In The News

See inside a 1908 Victorian condo given a Scandinavian makeover

By Amy Graff, SFGATE Updated 10:36 pm PDT, Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A stunning light-filled San Francisco condo given a Scandinavian-inspired makeover is listed for $2.995 million.

The home at 1985 15th St. occupies the top two floors and converted attic space of a two-unit 1908 Victorian in the Mission District. While purists may mourn the loss of original details in this remodel, anyone who appreciates the clean, simple Nordic aesthetic will find this space breathtaking — and may even consider its fresh look timeless.

Mork Ulnes Architects, with offices in both San Francisco and Norway, transformed the segmented home by converting the unused and dark attic into living space with a stairway and atrium at the center for accessing the two floors. Six skylights allow the natural light to flood the interior.

Listing agent Arrian Binnings of Compass says one of the most “amazing things about this house” is walking up those stairs when you first enter the home.

“There’s a solid wall on your right and then wood slats on the left, and the wood slats obscure your view until you reach the top of the stairs and you emerge into this voluminous atrium with a two story-ceiling above and natural light pouring in,” says Binnings.

The firm has worked on projects ranging from a surf cabin in Brazil to a community master plan in the Sierra, but in San Francisco, they have become known for transforming attic spaces in older homes. This particular project was featured in Dwell magazine and on the American Institute of Architects Tour.

Throughout the 2,900-square-foot home, bright white, clean spaces are warmed up, made even soulful, with light-colored natural woods. Most of the woodwork, including the flooring and kitchen cabinets, was done with Douglas fir and treated with traditional Scandinavian methods.

“It’s almost as if the wood came straight out of nature and into the home,” says the listing agent.

A formal living room with a fireplace and built-in bookshelf, and a casual family room are at the front of the home’s main level. In the back, a kitchen features beautiful wood cabinets, open shelving and tile made by the Bay Area company Heath. The dining room off the kitchen can accommodate up to 10 people and opens up to a deck where you can dine al fresco.

A master bedroom and bathroom are on the top level with a picture window, walk-in closet, and a private roof-deck with views to the east. From the roof deck, you overlook the shared backyard’s park-like setting with landscaping and a brick patio. There’s also a second bedroom and bathroom, and a catwalk that doubles as a screening room.

“It’s a very uplifting space,” says Binnings. “You feel like you’ve come out of the fog and the clouds and you’ve ascended into where the sun shines.”

Amy Graff is a digital editor at SFGATE. Email her at agraff@sfgate.com.