Edie Cohen | July 22, 2013
It was a major affair for Nicole Hollis. The whole first year was spent waiting by the phone. Then, after the San Francisco couple who'd bought this 1906 Tudor-style row house finally got around to calling her, they were slow to commit. "It was just to look for furniture," she says. A further year in, the plan changed radically. No way could the house's small, dark rooms provide the sunlight the couple hoped for. Not without demolition and rebuilding. So her firm, styled NicoleHollis, brought in Dumican Mosey Architects.
"We hadn't worked with Nicole before, but we knew her by reputation," Matthew Mosey says. The starting point for the 5,900-square-foot collaboration was to reorganize each level around an off-center staircase, its floating steel-and-glass form replacing circuitous wooden stairs. Mosey then built a glass bridge at the top and capped everything with a skylight.
Of the house's four levels, the second is dedicated to public spaces—with the kitchen right in the middle, flanked by the living area and the dining room. The third level is given over entirely to the master suite, which includes not only its own full bathroom, complete with separate WC, but also an office that has a bathroom with a shower. At the top of the house, a casual penthouse lounge is all about the San Francisco Bay view, enhanced by a wet bar.
Hollis kept finishes consistent and restrained. Flooring is limestone slabs in the three bathrooms and one powder room—and gray-stained oak planks elsewhere. Carrara marble appears with knife-edge detailing on counters in the kitchen and bathrooms. The same marble is used for the surround of the master bath's whirlpool tub and the new mantelpiece for the dining room's existing fireplace. Cabinetry is ebonized oak. Walls are unfailingly white.
OK, not unfailingly. In the moody powder room off the kitchen, cocoa-brown suede wall covering meets a live-edge walnut vanity and a travertine vessel sink. Love at first sight.