Houzz Tour: When an Architect Designs for Himself

Remodeling and Home Design

When San Francisco architect John Lum decided to remodel the living space over his office, he made a discovery: it was difficult to be both architect and client. “Usually we try to listen to what [clients] want,” Lum says. “Most people want more lush homes.” But he wanted to focus on the basics of the 1917 building. “I tend to follow symmetry – I like things very rationalized,” he says. The warehouse’s 32-inch rafters gave Lum a module that allowed him to design the 1,300-square-foot space with gridlike precision. “I wanted to keep the rustic quality, the found sensibility of the space,” he says. “I was on an extremely tight budget. Instead of highly refined finishes, it would be in my best interest to do things simply.”

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