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Function Meets Fashion in This Unique San Francisco Loft

Aidlin Darling Design, Drew Maran Construction


  • Aidlin Darling
  • Drew Maran

Project Status


Room or Space

Specialty Room



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Project Description


Illuminate the space naturally without using direct sunlight
Provide a view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge


When the owners of this loft by the bay came to Aidlin Darling Design for guidance, they had a specific vision for the space. “The clients came to us saying that they had this kind of funky loft over two stories in an old turn-of-the-century Edwardian building,” recalls project manager Leonard Ng. They wanted to renovate the whole space, and had two specific requests: They wanted something “transformative and light-filled,” but didn’t want the design to incorporate direct sunlight; and despite wanting to curb noise from nearby nightlife, they wanted large double hung windows that don’t do much to block incoming acoustics. 

To achieve that vision, Ng says the space uses light in creative, new ways. The design is organized around a two-story, sky-lit entrance, which brings daylight light into the loft. Next to the “skyspace” is what Ng and the design team called the “lightshelf,” a wall that reflects light laterally through the surrounding space. Though sleek and trendy, these designs represent needs, not wants; with angular walls and lots of labyrinth-esque corridors, the unique layout of the loft warranted a bold touch. “It’s interesting how these funky obstacles ended up becoming catalysts,” says Ng. 

Remodeler Drew Maran agrees the loft “required a lot of ingenuity.” Each piece of the puzzle—from the kitchen counters to the razor-thin guardrail on the main entry stairs—needed to be designed and installed with extreme precision. To reduce noise, Maran insulated the loft’s pipes. 

And there were moments where a little pushback was needed to get the job done.  Originally the plan was to raise the ceilings, which Maran nixed. “In a situation where we didn’t actually own the roof, we would have had to go through months, if not years, of approval from the HOA of the building,” he says.

Judge’s Comments

“Great transformation from something dark and heavy to something that radiates light and calm,” said one judge. The other judges praised the design’s use of angles and artistic qualities of the design.

Products Used

Bathroom plumbing fittings: DornbrachtKohler 
Bathroom plumbing fixtures: WetstyleAgape, Kohler
Bathroom cabinets: Mueller Nicholls, custom
Dishwaher: Miele
Entry doors: Custom wood stile
Fireplace or wood stove: Heat-n-Glo
Flooring: Solid White Oak
Hardware:FSB, Accurate, Tydix, Sugasune
Interior doors: Liberty Valley
Kitchen cabinets: Mueller Nicholls, custom
Kitchen plumbing fittings: KWC Faucets
Lighting fixtures: Xal, Delta Light, Artemide, Contrast 
Oven: Wolf
Paints/stains: Benjamin Moore
Range: Wolf
Refrigerator: Subzero
Skylight/roof windows: O'Keeffe's
Structural lumber: Trus Joist
Windows: Western

Click to see the 17 other winners in the 2014 Remodeling Design Awards.

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