aidlin darling design, san francisco

This loft in San Francisco's Mission District was dark and cluttered before Joshua Aidlin, AIA, and his client got their hands on it. Working with a talented contractor and fabricators, they turned it into a well-organized, sunlight-filled home. “It's quite charming,” observed a judge. “For a small apartment, it has wonderful details.” Aidlin stripped the space down to its bones and came up with a set of five key, cost-effective architectural moves—with catchy names, no less. The “Cradle,” a Douglas fir entry feature that holds home office space, bookshelves, and storage, is interwoven with the “Zipper,” a steel-and-wood stair and railing piece. The plate-steel “Hearth” anchors the living room, while the “Stage” is a bilevel, sit-down kitchen counter that lets guests witness the client's formidable culinary skills. And the “Scrim,” a wall of translucent sliding panels made from fabric stretched and stapled onto wood frames, supplies privacy and solar shading.

“The materials are very off-the-shelf,” Aidlin explains. “Instead of building a lot of infrastructure, we decided to paint everything white and just add furniture elements.”

principal in charge: Joshua Aidlin, AIA, Aidlin Darling Design;
project designer: Ethen Wood, Aidlin Darling Design;
general contractor: Monty Montgomery, McVay Construction, San Francisco;
project size: 1,530 square feet;
construction cost: Withheld;
photography: Matthew Millman.

product specs
lighting fixtures: FontanaArte Corp.; oven/range: Aga Ranges; paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore & Co.