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Home Tour | Hosono House by Ryan Leidner Architecture

  • A secluded home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighbourhood beautifully captures its owners’ appreciation for global design.

    With an enviable view of the city skyline, and an unprecedented sense of privacy to go with it, the word ‘oasis’ comes to mind upon entering Hosono House. San Francisco-based firm Ryan Leidner Architecture sought to reimagine the home through clever reconfigurations and a sympathetic material palette – a foundation upon which the soulful interiors were shaped.

    “Hosono House was interesting to begin with given that the original structure was set quite far back from the street, giving it a unique sense of privacy and a feeling of being a true retreat,” Ryan Leidner says. While this was a major drawcard for the client, it presented some challenges for the design team in terms of accessibility and circulation. To resolve this, a new entry sequence was created – one involving crossing a bridge over the front garden to arrive at a half-level landing where the new front door lies. This door opens onto a small flight of stairs that lead up to the main living-dining-kitchen area. Being on the top floor, this space enjoys sweeping skyline views and an airy, elevated feel.

    The lounge is located on the ground level, opening onto a landscaped courtyard designed to evoke the atmosphere of a Japanese whiskey bar. The walls, floors and ceiling are all clad in wide-plank white oak, enveloping the space in warmth. Up a small flight of stairs lies a record player and a casual bar area: two amenities intended to be enjoyed while sitting on the custom-made velvet sofa.

    The dining table is a custom piece by local furniture maker Nobuto Suga, which is paired with a set of vintage Tucroma chairs and a Poltronova Locus Solus Tubular armchair. A vintage brass sconce designed by Florian Schulz hangs above. A circular window brings light and a sense of playfulness into the space.

    The kitchen features custom white oak cabinetry, concrete countertops and polished brass accents, enjoying sweeping views of the city skyline. Vintage counter stools by Alvar Aalto.

    The De Sede DS-88 sectional sofa is paired with a vintage Italian travertine coffee table and the Artemide Lesbo lamp. Lush greenery and vibrant artwork (the piece above the sofa is by Drew Bennett, and the piece above the dining table is by Kyle Flynn) elevate the space.

    Looking to preserve the home’s historic features, the existing timber ceilings were finished, and the beams were left exposed. At the same time, all the original windows and floors were substituted to create more continuity. In combination with the white walls, the natural wood tones are intended to realise “a relaxed social space”, Ryan says, “where kids’ playtime and afternoon lounging can easily evolve into an evening dinner party.”

    The words ‘playful’ and ‘personal’ come to mind when journeying through the spaces. The furnishings, lighting and art reflect the owners, whose travels and life experiences have given them a deep appreciation for global design. Traces of Japanese and Californian-modernist design can be found among a covetable collection of vintage Italian pieces.

    The exterior of the house is boxy in form and clad in charcoal-stained cedar.

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