Name: Frances Walsh
Location: Inner Sunset — San Francisco, California
Size: 1750 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 4 years
Before Frances settled into her new apartment in the quiet Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco four years ago, she had lived on the East Coast and had spent a few years working abroad in Russia, exploring Eastern Europe and traveling the globe. The love and excitement for different cultures are visible everywhere through her current apartment. From African art objects to Turkish vintage coffee tables and Edwardian furniture, her home is carefully curated with souvenirs from far away countries and inherited pieces from her family.
She describes her style as "Bedouin-Edwardian," mixing and matching style and design influences from different continents. Her preference for fabric with bold textures and patterns is visible in her custom-made Knole sofa in midnight blue velvet, which is definitely an eye-catcher as soon as you enter the living room, together with the pregnant woman drinking and smoking image by Danielle Mourning. We definitely could spend a few hours in Frances' apartment asking the meaning and sources of her furniture and decorations.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Bedouin-Edwardian
Inspiration: My travels and times working abroad in Russia, Hungary, Poland, France and England
Favorite Element: The super comfy, thick window bench cushion in the kitchen. It's the perfect perch.
Biggest Challenge: Lack of electrical sockets and too many cords. Solve: a big African basket that stands by my TV and in which I dumped all the cords, so they are out of the way.
What Friends Say: "Cozy." "Eclectic." "So you!" are words they use to describe it. My Danielle Mourning photo of the pregnant smoking drinking woman in heels usually elicits a laugh or look of shock.
Biggest Embarrassment: A previous owner ripped out the original fireplace and replaced it with an Art & Crafts purple floral tile mosaic. One day, I will replace it. In the meantime, it is covered with black matte plastic custom cut by Taps Plastics.
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Proudest DIY: Regrouting my yellow bathroom. I signed up online for a class at Home Depot in Daly City on a weeknight, took notes, asked questions, bought the supplies, cranked the tunes and did it on a Saturday.
Biggest Indulgence: My midnight blue velvet Knole sofa. The front door is quite narrow as is the ascending stairway. So, we had the sofa custom-made, and we put it together in the living room.
Best Advice: Lean into your own style and work with a designer. My friend, who is a designer at Chato Designs, guided me and helped me avoid mistakes — especially with sizing, color tones and consistency while pulling out my own taste. She was a major time saver and source of finds like a long, elegant mahogany dining room table from the 1920s for $750 at a going-out-of-business sale at a cheesy mish-mash store on Van Ness, which she walked into on a total lark.
Dream Sources: My parents' home, flea and art markets, consignment and second-hand shops like Stuff on Valencia Street, Leftovers on Van Ness, Past Perfect, Harrington Galleries in the Mission. Material from Britex on Maiden Lane and Satin Moon on Clement. (The two sisters who own Satin Moon are GREAT!) The Fairmont Rug Gallery in San Anselmo for quality Persian and Kazakh rugs. Overstock.com for other wool rugs. Colored paint!