Perhaps anyone who has lived in a post-college house share of a certain era knows this story: Roommates (and their pets and significant others) come and go—often they are Craigslist strangers or friends of friends—and their mail will come to the address for eternity. And, above all, no individual roommate is too concerned with the design decisions of what will certainly be a transient living situation.
For San Francisco-based designer and architect Anand Sheth, a two-level Mission District flat, located on the upper floors of a classic Victorian home, was his version of the post-college house story, and it was turning out to be a pretty classic (and quintessentially SF one) at that.
“We had crappy parquet floor tiles that were popping up everywhere,” he mentions of the space when he arrived in 2011 (after his friend responded to, yes, a Craigslist ad). “We had the original lath and plaster wall construction. We had peeling paint everywhere. Every room was lit with hardware store lighting.” Anand and his friend lived with a life coach and an entrepreneur in yoga tech—ages ranging from 22 to 40—and everyone was going about their own life at their own pace.
And it is at exactly this point in my conversation with Anand, dear reader, that I realize I, someone who was also living in a post-college house share in the Mission when I was 22, had in fact been to a party at Anand’s House where the life coach read my tarot cards as I held his pet boa constrictor. It’s quite likely that Anand and I met that night in the early 2010s, but what must be noted is that the version of the house you see today is nothing like the home I visited then. That is due entirely to Anand’s vision to see the potential of the home—that it had to be something more.
In 2013, the older guys moved out (and took the snakes with them) while Anand, who specializes in commercial, hospitality, and residential interiors (and recently started his own firm) invited friends to move in. Leveraging the fact that he was a professional architect, he struck a deal with the landlord that allowed him to embark upon a few serious renovation projects and act as a project manager for the construction. In other words, he brought his work home.