760 Dolores St., San Francisco

760 Dolores St., San Francisco

Site Conditions

    • Was rented at $12K/mo., but rents decreased in recent years
    • Built as duplex, market as single family home to benefit sellers
    • Old-style, dim recessed lights made the home feel dark and oppressive
    • Paint colors too disjointed and dated—yellow, gold, and brown 
    • Attic bedroom was dark, claustrophobic, and unappealing

    Results of Our Work

      • Easier to appreciate Victorian architecture with a clean finish
      • Consistent fresh colors throughout made design feel deliberate and unified
      • Just $15,000 in upgrades, including lighting, polishing finishes, extensive cleaning, made home sparkle 

      The Numbers

        • Listed: $3.9M
        • Sold: $4.2M
        • Offers: 2
        • Days on market: 7

        Small Resurfacing Budget, Big Difference

        This large rental home, 3,210 square feet, was badly thrashed. But we created a very strategic resurfacing plan, allowing the family to spend only $15,000 to make major improvements in the home’s attractiveness.

        The owners lived in Boston, and we took care of everything so they didn’t need to make the trip to San Francisco. For decision making, the family relied on Craig’s 88 photos of the home’s surfaces, finishes, and fixtures. Like most landlords, they were surprised to see the level of deterioration caused by many years of tenant occupancy. 

        This is one of our most dramatic and economical resurfacing outcomes. The property sold after just 7 days on the market for $1,308 per square foot, a record for the neighborhood.

        Exterior (before) ​​​​​​​Too much hidden by plants and untrimmed trees. Walls and railings by staircase were damaged by repeated tenant move-ins. Front entry was peeling and beat up, glass covered in carbon soot. 

        Exterior (after) Thoroughly cleaned surfaces, including stained glass, light fixture and windows. Repainted railings and gate. Gave this old beauty more impact with meticulously painting of components and sophisticated blue front door. 

        Entryway (before) Front door arches were wasted in such a dark, dreary setting. Our design team was unanimously negative about burnt orange wall color and lack of pizzazz. 

        Entryway (after) Original glory restored. Welcoming blue door opens to refined tone-on-tone design, highlighting home’s rich Victorian heritage. Beautiful hardwood  floor did not require refinishing.

        Front Parlor (before) A color palette rescue needed for at least four sources of outdated orange and brown—floors, walls, curtains, and main staircase banister. Curtains overpowered impressive large glass panes and prevented light from dancing on interior surfaces.

        Front Parlor (after) Owners had removed fireplace, so we staged a spacious seating scheme uncommon in traditional front parlors. Slight wall and picture rail contrast visually heightened ceiling. Neutral furniture, carpet and textiles downplayed orangish oak floors and saved sellers from restaining.

        Second Parlor (before) Dark walls, wall-mounted TV competed with original design intent of this room.

        Second Parlor (after) Continuation of our two-tone paint plan. Removed TV and distractions to focus on elegant room for family gatherings, reading and elevated lifestyle. Changed recessed lights to high-output LEDs for brighter, uplifting environment.

        Upper Family Room (before) Sandstone fireplace took on a pinkish hue against gold-orange wall. Owners loved their paint color, insisting it should stay. Craig was anxious about how the room’s purpose fit into the floor plan, and how buyers would react.  

        Upper Family Room (after) We used soft white for a cohesive, simplifying finish. Fireplace remained centerpiece,  a large artwork provided color and scale to stress enormous ceiling heights. Visitors clamored to sit and enjoy unobstructed SF skyline views.

        Duplex Living Space (before) Three gas meters revealed building was originally a duplex. This dark home office had a separate entry off front entry foyer, a level below main entrance. To get top selling price, we had to persuade buyers it would work as a bedroom.

        Duplex Living Space (after) Light plays a critical role throughout the house. Converting to a bedroom and upgrading recessed lighting to LED made the room inviting and felt natural. Buyers responded to the space.

        Attic Bedroom (before) Reaching this converted attic bedroom required some physical effort, traversing a metal standalone circular staircase. To justify the trek, we had to make the destination more satisfying.

        Attic Bedroom (after) Fresh paint, a view desk and a nice seating area convinced buyers this perch was worth the effort. Buyer response was overwhelmingly positive.

        Back Yard (before) Untended and overgrown plantings were visible through a wall of glass off the kitchen. All the right elements were present, but some TLC and a color splash were in order. 

        Back Yard (after) Removed unshaped, low-lying shrubs to reveal graceful bamboo stalks. Our patio staging introduced colors to accent indoor design, and results were dramatic for very little expense.

        760 Dolores St., Resurfacing Plan

        Exterior Landscaping$1,100Add ground cover, trim front trees, sweep and rake.
        Interior Painting$6,400Remove shutters and large curtain rods throughout home. Selected room painted neutral white. Remove wallpaper from bathroom, smooth and repaint. Designer color choice.
        Re-grouting showers$800/span>Stained and faded grout was replaced, commercially matched with the existing colorations.
        Exterior Painting$1,850Repaint front railing, front gate and entry iron. Paint entry staircase walls, front door landing and other areas of high impact. Clean and repaint side deck.
        Upgrade Interior Lights$1,700Recessed cans and track lighting upgraded to LED. Install upgraded bathroom lights in brushed nickel finish.
        Carpet$1,450New carpet in upstairs bedrooms.
        Professional Cleaning, Power and Window Washing$1,600Clean all appliances, surfaces, bathrooms, kitchen and lights. Wash windows and skylights. Power wash exterior surfaces, seating areas, side patio, etc.
        Total$14,900Work completed in 15 business days. Advanced planning of 3 weeks to line up all work, secure dates.

        *Professional Staging $8,900

        Comfy, casual and modern, with a view to remember.

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