San Francisco Modern


We love our little conjoined houses in our secret garden, but they were an adjustment after living in a spacious home in Portland, Oregon. Moving into downtown San Francisco, we knew had to downsize into a much smaller, urban dwelling, but we also wanted to maximize open space and minimize clutter.

Collaborating with Lord Design, working out of state, we were able to complete the entire process with just one site visit and one move-in day, by measuring carefully, working digitally, and staging all of the furniture in a Portland warehouse until we had everything. Literally one day we left for work from an empty house, and came back to a completely decorated, finished home.

The minimalism of the restored interiors and glass walls could have been a stark white box, but the team countered this with warm, soft materials and colors with a casual layout. The result is a bright, modern space that still feels homey.

Working with essentially three rooms, Arlene and crew made them feel like many more. We have a living room/dining room/home theater that with the glass doors open becomes part of the outdoor living space. Our master also functions like a den; the guest room is also a study. Clever storage solutions and custom cabinetry hide clutter in drawers, under beds, and inside baskets.

Even though we were 600 miles apart, we were able to review plans, choose designs, select items, and see them rendered in the space—enough so that we could make every decision remotely, and have it all fit together in real life as good or better than we imagined. Our unique location also meant every item had to fit through one small, 75-foot long passageway—so each item had to not only be measured to fit our living space, but also the hallway to get to it. It was like building a ship in a bottle, and with all the careful planning, everything we ordered fit through the neck.

We love our home. There is nothing like it in San Francisco in terms of history, modern restoration, and location. But without the interior work with Lord Design, it would never have achieved its potential. Now we have an interior that lives up to the stunning wrapper it comes within.
— -Nueberger/Schriber

Photo Credit : Black Stone Edge


Arlene Lord