When you find a very reasonably priced studio apartment in Manhattan, two things come to mind: it's either rent-controlled and you've struck gold or there's something wrong with it. While this small studio had nothing glaringly wrong with it, the tiny bathroom did suffer from a lack of ventilation to let the morning steamy shower vent anywhere. Since this was not a gut renovation job, I had to think of Plan B in dealing with this ventilation issue.
Having remodeled about a dozen homes and produced/styled close to 100 home stories for magazines, I may have met my match recently with a tiny studio apartment in Hell's Kitchen. In the past, when I do a before-and-after makeover on someone's home, it's usually with a limitless budget and a team of stylists and assistants pinning, painting and primping a home from dull to magazine-worthy perfection. So, when I saw my friend's Facebook photos of his new Hell's Kitchen studio apartment, I thought, "how hard could it be do a total makeover in an afternoon with a few hundred dollars and just myself?"
When Bonnie and Bill went looking for a home almost ten years ago, their family was about to double in size. Expecting twin girls, and both PhD students at the time, they bought the house “on a prayer and a song,” hoping it would be big enough to contain their growing family. Nearly a decade later, every inch of their home has been lived in and loved. The rooms overflow with art and music and the evidence of its making: cans of neatly packed together marker pens and brushes; instruments and their cases propped in every room as comfortably as the furniture itself. And the style of that furniture is simple and clean—modern classics mixed with vintage finds—so that even with the abundance of joyful stuff, the house feels orderly and purposeful.
(Hello again to Susie who is trying out for the SF team. Her first post is here.)
Interior designer Dawn LaMontagne has always been drawn to all things small. Even in home design, she prefers small-scale to large, and cozy spaces to sprawling ones. So when she learned that the tiny beauty salon in her Inner Sunset neighborhood was vacating its hovel, she inquired about the rent. That’s how Hollow was born, Dawn’s brand new café and shop, where you can sip Ritual coffee while browsing a charming selection of curios for the home.
I recently relocated to San Francisco from Austin, Texas. Coming from a state where "everything is bigger" I faced a serious downgrade in size, calling this 200 square foot studio in-law apartment my new home. In spite of the space crunch, I have tried let my style show through, while still making way for necessities. After only three months, I feel like my apartment is at once functional and designed. With a penchant for vintage, I have tried to blend antique collections with a modern aesthetic--all in a home the size of most people's guest bedroom!
(Hello again to Jessica who is trying out for the SF team. Her first post is here.)
Artist Tom Woodbridge does two-minute portraits of people on the backs of coasters at his local brewpub. He gave me a handful out of the more than one hundred that he does on any given night, and I immediately fell in love with them. I started thinking about how this would be a great idea for my next get-together. Have each guest draw an illustration on the back of an ordinary coaster, and soon, you have yourself a little collection of artwork from your favorite people.
(Here is the second post from Monika, who is trying out for a post on the AT:SF team. Her first post can be found right here. Comments are welcome!)
The idea of fabric on a wall instead of paint or wall paper is not a new one, but something in this picture from a 1975 decorating book caught our attention. Random blooms were cut away and outlined, unveiling the painted wall underneath. We are fans of wild patterns, but it can often feel overpowering, especially in a small space. Cutting away parts of the pattern helps to avoid this problem by making it feel more sporadic.
(Welcome to Jessica, who is trying out for a spot on the AT SF editorial team. Enjoy her post!)
Ever take a moment to check out your local BART station? Powell Street has that long hallway of glossy, stark white subway tiles that makes you want to run your hand along the length of the wall like a five year-old. Embarcadero claims the sightly blackened concrete walls with a series of concrete geometric arcs that speaks of grandiose art deco era architecture. If you take the time to look around as you run...
(Welcome to Susie, who is trying out for a spot on the AT SF editorial team. Enjoy her post!)
What with the bounty of affordable art online, our queue of prints waiting to be framed has gotten rapidly out of hand. Of course, there was a time when framing wasn’t such a big deal—the days of using that weird blue clay to stick posters to the wall don’t seem so far gone. And yet, they are. In a grown-up home, unframed art can look a little naked.
Professional framers are so pricey that DYI framing is often the best solution. We’ve all broken more than a few fingernails wrestling with the fabulous Ikea Ribba frames. Sometimes, though, a special print or photograph warrants special treatment. After all, custom framing is an art in itself. And Dan King, owner of Edgewise Arts in the Mission, is a master.
(Welcome to Monika, who is trying out for a spot on the AT:SF editorial team. Enjoy her post!)
Since we love design, arts and crafts and collecting things from across the ages, we run into a problem of storage on a daily basis. We have looked for a good solution and have improved our situation with a custom built wall shelf in our loft that is 16 ft wide by 11 ft tall, but we have been looking for a system to organize its contents for awhile now.
Having gone to many different stores in the Bay Area, we decided that to be most efficient we would have to embark on a journey to create our own boxes. This turned out not only to be the most cost and space efficient solution, but also the most flexible since we could decide on the sizes of our boxes as well as the colors and the details.