Open House Report: Living Small on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco


One of San Francisco’s best small houses is on the market and open this Sunday. A great example of living in small spaces with high design, this 1-bed, 1.5-bath was designed for a couple that spends much of their time in Berlin, but it’s not just a pied-à-terre– it’s a fully functioning house for two.

368 Vallejo Street, Telegraph Hill $999K
The original, turn-of-the century building was in bad condition, and was basically replaced behind the restored facade with spaces that range from 12.5 to 9 feet wide, preserving the light wells and adding skylights. Upstairs, there’s a series of high-ceilinged, softy-lit spaces– a study/office up front, opening to a seating area, plus a dining area that can  accommodate six people for a meeting or dinner.

The full-size kitchen stays visually open with an under-counter refrigerator and freezer, and a wall of glass that opens to the deck. Nothing’s cramped, there’s no excess, and everything is beautifully (and expensively) detailed.

Downstairs, there’s the one small bedroom (not shown) with generous closet space and a big, luxurious bath.

Surprisingly, all this took years to accomplish. Telegraph Hill is a notoriously difficult neighborhood to build or renovate in, and the house was originally designed by architect Nilus de Matran, who moved on when objections and demands by the neighbors dragged the project out, and the project was eventually was finished by architect John Holey. More images of this great little house at the listing link, above. Open Sunday, July 29 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

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