Inspiration

Studio Plow Puts People First In Noe Valley Workplace Design

As the current professional climate calls for a blending of in-person office visits with the flexibility of remote work, so too does Studio Plow, who blends commercial amenities with the small town charm of Noe Valley in their latest boutique office commission. The architecture and interior design studio, helmed by Brit Epperson, was tapped by a young couple hoping to breathe new life into the architectural bones of a property that continues to imbue the greater San Francisco, California area with a little bit of heart.

The 1908 Edwardian structure shares DNA with the adjacent four-square residences and, at a 821-square-foot project size, the petite scale lends itself to a quaintness found in homes built following the city’s 1906 earthquake. Excluding the lower level garage and upper level condominium residence, the renovated space comprises five rentable private office suites, a common kitchen, lounge area, and restroom on the ground level where efforts were focused within the two-story, mixed-use building. The reimagined footprint is configured to create a conducive workspace that bucks commercial aesthetics while accommodating contemporary accessibility requirements, as well as creature comforts to promote a healthy hybrid lifestyle.

Modern dining room with a marble backsplash, round wooden table, and unique cylindrical chairs, complemented by pendant lighting and wooden cabinets.

Interior of a stylish room featuring a marble table, patterned blue cupboard, and a wooden chair, with elegant decor elements and ambient lighting.

And hidden conveniences like the “cloffice” maximize functionality by making use of areas that might otherwise be an afterthought.

Modern kitchen interior featuring wooden cabinetry and a marble backsplash, with a simple dining area to the side.

An elegant brass kitchen faucet over a marble sink with sunlight casting shadows on the surface.

A stylish interior featuring two wall-mounted lights with a floral arrangement on a marbled countertop underneath.

Modern dining room with a dark wood table, upholstered chairs, and unique cylindrical lighting fixtures, set against a light wall and marble detailing.

Over the course of six and a half months, Studio Plow’s team practiced care as they stripped the interior down to critical structure before rebuilding with the same consideration for detail typical of its architectural origins. “During this early planning phase, the design team introduced the idea of incorporating curved walls to capture the posts, which not only addressed the program’s complex parameters but also added an iconic detail to the design,” Epperson says. Material contrast reigns supreme in the most subtle of ways from stem to stern. The moody, dark exterior opens up to a generous common space filled with warm woodgrains, rich marbling, and blue textiles consistent throughout.

A modern entryway with a light blue bench, wooden door, black side table with a vase of flowers, and a woven ottoman.

Bright living room with large window showing autumn trees, blue couch, two small tables, and sheer curtains.

Modern living room with a blue sofa, woven circular coffee table, abstract fabric wall art, and large windows draped with sheer curtains.

A large, textured wall hanging in shades of blue and white displayed in a modern room with wooden floors and glass doors.

Awash in sunlight, the interior creates a microclimate echoing the greater outdoors. Perfect for a quick lunch, casual coffee, or happy hour gathering, the common space is comfort-first with soft surfaces including a custom mohair upholstered bench by Studio Plow with Grain Construction, custom tables with leather tops by Klein Agency, and wool fiber art by Megan Shimek. The jewelbox kitchenette is anchored by an exquisite slab of Calacatta Viola marble set in a pavé of custom cabinetry by Reform casework, and further surrounded by Vodder Dining Chairs in Teak, Mid Century Mobler furnishings, Mitzi Leni sconces, an Audo Hashira pendant lamp, and hardware by Buster & Punch. Of particular craft is the handmade Moroccan faucet fashioned from brass, bone, and black resin.

A minimalistic home office with a marble desk, wooden chair, desktop lamp, and plants on shelves by a window.

A small office space with a partially open wooden door showing frosted glass, next to a built-in desk and chair, with a white desk lamp turned on.

A cozy home office with a wooden desk, white adjustable lamp, framed artwork on the wall, and shelves with decorative items.

Modern living room with a beige sofa facing a small table with books, framed by wooden doorways with glass panels.

Small office space with a brown leather chair, wooden desk, beige carpet, and shelves with books and a vase with greenery.

A minimalist room with a textured orange armchair, a golden decorative side table, artwork on the wall, and a shelf with vases.

A small, well-lit office featuring two chairs, a desk with a lamp and documents, a shelving unit with a plant and framed art, and a frosted glass door.

A cozy office corner featuring a wooden desk with a brown leather chair, a sofa with cushions, a houseplant on a shelf, and a striking light beam on the wall.

Noteworthy still is a washroom where attention to detail spills over to drench the previously cramped, drab space in as much light and pattern as neighboring areas. Equal parts playful and functional, the updated space is clad in a matte, porcelain wall tile mosaic by Daltile in a custom checkered pattern. Other elements that lean into the camp without going overboard include an IKEA IVAR cabinet, Trueform Concrete lavatory, a the Hail Mirror by Rachel Donath, and bespoke luminaire.

Modern bathroom with checkered tile walls, a round mirror with vanity lights, countertop sink, and decorative plants.

Sloughing off years of disrepair, the once dilapidated building stands as a testament to collaboration, a respect for history, and the value of thoughtful design as a mechanism for socialization within any context.

A woman in a gold blazer and jeans sits on a wooden stool in a stylish kitchen, leaning on a marble countertop.

Brit Epperson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Studio Plow

To see more of Brit Epperson’s work visit studioplow.com.

Photography by Bess Friday; Production by Karine Monie.

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With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.

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