Combining Forces


BK Interior Design creates a warm, modern home for an Egyptian family living in San Francisco.

The home is upside down with bedrooms below, living area and then the roof deck. A walnut screen helps directs visitors while still allowing light to penetrate.

How do you take a generic white walled condo and turn it into a warm space that, while reflecting a family’s heritage, also incorporates a modern sensibility? That is the dilemma that interior designer Brad Krefman faced when creating this home for an Egyptian family in San Francisco.

Paint signals the transition from one floor to the next. The basket lights, repurposed Indonesian fishing nets, are from Tucker Robbins. “They help draw your eye up,” says Krefman, “and provide a nice glow that you see from the exterior when you walk by.”

The hills just above the Castro yielded a bright, spacious condo to the clients. To turn it into a welcoming home, they turned to Brad Krefman of BK Interior Design whom they’d discovered via Houzz. “The developer had given it a clean, safe white wash,” Krefman says of his first impression.

The counter stools are from McGuire. The chairs were found at Stuff and recovered in navy leather. The wall hanging is by ceramicist M. Kwan. The dining table is from Design Within Reach.

“They wanted the home to feel warm and inviting but they didn’t know how to do that. I told them that you have to believe in the process and trust us.” Krefman started by cultivating imagery and sourcing materials that would compliment the rich palette of navy blues and maroons in the rugs that the clients had brought with them from Egypt. “We looked at sources like Zak+Fox, whose approach has a worldly and bohemian sensibility,” says Krefman. In the kitchen that meant using a quartzite for the waterfall island that echoed the home’s blue and brown tones. A leathered finish adds texture and warmth. 

Top down, bottom up shades from Conrad on all of the windows on the home’s main living area help unify the space

Navy blue leather, an unexpected and softer choice than black, was also used to cover the Chieftan’s chair in the living room

In the living room, a sofa found at McGuire is covered in a Gant fabric and topped with lumbar pillows using a George Spence fabric. “She said she wanted the home to be a relaxing place to come home to at the end of the day,” Krefman remembers, “So we had developed this idea of a double cushion to create that lounge-y, inviting, serene feel.” Krefman found the hanging sculpture in Palm Springs.

For the kid’s lounge area, Krefman had a sofa fabricated whose design echoes the lines of the one in the living room. The artwork is by the couple’s children. “She’d collected their work through the years and we picked the ones that we thought told the best story and had them framed,” Krefman says. A Peter Dunham fabric was chosen for the window cover. The table is from Cisco Home. The table is from Blu Dot. The sconces are the Nelson Bubble lamps and were found at Design Within Reach. The pouf is custom.

On the other side of the landing, an alcove is a quiet place for homework.

The home’s stripes and touches of navy blue carry into the master bedroom’s coverlet and the bench at the foot of the bed. “I like when there’s a bit of a repeat throughout a home. It ties together individual rooms into a cohesive whole,” Krefman notes. All of the artwork was from the client’s existing collection.

The chaise is from Room on Line in NY. The dresser is from 1st Dibs. The floor lamps are from Lawson Fenning. Curtains on a track taken up to the ceiling both unifies the room’s architecture and amplifies its height, adding to the airy feel.

A table with an inlaid tile top from Tazzi, a blue ceramic side table and an assortment of plants and vessels from Flora Grubb bring the home’s laidback narrative to the roof deck.