Teresita Blvd Project: New Kitchen Remodel Project & Designing with Lightwells

This project is located in an in-between neighborhood: between Mount Davidson and Glen Park, below Diamond Heights.

It's a single family home with a garage and storage at the first floor and kitchen, bath and two bedrooms at the second floor. Like most San Francisco homes, it looks bigger on the outside than it feels on the inside. There is barely any rear yard space, but there is a very cool exterior feature: an interior lightwell. Which sounds a bit confusing.

Usually lightwells are positioned at the side of the home and look like rectangular cut-outs between two adjoining buildings. Their purpose is to bring in much needed natural light to the sides of homes. Since most of San Francisco homes are so close together, light comes in from the front and back windows, leaving the space at the center of the home in the dark. Lightwells help solve this problem.

This lightwell is located in the center of the main living space, currently dividing the kitchen, dining and living areas. Existing floor plan:


With the existing plan there are so many walls around the lightwell that when inside the home, the lightwell blends in. There's this lovely exterior space accessible from the center of the home, except it's surrounded by walls and mismatched windows and without anything green and alive that suggests an exterior space. Fortunately, the kitchen remodel is an opportunity to change all of this.

Scroll through the images below to see the first round of layouts for the remodel. The main idea is to move the kitchen and open up the space around the lightwell. Simplify to amplify. 


These clients are not super modern, but they do have an eclectic taste.  I'm thinking more traditional looking windows/doors in wood with large panels of glass. These are my lightwell inspirations for this remodel: 


Once we've decided on a layout it will be time to move into the kitchen. I'm excited to see how that will blend into this new open space. More updates to come.