At Home: Couple's ongoing remodel of hilltop home

Most people don’t look forward to remodeling their homes, but Jeff and Amy Bonforte see it as part of the fun of owning a two-story house on a hill in Dolores Heights.

“I’m a rare person that loves the remodeling stage,” says Jeff, who works in downtown San Francisco for a software startup. “It’s nice to have a house that’s not exactly what you want so you can spend however many years transforming it into what you do want.”

Plans to renovate were part of the appeal for the Bonfortes in purchasing the three-unit property three years ago.

They liked other attractive features, including an open kitchen, living and dining rooms, and a solarium that boasts an amazing San Francisco Bay view.

Downstairs, sliding glass doors open up to a deck with teak furniture that leads down to a garden the Bonfortes share with their neighbors.

The 100-year-old house has an interesting history, including many renovations by “eclectic” previous owners that the Bonfortes discovered when they recently redid their bathroom.

The project proved more difficult than they anticipated, but the couple is pleased with the results. Handmade ceramic tiles on the walls are from Sausalito, floors are made of Tennessee limestone, and one window, valued at $1,000, was something Jeff picked up on Craigslist for free.

The interior design reflects both Jeff and Amy’s tastes. He likes modern pieces from the 1950s and ’60s. She likes Moroccan and Asian touches of furniture and art.

Routine travelers, the couple enjoys picking up items for their house while abroad, even though Jeff says they have more art than they can display.

“We still have a lot of stuff in storage,” he says. “There’s just not enough wall space here.”

 

Style keys: Jeff Bonforte

Design feel: Modernism and contemporary with Asian and North African touches
Favorite room: With the fresh remodel, Jeff says it’s the bathroom
Favorite furniture designer: Scott Morrison — the Bonfortes have a small stool, but Jeff said he would love a rocking chair by Morrison
Favorite piece of art: Two paintings of street scenes near Fifth and Minna streets in San Francisco; an Italian artist stayed with the couple and painted them right in their living room

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