When Heather Hilliard and her studio’s Senior Designer, Fleur Keys, first met with their clients, they were in the middle of the demolition phase of transforming their kitchen and bathrooms. At first, the couple – he’s from Virginia, she’s from Germany, and both work in tech – had a minor changes to their home in mind. But after talking with the two designers, they soon realized that if they wanted to achieve their ultimate space, a complete gut renovation was necessary.
“In addition to renovating everything – moving rooms, widening and adding height to door and windows openings, changing from traditional millwork to contemporary detailing, the clients dreamed of adding a roof deck,” Heather said. “To do so, we enlisted the help of Sutro Architects and Aaron Gordon Construction.” The vision that the couple had for their home was to tailor it to their lifestyle, and, most importantly, bring the outdoors in. “There was a request for warm and soft tactile natural materials. To provide warmth to the minimal envelope, we specified rich materials including wide bleached white oak floors, hand-applied smooth plaster around the fireplace, large warm honed stone slabs for all of the floors and walls in the bathrooms, suede textured granite on the kitchen island, large veined white slabs of Calacatta for the kitchen counters, rift oak custom millwork throughout, and alpaca fabric upholstery at the master bed wall.,” she explained. “We also ordered a custom cashmere rug to complete the tactile experience.”
Heather and Fleur worked not just on bringing the right materials into the home but also to create storage that was just right for their clients. They took detailed inventories of their clothing, accessories, and belongings to craft custom closets that fit their exact needs. Since the couple works in tech, the designers created bedside tables with hidden wireless chargers and motorized shades above the windows that give the room complete darkness if required during the day.
The key, though, to the success of this house’s transformation was to blend the gap between the indoors and outdoors. “In the kitchen, large steel frame and glass doors open all the way up to the patio, living green wall, and barbecue,” Heather explained. “We also installed new wide picture windows in the master bedroom that frame the view of the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Finally, we put in a large glass skylight that slides open at the top of the stairs to reveal a roof deck where the couple sit at the fire pit and take in the expansive views of the bay. The project took 3 years from start to finish, and given the greatly expanded scope of renovating the interior with highly customized detailing, including a new exterior facade and roof deck, the project required a lot of patience. Now, they wake up to a view of the San Francisco bay every morning.”