brown tones help to harmonious the space.

Photography: Julia Sperling

Small accents of white are a wonderful way to lift and freshen any colour scheme. Accessories made from enamel, black or white candles and glass jars will elevate the whole palette and draw the eye.

Victorian home

Photography: Julia Sperling

Photography: Julia Sperling

See: Design house: A quintessential Victorian home in San Francisco, designed by Margaret Ash Design

DINING ROOM

Photography: Julia Sperling

KITCHEN

The clients wanted to open the kitchen to the living area, remove the dated lower cabinets and revise the awkward layout of the kitchen.

Photography: Julia Sperling

Victorian home

Photography: Julia Sperling

Victorian home

Photography: Julia Sperling

Photography: Julia Sperling

BEDROOM

Because cool tones aren’t overpowering – in fact they often feel like they are receding – they often help a small room appear to have more space, which can make them a great choice bedrooms. Not only does it make a beautiful base for a scheme but it’s scientifically proven to be a subconsciously calming shade, making you relax without even realising it.

Victorian home

Photography: Julia Sperling

BATHROOM

The homeowners wanted to completely update both bathrooms by replacing all tiling and fixtures and finally storage optimisation was key, specifically in the cabinets, and we did so by outfitting them with a clever organisation system.

Crisp white works wonderfully in bathrooms. Nothing beats the pure white backdrop achieved with high-grade Calacatta Oro or Statuario marble slabs, which I like to set against chrome taps.

Victorian home

Photography: Julia Sperling

Photography/ Julia Sperling

Interior design/ Margaret Ash Design

MORE FROM H&G