David & Christopher's Lively Vintage Abode

David & Christopher's Lively Vintage Abode

Lindsay Tella
Feb 28, 2012

Name: David Marks & Christopher White with Deano, Gary and Tuesday
Location: Castro — San Francisco, California
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 3 — owned

Walking into David and Christopher's apartment is like entering a different world. It's full of life and color and some of the most fascinating and eclectic collections of art, furniture, and vintage pieces I've seen. It's no surprise that David owns Room 4, a vintage store in SF, where he and Christopher handpick all of the items they sell. This pair has a knack for good design and finding awesome and unusual pieces for the home.

David and Christopher left behind a spacious house in Austin for a small apartment in the Castro neighborhood of SF. The trade came with the obvious difficulties of downsizing, involving some tricky choices about what should stay and what should go. Living with two dogs and a cat, in a tight space, meant that furniture layout was crucial. After some trial and error, they came up with a plan that functions well for their daily routine, as well as entertaining, all within 650 square feet! It's quite impressive and very comfortable in person.

The bright light in the living room and amazing pops of color throughout their space are just the backdrop for the funky family that lives in this apartment packed full of life. Both David and Christopher are warm, welcoming and easy to talk to. Wandering from room to room I found myself asking questions about some of the novelties on display. There's a story behind everything, from each piece of art in their diverse collection, to the captivating design books on the coffee table, to the unusual measuring stick containers over the fireplace. This couple's beautiful home depicts their passion for art and architecture, and embodies their fun and positive attitude that's easily discernible even after just one meeting.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: When we see something that we like, we know it. Our home and much of our work is an ongoing collaboration. Over the past ten years, we have collected and edited; it is an evolving process - which goes hand in hand with owning your own vintage and design business.

Inspiration: 20th Century Good Design, modern art, amateur art, and a dash of Texas. We both grew up in Texas , but lived elsewhere prior to meeting. (David worked as an architect in the Southwest. Chris went to graduate school in New York City.) We met in our thirties after we each returned to Austin, and together have spent time exploring art and architecture; all of this has had a lasting impact on our style and our home.

Favorite Element: Our Living Room: Monumental brick fireplace. Coved ceiling. And through the front bay window we get amazing light and the rumbling and ringing of antique street cars as they pass.

Biggest Challenge: Condensing our collection of vintage-classic chairs and art from our 3-bedroom Eichler-esque house in Austin into this 1-bedroom setting.

What Friends Say: "Thanks for the Tex-Mex!" Since moving to San Francisco, one of the things we miss most about our home state has been the food! Thanks to homesick texan, Chris has learned to cook Tex-Mex from scratch and makes brisket, homemade flour tortillas, queso, and enchiladas when we have friends over.

Biggest Embarrassment: Two dogs + one cat + spilled wine = scratched and stained couch!

Proudest DIY: Creating a "walk-in" closet with hardware store fixtures, vintage dressers, and IKEA room dividers.

Biggest Indulgence: "Shaela and Elliott" diptych by Amber Kappes, which hung in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Best Advice: Don't push all your furniture up against the walls! Also, art is essential, and hang it lower than your instincts tell you.

Dream Sources: Time-machine set to "1963: Palm Springs".

Resources of Note:


    • Pratt & Lambert: "Duckling", living room wainscot
    • Pratt & Lambert: "Herbal Garden", bathroom
    • Pratt & Lambert: "Luminous Cloud", bedroom







    • Amateur art: Room4
    • Skincare: heliotrope
    • Linen cabinet: CB2
    • Ceramic Devil: Edmo Martinez

Besides the artists listed above, much of our art collection is "found art" by unknown artists. We have scored some of our most amazing pieces in the unlikeliest of places. Keep your eyes open!

Thanks, David and Christopher!

Images: Kathryn Wiens

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