Name: Eunice Chang, Senior Principal User Researcher at Autodesk, a 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software company
Location: Eureka Valley, border of Castro and Mission; San
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned
The soothing coast meets San Fran city living inside Eunice’s sophisticated-yet-laidback urban hideaway. After years of moving
around from place to place on the East and West Coasts and Hawaii, she returned
to her home state of California to put down roots.
Three years ago, this apartment with a great layout caught her eye, and despite its having a 1980s bachelor pad style at the time (yellow-beige painted ceilings and harsh track lighting galore) she fell in love with it for its potential and great location, embarking on her first experience in home ownership.
Seeking to create serenity in the city, Eunice
began by quickly deciding what changes would give her the best bang for her
buck, and suggests that other young homeowners do the same when they’re short
on funds but want to make a big impact. A change-up from
carpeting to hardwood floors proved to be a significant investment, but was
totally worth it for the strong, clean foundation it provides each room. After
this initial large project and some strategic painting (no more yellow-beige
ceilings!) Eunice began culling the furniture and objects she'd already acquired over
the years, and finding new pieces at places as varied as the Alameda Point
Antiques Faire and Costco.
A coastal ethos of treasure-hunting is an
undercurrent of Eunice’s homemaking, reinforcing her belief that consistently
bringing together pieces she loves will create a cohesive environment she
can continue to freshen and create anew as time goes on. Brighter elements pop
against the sun-parched color of driftwood, and a large piece of actual wood given to her as a
gift retains a prominent space in her entry foyer, as seashells and other personal tokens appear in
bookshelves and in spots around the apartment. Like a professional
beachcomber, she takes great pride in picking up compelling treasures,
compiling memories and objects from the favorite places and people in her life,
and letting placeholder items fall away as these new and old essential pieces begin to shape her space.
much as she believes in editing, Eunice also makes it a point to repurpose and
creatively resuscitate elements as well. “When I get bored of something, I put
it into a drawer, and then take it out later and say, ‘What can I do with
this?’” I love the Anthropologie cupcake holder repurposed as a planter, and
was amazed by the simple ingenuity of using wood to frame the master bathroom
mirror to achieve the sleek effect of having a single piece of furniture.
Small tweaks and
ongoing projects satisfy Eunice’s hands-on home creativity, keep the
space feeling bright and energized, and continue to make it a place that is uniquely hers.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Natural, earthy, coastal, fresh,
feminine, creative and imaginative.
Inspiration: The beach, DIY, Houzz, and Apartment Therapy of course!
Favorite Element: The natural
light and the view of Liberty Hill. I love all of the different colored
houses on the hill.
Biggest Challenge: To make the
place feel special and reflect my personal style, on a limited budget, and
while complying with HOA rules!
What Friends Say: That they want
to clean and redecorate their own homes after leaving mine, or to curl up on
my sofa with a throw, or that they want to come live with me!
Biggest Embarrassment: The ribbon I used to
tie up the toilet paper roll in my master bathroom, the gap underneath my
recycling pull-out bin in the kitchen, and the outside hallway décor. The hallway is common HOA space, so it's not really up to me to change. The outside of my door is a rusted red color and the hinges are old gold brass. I couldn't paint it since it's standardized for all units, so I painted the inside of the door instead.
Proudest DIY: The hook and
postcard holder in my entryway (so quick and easy!).
Biggest Indulgence: Hardwood floors.
Best Advice: If you can’t find what
you want or need, make it! Be resourceful: reuse and repurpose! If you’re
going to make big purchases, buy in neutrals and accessorize with pops of
color. My passion for my home is about finding treasures in everyday
things. Be inventive and make it a journey, don’t think you have to do
everything at once. Buy things you love, and they will go together in
your home. Find inspiration all around you.
Dream Sources: Flea markets in
Resources of Note:
• Row of hooks: wood is an
old floorboard from salvage yard, hooks are from Cost Plus
• Entry rug: Ballard
• Shoe rack: Pottery Barn
• Basket: Tanzania,
Africa (bought while on vacation)
• Couches: Costco
• Coffee table:
Craigslist (originally from West Elm)
• Console: Crate and
• Frames: Aaron Brothers
• Rug: Overstock
• Pillows: Pillows for Hope, and Pottery Barn
• Lighting: Lamps Plus
• Tealight candle holders
(I repurposed some of them as little flower vases): Crate and Carrel Outlet
• Deer head: Zgallerie
• Boat model on console:
craft fair in Portland, Oregon
• Dining table: Crate and Barrel
• Dining chairs:
• Island: Craigslist
(originally from Ikea)
• Console: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Cupcake baking pan:
Anthropologie sale department
• Vintage colander for
plant: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Baskets hanging on
wall: Salvation Army
• Lighting: Lamps Plus
• Bed: Crate and Barrel
• Side tables: Craigslist
• Leather chair: Craigslist
• Jewelry frame: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Oval mirror: Home Depot
• Vintage suitcase: Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles
• Painting: original
(don’t judge me too harshly, I’m not an artist!)
• Curtains: West Elm
• Curtains: West Elm
• Chest: Craigslist
• Lamps: Ross
• Sheepskin rug:
• Bathmat: Bed Bath
• Mirror frame: made from
trim, cut to size (I painted the trim and bathroom
cabinets to match)
• Basket: West Elm
• Dresser: Craigslist
(one of my best finds, at $20!)
• Curtains: Bed Bath & Beyond
• Desk: Craigslist
(originally from Cost Plus)
• Painting: inherited
from my parents
• Rug: Overstock
• Bench: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Outdoor rug: Amazon
(Images: Alexis Buryk)
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