Interior designer Megan Bachmann‘s clients were a dream to work with – having already gone through many renovations in the past as well as the fact that one half of the retired couple had worked as a commercial interior designer, meant that they had a clear vision for the space and were familiar with the process.

The condo, located in Pacific Heights in San Francisco, was an 1170-square-foot two-bedroom and two-bathroom dated box of an apartment. The kitchen was stylistically and functionally lacking and needed a more appropriate open-plan layout. “We knocked down the entryway wall and opened up the kitchen to create a really fantastic great room,” Megan explained. The clients wanted their home to have a modern, neutral, and California-style interior.” To do so, Megan implemented a mix of natural materials. For example, she selected white oak for the bathroom vanities with a white marble countertop and limestone backsplash, as well as walnut for the kitchen cabinets.

The lighting, however, was a bit of a challenge and forced Megan to get creative. “Because we had to work with the existing concrete ceilings, we couldn’t drill into it for structural reasons,” she said. “We didn’t want to lose height by floating the ceiling lower – so we ultimately had to use the existing locations in the ceiling and additional sconces or undercabinet lighting wherever we could.” The real stroke of genius of the house, however, was the illuminated backsplash in the kitchen. “We worked closely together with the fabricator, electrician, and contractor to make this design detail happen by adding an LED strip to the gap that we created behind the lower Caesarstone backsplash,” she explained. “I just love how it softly illuminates the space!”

The apartment especially comes together with the small details that Megan included. The wallpaper she installed in the master bedroom creates visual interest that was originally missing. In the bathroom, she designed a slatted partition for the toilet and a mirrored sliding door to increase the feeling of space as well as privacy. Finally, the couple’s main requirement was to maximize their pied-à-terre’s storage. Megan’s husband, who has his own millwork business, Bachmann Woodworking, created the custom closets and cabinetry with leather pulls throughout the apartment. The overall result was exactly what her clients wanted: “We made this smaller condo a jewel box of design details that offers a very serene and neutral space for the homeowners.”