Of course, a candy shop owner would have a vintage bright lime gumball dispenser right at the front door.
This is just one of the fun quirks designer Regan Baker peppered through her client, Alan Ledford’s 1890s Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco’s Mission District. The three-story house had already been remodeled with contemporary upgrades which were nice but lacked some personality.
“We honored the history as much as possible, keeping all of the period details that were remaining,” explains Baker. “At the same time, we made some non-permanent decisions that are modern through and through.” Now, vibrant colors and rooms made for entertaining cohabit with ornate original features like a gas-powered chandelier and traditional, intricate molding. The result is a stark yet harmonious contrast of old and new:
Since Ledford’s favorite color is green, Baker made sure to weave it throughout. In the mint-painted living room, a pair of wingback chairs appear in a fern-toned velvet. Upstairs, floor-to-ceiling olive curtains emphasize the height of the main bedroom, where the fireplace is outfitted in forest-hued tile.
All of these green elements tie in with the monochromatic, emerald office, which includes a wall of custom millwork to accommodate Ledford’s extensive fiction book collection. The cubbies display his treasured novels. “He’s an avid reader,” says Baker.
Thinking Beyond White Walls
To fill the house with Ledford’s personality, Baker employed a bold and unexpected assortment of wallpapers. A large-scale brush stroke pattern in the dining area spans two levels, creating a striking, deep blue focal point. Things get moody in the powder room where dark floral vinyl covers the walls, while a Calico wallpaper with dramatic gold drip leads to the ensuite bathroom.
Embracing Two-Tone Cabinets
Baker opted to balance out these energetic choices with Semihandmade Tahoe Impression fronts and panels in the kitchen on both the island and refrigerator (the rest of the cabinets are white, creating a two-tone effect). “By mixing in wood, we were able to bring more warmth to the space and help the new kitchen relate to other textured elements on the ground floor like the exposed brick wall and the walnut dining table,” says the designer.
Building Out a Hosting Pad
The former attic had already been converted into a lounge area with a kitchenette, so Baker completed its transformation into Ledford’s ideal spot to host friends and family from out of town. A deep, comfortable sectional faces a large, flatscreen television for movie nights. The adjoining deck, which provides stunning views of the bay, unites a built-in bench with planters, festive string lights, and outdoor heating for a lush, alfresco hangout. Combined with two luxurious guest rooms, the home is an entertainer’s heaven.