Heather Ponts & David Scott Mabry
Bernal Heights, San Francisco
1,694 square feet
Years lived in:
10 years; owned
Meet Chula and Rio, the official greeters at Heather and Dave's colorful Bernal Heights home. These affectionate pooches set the tone for this warm and inviting house and its tapestry of color, pattern and texture. Everywhere you turn you'll find bold combinations of pieces from different eras and origins, creating a completely original feel.
Surprising uses of wallpaper and fabric — from the glamorous palm wallpaper in the kitchen to the African wax cloth curtains in the dining room to the vintage Moroccan wedding blanket fashioned into a headboard in the master bedroom — play a big role in creating this home's unique visual texture.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Gypset mixed with old Palm Springs glamour.
Inspiration: My biggest inspirations always come from fashion — color palettes, textures, layering, accessorizing. It really can translate to home decor. And then fabric stores and flea markets. I also have to admit I love looking at design magazines — Elle Decor, World of Interiors, and my all time favorite was the now defunct NEST — I saved all the issues.
Favorite Element: Fabrics and wallpaper. I would wallpaper and change drapery constantly if I allowed myself. Also, light fixtures — I have a slight problem with this one! Too many!
Biggest Challenge: Paint colors!! So easy to make mistakes, just the slightest change makes the difference between fantastic or blah. I am never happy with colors I choose.
What Friends Say: That my house feels so warm and inviting. And that there is so much to look at, which I translate into cluttered and then try and clean stuff out!
Proudest DIY: I was very fortunate that my grandmother taught me how to sew so that I can make my own draperies. They are not complicated designs by any means, but being able to do it yourself really frees you up on the possibilities. Readymade ones are never very satisfying!
Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen wallpaper. I had wanted it since working at Sloan Miyasato (an Interior Design showroom in the Showplace Design Center-SF) a million years ago. It took many years, but as soon as I had my own place and could afford it I went back and ordered some for the kitchen. Sadly, this paper is no longer available, so it will never leave my kitchen as long as I am here!
Best Advice: Always trust your gut, and this one I have trouble with — edit. Also, don't be afraid to mix the high with the low. You can cheat on some things,, and then splurge on others.
Dream Sources: Places I don't shop, but if I were a fancy lady: JF Chen in LA, Venfield or Flair in NY.
• German Shepherd chandelier from Gypsy Honeymoon on Valencia Street. They have beautiful treasures and this one I saw in the window — it was a "how much is that doggie in the window" moment!'
• My big yellow curtains! I saw them done at the Paris boutique for Dries Van Noten. At the boutique they were done in a gorgeous heavy silk in the same yellow. I make all my own curtains and couldn't shell out for the heavy silk, so I went to discount fabrics on Mission Street and found the same color in a cotton twill. Not quite as glamorous as the silk, but it is the same effect.
• Brutalist Chandelier from Dog Fork on Potrero in SF. They have the BEST lighting. New, old, and they'll make or customize anything. And the African wax cloth curtains. Fabric is from Britex — they have a great selection of these fabrics.
• The wallpaper, and my old black Wolf Stove. A neighbor was redoing her kitchen and didn't want it any more — score!
• So stoked with the newly papered guest bath! We used the Taschen book Albertas Seba Cabinet of Curiosities. So much fun to collage the different pieces in and make narratives between the animals. Then we had a special "Sputnik" sconce made at Dogfork to complete it. To be honest, I saw a similar bathroom in Elle Decor which had been done by a well known designer (can't remember the name) and adapted it to my tiny little powder room.
Thanks, Heather & Dave!
(Images: Bess Friday)
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Re-edited from a post originally published 1.15.13 - JL