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While other designers may have been intimidated by a condo in a historic building, Gretchen Murdock of MODTAGE Design saw an opportunity to create a wholly unique space that could combine industrial elements with cozy texture and contemporary architecture. Her clients, who live in Dogpatch, San Francisco, liked their space, but they didn’t like where its history worked against them: for example, the bathrooms lacked windows, and HOA and historic building requirements forbid them from adding them. The clients wanted an environment that would reference the building’s history while also offering modern design solutions to simplify function and improve efficiency.

Murdock blasted through the drywall to expose the steel structural beams and dry brick walls of the building, and give her clients extra space. For the windowless bathrooms, she designed large, sliding doors made of wood panels and frosted glazing to open up the rooms to light from the rest of the house. In the following slides, we explore the house with her to discover how she approached each design challenge and brought personality to the apartment.

  • The red lacquered kitchen cabinetry from Bulthaup makes a statement; the countertops are also from Bulthaup. Reclaimed barn siding wraps around the kitchen area, and white oak fascias subtly conceal the window shades.

    The red lacquered kitchen cabinetry from Bulthaup makes a statement; the countertops are also from Bulthaup. Reclaimed barn siding wraps around the kitchen area, and white oak fascias subtly conceal the window shades.


    Photo by Christopher Stark

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January 29, 2020

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