12 Rico Way: Living Room Before
12 Rico Way: Living Room After
A bit of before and after and a plugged-in owner’s perspective on 12 Rico Way:

When I first walked into this house, I felt that we could build an approachable floor plan that would honor the formality of a Marina home and deliver something quite different. The wide lot allows for a formal living room on the left and a den directly on the right. It just feels so much brighter and alive than the typical 25′ wide lots all over the city.

The radiant heating is amazing, I highly suggest that on your next remodel you install the Cal Steam system. (If you have to budget, at least do the master bathroom–warm on the feet!) Makes such a difference on the chilly evening and foggy mornings. The square footage is 2520, the master suite alone is 500 square feet.

And of course: “Oh, my wife loves white : ) very fresh and elegant she says…”
12 Rico Way: Kitchen Before
12 Rico Way: Kitchen After
Cheers. And having been inside the house, we’ll have to agree with the above.
Deconstructed And Reconstructed At 12 Rico Way [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by 94114

    Good job on the before and after pictures! After all the negative comments the other day, I’m going to “come out” and say that I love the all white design. To me it’s timeless. With all the white and the beautiful wood floors you can add any colors you’d like. But what an incredible improvement.

  2. Posted by viewlover

    agreed. many posters don’t have clue as to what goes into a remodel or decorating, and will probably never have life experience in either, try doing this with a rental.
    Jennifer Post is a very sought after interior designers and her stuff is usually all white, yet it is beautiful and elegant, as is this place.
    [Editor’s Note: That’s right, it must have been because those posters were ignorant “renters” rather than simply sharing an opinion that’s different than yours (or even ours) about the style.]

  3. Posted by sunset guy

    The change is amazing but it is still cold in my opinion. Almost anything would have been an improvement over the 1968 interiors that were there.
    For a white pallette it is well done. The white living room is great but the kitchen is just to much white. The kitchen is too cold feeling from the photos. Maybe with the radiant heating you don’t feel that way when your in the space.
    I just need some color to warm of things living with the fog and cold summers.

  4. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Nothing that a few friends and a paintball party cannot solve.

  5. Posted by ok

    Nice job with the remodel…I happen to like what they have done to it. But it is very unlikely to sell at this price, despite the great location.
    Guess we’ll find out soon…

  6. Posted by salarywoman

    Can’t really tell the layout from the few photos so I don’t know how (or if) the loss of storage space could be made up. But, white or no white, that kitchen would be so much nicer without the upper cabinets.

  7. Posted by anonarch

    I still miss the days before the “industry” of homes being re-built-only-for-sale-purposes had taken over some of the best properties to come up on the market. As an architect, I would rather work with a client who wants to LIVE in the house with their own desires, whether it is white-white-white,or a “home” (Imagine!) for a new and growing family with children, or perhaps as an urban sanctuary filled with the new owner’s collection of art and furniture.
    Homes built for flip purposes, though in this case very nice, tend to be rather cold because they are being created as much for realtors and first impression walk-throughs by prospective buyers instead of a residence for years of lasting enjoyment.
    Despite my rant, I do think this is a very nice job by the team and I wish them all the best in finding the right buyer.

  8. Posted by jlasf

    Interesting detail that the kitchen cabinets don’t quite touch the ceiling. I wonder if there is some subtle lighting in that space, which would look cool. Anyone know?

  9. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Kitchen cabinets that do not touch the ceiling are a bad idea simply for cleaning purposes. Someone’s supposed to cook in a kitchen for chrissake.
    But the new buyer will need a 24/7 cleaning person for the kitchen and bathrooms alone anyways therefore not an issue.
    The place was in a need for a serious update, but transforming the “home” into a forensic lab doesn’t cut it for me.
    Again, when’s the paintball party?

  10. Posted by jeff schlarb

    I agree with the comments VIEWLOVER, there is an amazing amount of work to accomplish when renovating a home. A body of work that most will never see or truly appreciate.
    3 steel i-beams
    1 steel moment frame
    detailed architectural work
    sheer walls, plywood
    rough plumbing (all new)
    electrical (all new)
    rough framing
    new stair rise and runs
    strapping of perimeter walls
    vertical strapping
    bolting of foundation
    concrete piers
    cat 5, audio visual
    -complete seismic upgrading-
    -not to mention the finish work-
    Those a just a few off the top of my head. It’s actually quite exciting to sculpt these old homes into the 21st centurty!
    FYI — one of our past homes was a two level victorian condo with Chocolate brown, navy blue, aqua, green and white walls. Also very very fun!!
    upward and onward,

  11. Posted by Sarah

    I liked the old kitchen; you could spill a couple jars of mustard and no one would be the wiser. Hot dogs anyone?

  12. Posted by jeff schlarb

    fyi, not a ‘flip’ project. uhhh I loath that term. : )
    I agree with the architect anonarch , we love working with homes that are built for the occupant, in this case it was built for our tastes.
    As we work with clients’ homes all day, it was/is dreamy to come home to something other than ‘manchester tan, HC-81’. A very bright and lovely space that welcomes guests, awesome entertainment home.

  13. Posted by OneEyedMan

    Frequently an issue when you want plumb and level cabinets and have an irregular ceiling. Need to have a gap or a crown moulding to keep it from looking like a**

  14. Posted by hangemhi

    what am i missing about radiant heat… sf ain’t that cold, and keeping my feet warm seems over indulgent – so 2004.
    besides, i guarantee it adds zero value in a flip. no one walks in and says “oh my god, i have to have this house – oops, no radiant floors, i’m out of here”
    so why put it in unless you’re a wuss or like to brag to your friends about your warm toes?

  15. Posted by unwarrantedinlaw

    Given the choice, architects may prefer to work with non-flipper clients simply because this is a better business model. Flippers tend to look at the renovation as a business and will be more aggressive on prices and cost cutting.
    The money’s going to be with people of “taste” who can more easily be manipulated and reamed.

  16. Posted by Willow

    I personally like the look of the place but keeping anything white clean can be really difficult. (I.e. car, clothing or in this case a kitchen/bathroom.) A major drawback in my opinion for day to day practical living…

  17. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    Radiant heating is a huge plus in my book. It doesn’t make noise or circulate dust like a blower, and it can be adapted to cooling as well as heating. I always look for it, or try to figure out how much it will cost to put it in.
    Of course one of these days I’ll actually find a place to buy ….

  18. Posted by viewlover

    Ice princess, rosemaries baby, porn star names, how much longer do we have to suffer, nice ways of simply sharing an opinion.

  19. Posted by Conifer

    This is a matter of taste, as are many discussions about rehab of old houses, not only here but worldwide. One of the reasons that many people live in SF is the availability of older houses with the charm and quality of their time. This is true in only a few California cities.
    This house is no longer realMarina, but is more newSOMA. The buyer will have to want newSOMA in the Marina.
    If a buyer wants realMarina, but fixed up, he or she will look for a house that preserved the original architecture, including the trapezoidal overmantel and coved ceilings.
    Believe it or not, I have friends who prefer “clean lines” but perhaps not as white and clean as these. This is supposed to be a place for people to live in permanently. It is not a hotel for just a few days. Even new hospitals, traditionally white, do not look like this.

  20. Posted by Chad

    More White. Yawn ! I still fail to understand the fascination with this “all white” dentist office design.

  21. Posted by bachi

    a perfect house in the marina…perfect for lrmim and robert to tongue-kiss in.

  22. Posted by Mizz

    It’s terrible. The before pictures are unanimously better. If I wanted the sanitary hospital look I’d go check in to CPMC. It’s cheaper.

  23. Posted by EBGuy

    fyi, not a ‘flip’ project.
    Correct, it’s a much more sophisticated buy, hold, & remodel for two years (tax-free?) investment. The permit history shows at least $105k of improvements (though from the description, I would guess the value is more).

  24. Posted by MarinaLocal

    Even after the commentary from the owner, I’m still not impressed. Yes, you did a lot of work, most people here recognize that. I think Conifer is right, regarding a buyer who wishes they were in SoMa.
    How much longer will the ‘insane asylum’ style be ‘hot, hot, hot’?
    If they can get $2.5, kudos to them! Maybe we will paint our walls white.

  25. Posted by jlasf

    MarinaLocal, the white “insane asylum”, as you called it, look has been around for over 75 years. It’s simple, elegant, and sophisticated. It’s not going away any time soon. Here it is in 1930:

  26. Posted by Embarcadero

    Sorry, but this looks like a cross between a West Elm catalog and a biology lab.
    White is “timeless” because it’s *institutional*, sterile and dull.
    Voiding an interior of any personality or character is a hallmark of industrial décor, not residential charm. This could be the morgue or an accountant’s office.

  27. Posted by eddy

    Butch/Dick just listed another property over at 590 Spruce. Looks like another live in flip.

  28. Posted by Chad

    jlasf says …It’s simple, elegant, and sophisticated

  29. Posted by Jeff Schlarb

    Please with the west elm reference. Please show a little more knowledge about products and decor if you are going to level such a charge. Try de Sousa Hughs crossed with Sloan Miyasato, Limn, hang, sfmoma ag, Toomey Tourell and our own wholesale vendors.
    Re: the personal attacks on the realtor team, ss plugged in readers (in my humble opinion) should show a little more courtesy and respect. I thought that this is a forum to discuss property, tastes, share information etc? Not weigh in with personal attacks? Aren’t we progressive San Franciscans and not snarky online agressors?

  30. Posted by EBGuy

    Jeff, Congrats on the refinancing last year. How much is the bank on the hook for? If you managed to get all your money out (which seems possible), I say, well played sir!

  31. Posted by Embarcadero

    No, it looks like a West Elm catalogue. Sorry, but your ascribed brand sophistication does nothing more than identify you as a wannabe.
    Your creation looks like a mash-up of West Elm and a county morgue.
    Insulting people won’t make your property look better. Or get the absurd price you’re asking.
    Yes, I’m a progressive San Franciscan, and that means I call BS when I see it. I see it all over your lil’ West Elm morgue.

  32. Posted by Robert

    Aren’t we progressive San Franciscans and not snarky online aggressors?
    Could you repeat the question?

  33. Posted by diemos

    A little video that this place reminded me of, starting at 5:20.

  34. Posted by jeff schlarb

    Then it is settled embarcadero, I accept your gracious compliments.

  35. Posted by West Side Story

    “I thought that this is a forum to discuss property, tastes, share information etc? Not weigh in with personal attacks?”
    Jeff – if you’re a design professional, surely you should know that taste is personal. Your house is in the public domain now and subject to comment by the public, some of whom do not share your taste. If you want only gracious compliments, have your friends over for a dinner party.
    If I were selling my house, I would think of a place like socketsite as a free focus group. You can disagree with opinions (because they are just opinions) and disregard what you want to, but if you can set aside your personal feelings, you just might take away something useful from the comments.
    BTW, I have no interest in design that is done to avoid offending everyone – it just ends up boring. Something that is truly interesting will be more polarizing. You’ve done something you really like. I find it interesting although it’s quite different from my style. And of course I’m sure that there will be people who walk in and absolutely love your house like you do. But why the hurt feelings that it’s not everybody?
    And Embarcadero is absolutely right about the designer name dropping. Name-dropping (of any kind) only shows insecurity on the part of the “dropper” and the person who falls for it…..

  36. Posted by Jeff Schlarb

    Yes, agreed, public forum, yes agreed.
    The personal attacks I was referring to were the mean spirited ones regarding the Realtors as ‘porn stars’ That I thought was less than appropriate. These are fine Men with steller reputations and very hardworking. Agreed?
    Re: Name dropping, sure I agree with that too — though I wouldn’t go as far as to say insecure. Maybe a little ostentatious, however if Embarcedero has only access to what the direct mail marketers send to him, then how will he/she ever transend into an educated SS contributer?

  37. Posted by Jeff Schlarb

    Yes, agreed, public forum, yes agreed.
    The personal attacks I was referring to were the mean spirited ones regarding the Realtors as ‘porn stars’ That I thought was less than appropriate. These are fine Men with steller reputations and very hardworking. Agreed?
    Re: Name dropping, sure I agree with that too — though I wouldn’t go as far as to say insecure. Maybe a little ostentatious, however if Embarcedero has only access to what the direct mail marketers send to him, then how will he/she ever transend into an educated SS contributer?

  38. Posted by jeff schlarb

    Yes, agreed, public forum, yes agreed.
    The personal attacks I was referring to were the mean spirited ones regarding the Realtors as ‘porn stars’ That I thought was less than appropriate. These are fine Men with steller reputations and very hardworking. Agreed?
    Re: Name dropping, sure I agree with that too — though I wouldn’t go as far as to say insecure. Maybe a little ostentatious, however if Embarcedero has only access to what the direct mail marketers send to him, then how will he/she ever transend into an educated SS contributer?

  39. Posted by Lori

    I think the house is beautifully done and I’m certain a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it. If I lived in it I wouldn’t be disappointed. I do admit, though, that the white is very taste-specific, and although it looks great with the current furnishings, I’m assuming the house doesn’t come furnished. A potential buyer could look at the house and think they have to paint the whole thing.
    After a previous comment I do concur that the small space above the kitchen cabinets is odd. And I wonder why there’s missing baseboard under what looks like the dishwasher.

  40. Posted by Embarcadero

    Oh, so I’m not an educated SS contributor because I call your design a West Elm morgue? My choice of brands here is quite deliberate.
    Deriding opinions that are in conflict with yours as “uneducated”, “unsophisticated” or “snarky” is the sign of an amateur. I supervise a staff of designers, and the inability to receive feedback is something we try to snuff out in the first few years on the job.
    Impersonal, cold, devoid of character. It’s not my aim to create consensus or to display my knowledge of design history. Dropping your lil’ designer names, again, makes you appear petulant and immature. As does referring to contrarian views as “uneducated”.
    I predicted this would end in tears for the designer flippers/renovators. I never guessed that they would begin so soon.

  41. Posted by Embarcadero

    From the website: childhood mishaps and a the promise of enforced interpretation:
    “Jeff Schlarb redecorated his first room in Middle School shortly after a fish tank mishap! Although his formal studies were concentrated on Creative Advertising, the drive to complete projects every day has refined his judgement [sic] and style. Jeff is fully engaged with how a home should be viewed and interpreted.”
    I guess we’ve learned just how engaged he is in that interpretation!

  42. Posted by viewlover

    LOL, it looks like this un-snuffed rage by embarcadero is just peer jealousy. If you really are a designer, how come you’ve never heard of paint? Looks like this house really got under your skin. I’d hate to see how you react to taste specific clients.

  43. Posted by Embarcadero

    Actually, I’m an industrial designer, so ego went out the door ages ago when I learned that all clients are taste specific. Peer jealousy is something I’ve felt from time to time, but not in the world of pretty show houses.
    I think it’s really unprofessional to react to comments as this guy has – people like him give all of us the reputation we have to live down every day. I realize that some people trade on that reputation, but it nonetheless drives me nuts to see it.
    FWIW, I originally referred to his redesign as competent, and suggested that there might be a market for people with such taste. Not a compliment, but certainly not a dig.
    I bet these are the realtors who threaten to tell the owners to raise the price – somehow I think petulant behaviors tend to cluster.

  44. Posted by Italian Imports

    This house sucks is not worth the money they are asking and the owner is annoying. Mr Owner your home is displayed on a public forum and what comes with that is opinions from the public. You do not need to try and defend your crap from every person who does not like it and I being one of them! I hope u do well for yourself but either way your home is depressing weak sauce!

  45. Posted by MarinaLocal

    We walked through 12 Rico last weekend. There is no backyard, but a small concrete area with patio furniture on it. The Master is large, but the other bedroom upstairs would be hard fit for a twin bed and there is no bathroom accessible to this bedroom. There is a full bathroom on the main living floor, off of the den, which could probably be converted into a bedroom. The kitchen was not impressive, regardless of the high end appliances. The cabinets felt cheap and I didn’t notice any upgraded features such as soft close/dovetail/etc. The downstairs has 2 normal size bedrooms, however the the back bedroom is not officially a bedroom because it has no window. Like I said in a previous post I would love to see this go for asking, but this seems more like a $2 mill property to me. There was a house on Avila that was recently taken off the MLS it started out at $2.5 lowered to $2.3 and then withdrawn. IMHO it was comparable to 12 Rico. Had the Avila property been listed closer to $2mill I bet it would have sold.

  46. Posted by joh

    i actually like the kitchen, though after reading the comments, it does feel a bit institutional. a bit sterile. regardless, i still like white, as it makes any space much brighter.
    i also noticed the space between the cabinets and ceiling, and later came to appreciate it, as the shadows they cast creates some interesting lines.
    critical comments are pretty much the norm in blog-culture. a bit odd to see such defensive behavior from the creator.
    by the way, what materials were used for the kitchen counters?

  47. Posted by MarinaLocal

    In contract per the MLS.
    Being in close proximity to the neighborhood, I hope it closes for near asking

  48. Posted by eddy

    They closed their Scott street TICs as confidential so I’m sure this will be too.

  49. Posted by Marinalocal

    Well they are the local celebrity stagers…….

  50. Posted by nicole

    who are the local celebrity stagers?

  51. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 12 Rico Way closed escrow yesterday but with a “confidential” sale price reported on the MLS.

  52. Posted by vessalamonti

    I like the style of this remodel. I like the fact they took the wanky moldings, lace curtains and the trapezoidal (mirrored?!) fireplace off. I like the fact it’s not yet another faux-Victorian mash-up. Just because a design feature of a home is “original” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s beautiful or practical. I wish San Francisco had more modern homes like this in established neighborhoods. I prefer to live now, not a hundred years ago. I find the white to be soothing and calming. The clean lines give me a cozy, warm feeling. The neutral background and finishes create a tabula rasa for the resident’s belongings. Yes, Virginia, there is something for everyone. The particularly vitriolic comments regarding this listing are rather revealing. By the way, I’ve never seen a white hospital room. They’re usually pea green.

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