Name: Brian Mitchell and Ericka James
Location: NoPa— San Francisco, California
Size: 1,450 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 1 year
When Brian bought this house in the NoPa neighborhood of San Francisco, there wasn’t much left of the two-story structure. Some might have passed up the opportunity, but he saw healthy architectural bones and potential. Within a year, the house transformed into a beautiful, modern California mid-century home.
Everything from plumbing to windows to floors were replaced. Brian, who loves mid-century design and appreciates vintage pieces, has compiled a serious collection of mid-century furniture. “I always had a bias for the work of the '50s and '60s designers, with Eames' designs leading the way,” says Brian. “Trends might come and go, but their pieces will remain timeless.”
Shortly after Brian moved in, Ericka, a fashion and interior designer, joined him and together they have been putting the finishing touches on the house, adding more art and custom details. “People are intimidated when they hear ‘custom made’ because it always implies expensive, but investing your money into something unique, good quality, that only you will have, is worth saving for,” says Ericka. As with every home, it’s an ongoing project, but Ericka and Brian feel they have achieved the aesthetic they were going for and are enjoying the new life of an old home.
Get the look! → High Contrast & Timeless Mid-Century Modern Style
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: A mixture of mid-century modern, vintage, and custom design.
Inspiration: Charles and Ray Eames
Favorite Element: The kitchen, with its Italian gas range, loads of colorful tile, and shelves to feature unique handmade pottery (mostly purchased at Goodwill).
Biggest Challenge: All of the marble
What Friends Say: They love the unique nature of the space. It's very custom, not off the rack. They also say I should get back to my day-job and stop obsessing over it.
Proudest DIY: We hand applied the leather to the top of the 1970s vintage coffee table.
Biggest Indulgence: A custom-made storage bed for the master bedroom
Best Advice: Intermix a few nice pieces of furniture with less expensive things. Go “high and low.” Buy vintage dressers and credenzas—they are less expensive than new and add character and texture. Don’t skimp on the art; it brings the space alive. Buy lesser known artists from Lost Art Salon.
Dream Sources: DWR. It all rocks there.