A San Francisco Home with the Coolest Skylight We've Ever Seen

The modern space boasts tons of bright light and statement fixtures.

Photography by Joe Fletcher

The 1,600-square-foot home that Whitney Burroughs and Courtenay Brown were living in in San Francisco was the perfect size for both them and their new baby. “It was a really sweet, cute little house that fit the two of us and a baby really well,” she says. But when the couple added a second child to the mix, “We were literally bursting at the seams!”

Due to a need for more storage and the desire for a cleaner, less disorganized space, the couple began interviewing several local architects to help expand their home—their main desire being to accommodate their growing family with a more seamless floorplan. It was architect Malcolm Davis of Malcolm Davis Architecture who caught their eye as they pored over portfolios.

“I loved how his projects were so bright, and how he was able to get so much natural light into each home,” says Whitney. “All of the windows and skylights in his homes really spoke to us.”

Photography by Joe Fletcher

Davis therefore pulled together two plans—one was modest in scope, but still gave the couple more space, and the other was larger in scale. “It was a much bigger remodel, but it checked off all the boxes for us,” says Whitney. “We decided to go for it.”

With that, the home was stripped down to the studs. In lieu of adding square footage by adding a third story, the ceilings were heightened to allow breathing room throughout the house. Because of the home’s long lot, a master ensuite was added to the downstairs (where the other three bedrooms were), and a kitchen and dining area were added on the main floor.

“We really wanted to be respectful of the neighborhood aesthetic,” says Whitney. “Had we added a third story, it just wouldn’t have fit into the look of the neighborhood.” The home grew to a modest 3,300 square feet post-renovation.

Photography by Joe Fletcher

Even though Davis was able to brighten the living areas by taking advantage of sun exposure from all four sides of the home, the architect wanted to add more natural light with the addition of strategically placed skylights in the dining and family rooms.

Photography by Joe Fletcher

“I love the way the light moves and animates those spaces throughout the day,” says Davis. The wood in the skylights is the old framing lumber, which is rough-sawn fir—“It’s almost like a piece of art,” says Whitney. 


Photography by Joe Fletcher
Photography by Joe Fletcher

To add warmth to the space, Davis pulled more of the cedar wood into the kitchen design, where it was added to the underside of the island and ceiling of the kitchen. The same original cedar wood was also added to the master bedroom, where a full wall of golden wood serves as the headboard to the bed. 

Photography by Joe Fletcher

Interior designer Lori Yeomans highlighted Davis’s architectural details with a clean aesthetic, utilizing some of the couple's existing pieces and mixing them together with newer, more modern accessories and lighting. The streamlined, open look was just what the Burroughs lacked in their previous space. 

Photography by Joe Fletcher
Photography by Joe Fletcher

“The home just feels so calming when you walk in,” says Whitney. “It’s a true combination of Malcom’s fantastic architecture and Lori’s interior design. When we walk in the front door, we immediately feel like we can exhale. We absolutely love it.”

Photography by Joe Fletcher
Published on April 01, 2018 - 5:30am EDT

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