Location: Castro neighborhood of San Francisco
Size: 1,647 square feet (153 square meters); 3 bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms
The wall of polycarbonate panels on the south side of the house, where the front door is located, filters heat and blocks views from a guest cottage across the small courtyard. Because the street-facing side has all the views toward downtown San Francisco, Marlatt organized the stairs on this courtyard-facing side.
The door at the bottom of the stairway leads to the street.
San Francisco’s planning code allows exterior extensions of up to 3 feet. Marlatt took advantage of that to add angled punch-outs oriented toward the best view. “They’re really just an interpretation of bay windows,” he says.
From a LEED point of view, the home has a lot of points just because it’s in an urban setting and close to plenty of public transportation, says Olivier Pennetier, an architect at Marlatt’s DNM Architect firm who oversaw the LEED aspects for the project. He focused a lot on energy consumption. The home is 30 percent more efficient than the minimum required by the state of California for energy consumption.
What’s LEED All About Anyway?
He sought to earn more LEED points elsewhere in the house with other careful choices, like using dense insulation, a foundation that’s 30 percent fly ash, a bamboo deck, low-flow toilets, an HRV system, minimal landscaping and low-VOC paints, and making sure the house was very tightly sealed.
See Marlatt talk more about the design of the home:
“First, I tried not to make a fool of myself and muck up this beautiful architecture,” he says. “Second, I wanted to make the client comfortable.”
The windows also play a big role in earning LEED points. Fiberglass frames minimize thermal expansion, which means there’s less space for air to leak in or out, making a more efficient living space.
“We didn’t want the experience to be trendy, too faddish, but rather sophisticated, sexy, inviting and a little playful,” McCullar says. “These are tag words that we hear a lot, but this is a sophisticated structure, and we still wanted it to be inviting with touches of luxury that create a warm vibe.”
Draperies: custom, Donghia
The designer worked with a manufacturer to create the custom wallpaper. “It took several months to get the scale of the pattern and the colors just right,” he says. “I really wanted rich charcoals, bison browns, caramel and off-white ivories as a more robust version of the same colors you find elsewhere in the house.”
Wilhelm Wagenfeld lamps nod to the Bauhaus period. McCullar found the nightstands on Craigslist, had them spray painted and added new hardware. The bed is custom, by Restoration Hardware “I tried to pick the best of the best without going over-the-top or too crazy,” he says.
It’s not low maintenance either. The homeowner wanted wood floors to extend all the way into the bathroom. Because of this, he has to wipe them off frequently.
Large scale 8-inch by 16-inch tile, a frameless glass shower and a black granite tub deck maintain consistency of materials throughout the house.
Pillows: Bed, Bath & Beyond
See more about the home’s LEED goals: