Houzz TV: A Famed ‘Painted Lady’ Gets a Gorgeous Update
Côme Laguë and Charlene Li faced the familiar design challenge of wanting to modernize an old house. The difference was that their home, an 1892 Victorian, was one of San Francisco’s iconic Painted Ladies — a block of colorful historic houses photographed by tourists from all over the world. Postcard Row, as the street is known, also has come to represent San Francisco in countless commercials, movies and television shows.
The family, who purchased the house in 2014, gave the interiors a modern overhaul while respecting its history and restoring original design details. Laguë says, “We feel like we are custodians of history, and we wanted to preserve something that is loved by so many people.”
Great story and beautiful photography. Love the storage tricks and the gas lighting, and then connecting it all to the family.
It's nice to see that they realize just how lucky they are.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to see your spectacular house. I saw the outside on a recent trip to San Francisco, so seeing the inside is a real thrill!
Yes...what Alon said!!!
Wow thank you so much for the story and a peek into a home we know about but can never see. Now we have! Well done!
So incredibly well done!
Love this so much!
sigh... I'm in love with this house.
Hmm, Danny Tanner looks different here.
Great looking house!
What a stunning home and bit of history.
Absolutely gorgeous historic home!
That was a real treat. Big thanks to the generous homeowners. I can't even hate on you because you seem so nice. :)
That gas chandelier is giving me life.
I read Houzz every single night before I go to bed. I always look forward to the end of a long day, knowing that delicious photos and stories await on my all-time favorite website. I just realized, however, that one thing I've never done is click on a video link within Houzz TV. But I liked this story about the "Painted Lady" so much that I finally clicked and watched because I wanted to see more!! The pictures of this restoration are so stunningly beautiful...just...really....beautiful. I love every room, every detail, every restored pocket door, every interesting lighting fixture and the floors, the furnishings and the grand piano. The updates to the house are so logical, nothing crazy. To me, all of their choices are perfect. And after watching the video, it makes me happy that such lovely people live there.
Wow! How perfectly lovely... and the gas chandelier is absolutely bewitching!
Did you all hear my yearning sigh . . . ? The gas chandeliers are especially exquisite.
FAR AND AWAY, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOME I HAVE EVER SEEN ON HOUZZ. GET ONE OF THOSE BEDROOMS READY; I'M MOVING IN!!!!
Seems like they were patient, thoughtful, and reverent in their restoration/renovation. Very cool.
We also own a home with history (though not this much!) :) and, I agree, it's something special, fun, and inspiring. Enjoy!
Just beautiful! My only disappointment was that the kitchen seems too modern for the home. A more period appropriate look could have been done that also contains the modern amenities and storage that they desired.
thanks for sharing. your home is beautifully, tastefully and respectively done.
Beautiful story! It really feels that the owners have the same wonderful spirit as the painted lady. That gas chandelier is out of this world!
Seamlessly achieving the transition between historic and present day. Beautifully done.
What a great piece! They are the perfect owners for this house. How nice it was of them to share. They're very gracious. I was as impressed with them as much as I was with the house, their Home. What a beautiful job they've done. They deserve to be part of the history of this house. It's just beautiful. Thanks for the tour.
Thank you for letting us look into this beautiful historic home. Absolutely stunning!
thank you so much for show us your very beautiful home, it is a dream house! what a chance to own it!
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - there is no other word to describe this historic jewel; other verbiage is extraneous.
Yep - pretty much what every other commenter has said! But I do want to compliment the owners for taking on the responsibility of such a house. I am so glad that they have found the balance between home ownership and custodianship. Everything is just beautiful. Bravo.
HouzzTV always takes FOREVER to buffer for me and I can't watch them without it constantly stopping to load. It's more like a slide show than a video. Bummer, I wanted to see this one!
I can not get the video to work (yet!) but love the photos and the way you kept the spirit of the home while making it livable for our times! I live on the same sort of street in Seattle and also restored a period home. I agree it is an honor for the homes to be admired and appreciated by people from around the world. Congrats and enjoy!
Thank you for sharing your "painted lady." Love that you thoroughly enjoy your home!
OooooooH, WOW! I love how they combined the Victorian with the clean lines of modern.
I was born in San Francisco so it means so much to see the inside of a"painted lady" and enjoy the beauty. I thank you for sharing your home
I have toured that area and I have to say, you've done a marvelous job on that house! It didn't look nearly so nice. It truly is beautiful. Enjoy your home and thank you for sharing it with us. That stained window is amazing.
What joy! Getting a chance to look inside one of the Painted Ladies filled my day with wonder. And that wonderful family that owns it. They're like curators in a fun museum. I was particularly struck by the detail in the woodwork. They touched it as if it were a new baby. Thanks for the experience.
It's really gorgeous and I'm grateful the owners did not gut it and modernize the inside - they certainly could have, there are zero restrictions on what you can do in SF.
The sad thing this, there've been 15 owners in that house for a reason: the tourists are relentless, all year long. Cars are not allowed in Alamo Square but buses are, and tourists walk by the house at all hours. There's literally no peace for the residents that live there.
This is a TREAT!
Thank you for sharing your home , your vision and your joy with this historic building !
Oh, to live in that beautiful home! Well done on the restoration & improvements.
Absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you to the family for being so gracious as to let us see inside their iconic and lovely home!!! So glad they kept the integrity of the home especially the gorgeous gas lamp!
I know this amazing home is grateful for your loving care and zealous guardianship. May your family share many years of beautiful memories on the loveliest block of what is truly the most beautiful City in the world.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU....Those "Painted Ladies" ARE a TREASURE....You are SOOO
BLESSED to be able to enjoy the house/home ...My kiddos live in SF and we've enjoyed walking by those homes several times...Thank You for letting us inside....Peace!
Beautiful home. Love the style, clean and historic. Thank you for sharing. I too love the gas chandelier!
WOW. Grand Lady indeed. I've never seen an actual gas chandelier - it is EXQUISITE, and I agree with the homeowners, it belongs in the home. Thanks for the peek inside, you did a great job renovating! I was in SF this summer and of course we had to go there so I could take photos!
On another note, I too had problems with the houzz video, buffering, stopping, the little circle circling, and I too almost gave up. I usually don't watch the videos because of that problem. Glad I was eventually able to see it.
Why on earth did they put such a contemporary style kitchen in the lovely house! They could have still had all the modern amenities with at least some vintage styling. The rest of the house is nice but I really hate that kitchen.
Not sure this is the place for negative comments . . . just be appreciative for being able to view someone's private home.
i am also planing to built my own home, my name is Larsen T George ,is that possible to get more detailed video of houses,thank you...................................
Beautiful job of restoring and respecting this historical house while adapting it your lifestyle and taste!
Thanks for sharing and the video was wonderful !
I so agree with Pamela, that kitchen just about made me cry. So contemporary, trendy that it's almost out of style already and in no way belongs in that home. They didn't so much "leave a mark on the house", they marked the house in a disparate and uncomfortable way.
Stunning home. I think they did an amazing job of renovating to make it work as a warm, modern home while preserving the beautiful details. The millwork is breathtaking.
Oh what a wonderful tour! Thank you for sharing your home with the rest of the world. It was very well done, love it!
Thank you for inviting us into your stunning home. I especially loved the pocket doors and the gas light fixture.
Thank you for inviting Houzz into your home. Absolutely beautiful! Great restoration with a touch of modern. I love it!
What a lovely home and you can feel the warmth and love just bursting out from every corner. A home needs to be loved and cherished and you have done just that. I love when a home can take you back on a journey from where it all started. It is an honor to preserve its history. You have done this in such a beautiful way and thank you for inviting everyone to take part in your family's private moments.
Simply stunning, love the attention to detail with the restoration, preserving the original features - I love the kitchen, love that it is more contemporary and so 'fresh'
I think they have done the house proud! What a beautiful place to live. I disagree with those who feel the kitchen is too modern. I have lived in homes of this age and I feel bringing the kitchen into the current century livens a home and keeps it from feeling like a museum period piece. It allows the back of the house to feel more open. This house has fairly grand proportions, but Victorian homes tend to have lots of rooms with lots of narrow hallways and doors. There was no reasonable way to heat the home without sectioning. That can feel claustrophobic to many people. I love the balance of new and old here!
outstanding...thanks for sharing!!!
I totally disagree with the negative comments about the modern kitchen. I love the kitchen and think it looks perfectly beautiful.
What a fabulous house! What a fabulous video! How generous of the owners to share so many details of their beautiful, landmark home.
Thank you so very much for sharing yourselves and your incredible home. What a thoughtful combination of the old with the living needs of a modern family. Love all of it.
Beautiful!! Warm and family friendly.
Love seeing the inside - especially the storage in the kitchen! Would love to see the remaining 6 :)
If anyone is visiting San Francisco, you can stay in the apartment of this Painted Lady via AirBNB. Here is the listing: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7278586
What a treat to see the interior after renovation of one of the Painted Ladies. The rooms look remarkable, and how wonderful to see the stained glass window in the stairway. It was a most interesting article!
Jean & Tatiana
FLAIR INTERIOR DESIGN
Really pretty home to live in. Enjoyed seeing this. Love SF!
Thank you for sharing. I'm a native San Franciscan and always wondered what the inside looked like. Beautiful decor too.
Beautiful house, thanks for inviting us in
I used to live across Alamo Square on Pierce Street, and always wanted to go into one of those houses. Thanks for the tour!
Lovely, lovely home. As far as the negative comments about the kitchen -- any kitchen without a pump at the sink, a block of ice in the icebox, and a wood stove, would not be authentic to that Queen Anne. So they opted for a well-done, respectable, if not a bit blah, kitchen, and one that doesn't scream, "I'm contemporary." I wonder if these commenters are also unhappy with all the sunlight streaming in the house -- which was a no-no in the day of heavy curtains which kept the house cool and the parlor furniture and rugs from fading.
I always wondered why that corner house was different from the others. Can anyone answer that question other than it was the first of the line of houses? Love almost everything in the interior but agree with some others that the kitchen doesn't exactly fit. I think it's the backsplash and the patio door that's the turnoff for me. That said, the restoration of doors, fireplace, chandeliers, and woodwork is marvelous. I join so many others in thanking you for the opportunity to see the inside of one of the beautiful Painted Ladies.
This was stunning! The gas chandelier is just so magical... I actually loved the kitchen- the open concept looks like a warm, comfortable spot to hand with family. Also- the living/dining rooms were simple and let the house details shine. Beautiful renovation!
In 1996 I toured this house while attending my husbands Engineering Convention. It was decorated with metal art and was very eclectic. The new owners kept the important elements but made this house richly cozy.
Wow, nicely done. Way to go to preserve the gas light, I've never seen one in operation.
Your home is gloriously decorated and delightful, really special. But the design of the kitchen seems fraught with discomfort, if not downright danger. Despite an inventive ladder and clever low shelving, it is not a home for inhabitants over time, as they age. Climbing high, and stooping oh so low to reach ordinary items, seems to me a problem every time you'd simply like to take something out. An obstacle course. Like a special Victorian doll, only the thing that might break is not the glorious object, but rather oneself. Even opening the glass doors to the outside has to be done with such care, as shown in your video -- you can't just relax in this house. Sorry, just my impression.
I was one of those who was unable to get the video up and running yesterday, so I read through the article and viewed the photos before making my comments. Today it loaded easily and I was able to watch it and it answered my question as to why that one house in the block is so much different on the outside than the other six.
I still don't like the kitchen backsplash but think the innovative use of cabinet space is amazing. The idea of using the other side of the counter to store canned and packaged goods made me nostalgic for a similar arrangement we had in our previous house. No need to move cans around to find out the tomato sauce hiding behind the beets. It's all right there. And the drawers at floor level were a genius move. Not sure I like the idea of climbing the library ladder in high-heeled boots to get the Christmas dishes down, but the idea of the ladder is still a good one. (Does the ladder have some kind of a brake so it doesn't slip sideways while carrying Grandma's prized pitcher down to use at the family buffet?) With so many interesting and useful ideas in that kitchen, and attractive cabinetry, it's a shame they had to put in that backsplash. But then, again, I never did like that kind of design which has become so run-of-the-mill these days.
Yes, as someone pointed out, the cabinetry in the kitchen isn't suitable for old folks -- although some of us can still bend over, kneel down and get up without much assistance -- but neither is the multi-level living arrangement with so many steps. But it's suitable for THIS family and, overall, they did a great job in renovating it. Again, thanks for giving us a peek into one of the famous Painted Ladies!
Thank you for letting the world see your beautiful "Painted Lady." We have always been in awe of this type of architecture and always wanted to see what restoration were done in them. You have preserved the nature of the home and at the same time made improvements (kitchen) and innovative folding door to outside to add to family living. I loved the gas lamp (glad you kept it), decorative moldings, and layout of the house. Great job!
Thank you to the family for sharing their home with us. I feel privileged to see the interiors.
For more information on design details and renovation stories, please visit www.paintedladysf.com,
They really did a beautiful job of modernizing and at the same time preserving it.
Everything in this house looks wonderful, even the owners-love their attitude! Wonderful idea of putting kitchen storage space up to the ceiling. Why not- the space usually goes wasted.
Stunning!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing
Amazingly beautiful! So glad Come' and Charlene are the current custodians and owners of this fabulous historic home. This landmark is in good hands :-)
Thanks for sharing. I have seen the outside of these houses, but never anything on the inside. They have a real treasure, and have been faithful to it's history while making it a cozy retreat for their family.
I grew up in the Bay Area in the 60's & 70's. If I only knew then what I see now!!!
I LOVE S.F. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beautiful, functional, creatively designed.
Thanks Houzz for giving me the opportunity to see this fantastic interior house! Last June, I was in San Francisco to study, as so as during these 2 months I walked around the city and took many pictures (lovely city, lovely food, lovely friends - I really missing there!), as a designer, I sit in front of these iconics houses - of course, so curious about the respective interiors - I was really glad to have known that! Congratulations to the owners (very good taste!), and all of the team involved in this project!
When I was decorating our Christmas tree this past weekend, lo and behold, I have an ornament of the Painted Ladies that I picked up on one of countless trips to SF. I had forgotten I had it - made me smile more than ever now that I have seen inside one of them.
What a beautiful house and warm home. I can just imagine the price tag that goes with it too !!!!
Like someone else said "how lovely they treasure their unique home". Very beautiful.
What a great job you've done of updating yet respecting this house! I lived at Fulton & Fillmore in the late 60's, when the whole area had deteriorated, but I loved it even then. So glad to see you've made this old jewel shine!
I'm curious to know if any seismic retrofitting was done during the renovation process!
Ryan, we were required to extensively retrofit for seismic once we opened the walls. Shear walls were placed with hold downs at several locations. A steel ibeam was placed in the ceiling above the kitchen island with two 20' posts going down to the concrete foundation. Reinforced framing was done in many spots. You can read all about it here at www.paintedladysf.com.
So many reasons to brag and yet there's so much humility on the part of the homeowners. A beautiful house for beautiful people!
Absolutely SPECTACULAR! Amazing touches and preservation while marrying modern conveniences! LOVE!
In the busy month of December, I almost passed over this video. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home. I lived in San Francisco in the late 70s and lived in a Victorian house that was divided into four flats in the Richmond District. I always wondered what it would be like to have the whole house restored but updated. Although I call another city "home", I have a special love for San Francisco and visit every opportunity. This video called to me to plan another trip to visit with a stop to see the Painted Ladies.
I loved touring inside your house that I have only seen from the outside. Silly question, but do you remember the brand of the bedspread that is on the bed in the attic loft? I love it!
The bedspread is a West Elm Painterly Diamond Jacquard in Platinum color. Unfortunately it is no longer available but check West Elm for other products.
I've been in this home a number of times. It's stunning in the video but it's breathtaking in person. This home is lucky to have been purchased by Come and Charlene. Come has told me numerous stories of how he investigated and sought out period doors and even small parts such as locks and hinges so that they match the aesthetic of the time and architecture. This is a great story all around.
The "gentrification" of SF has some positive aspects, as well as negative ones. Love to see the more dilapidated older Victorian homes get restored into beautiful architectural specimens, for all to visualize - with the spectacular views of the SF Bay and hills in the background -. Its nice to see this specific home being used for an actual family, rather than being cut up into multiple separate expensive units to house over-paid tech industry millennials. As someone who grew up and lived in SF from the 1950's until the 1990's, and who watched the sequential "phases" of the city - associated with the economic, political, and globalization-related shifts in population bases - so many of the changes are hard to accept. But this family has done a nice job in conforming to the house, as well as having the house conform to their own lifestyle.
aFTER LIVING ON A bLUFF WITH A
Love this house. When I'll go to California I'm gonna make a video of thoses houses.
What a lovely, liveable home; so bright and welcoming with respect for the original Victorian design elements.
You must see the video that accompanies this story. This house is lucky to have these wonderful people as its owners.
To update the story...the exterior painting was refreshed recently with an 8 color paint scheme with thanks to Benjamin Moore for their design assistance. At the same time, many exterior repairs were completed to ensure this house lives on.