A steady influx of tech money and limited land have rendered San Francisco, California, a de facto real estate nightmare—unless, that is, you’re willing to painstakingly build the dream. So it was for this Jackson Square neighborhood abode, an 850-square-foot, two-story retreat in a Gold Rush-era bourbon and Levi’s warehouse that the owners envisioned as an executive suite. The trouble was, when designer Deniece Duscheone kickstarted this six-week renovation, there was little (ahem) suite about the place. “It was really bad 1980s architecture,” she recalls. “The floors were teak but stained red, the cabinets were tigerwood, and counters black marble, and there was a black-steel fireplace in open-bracing in the living room. It felt super enclosed and very, very tiny!”

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