House Tour: Sasha's Excelsior Escape

San Francisco

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Name: Sasha Darling
Location: Excelsior Neighborhood San Francisco, CA
Size: 1200 sq. ft.
Years lived in: 5

Anyone who has visited BellJar, an amazing boutique in the Mission that is chock full of "gorgeous little things," has entered a world of wonderful treasures, amazing vintage finds and all manner of ephemerata that longs to be in your home. It is no wonder, then, that Sasha Darling, owner of BellJar, has a home that embodies the same treasured feel. Everywhere you turn in her 1200 square foot home there is another beautiful piece, but she has curated her home so that it doesn't feel cluttered or busy. It is an ever-evolving relaxing city home.

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BellJar is a beautiful outlet for Sasha's two biggest obsession, home decor and clothing. The store is a conglomeration of many gorgeous vignettes of all manner of beautiful things, and allows her to display all of the beautiful treasures she finds. In her own home, however, Sasha tries to show a bit more restraint. Rather than filling it to the brim, she tries to bring in her favorite and most meaningful pieces. Realizing that her home is an evolving "incarnation of me," Sasha pays careful detail to the things she decides to bring in to her house. Every interesting bit has a great provenance and a deliberate and meaningful place in her home.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: It’s a natural mix of girlie girl, flower child, dark sorceress and modern city girl.

Inspiration: I see inspiration ever time I leave my house. I see beauty in the disturbing and mundane equally as much as in the perfection that surrounds us. My house constantly is evolving based on this observation.

Favorite Element: Nature. I adore walking in the country or the beach and incorporating found elements into my city home. This is a passed down obsession from my mother. She has trays of shells, bird skulls, rocks, tortoise shells, etc all over her home.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping it simple. My shop (BellJar) is filled to the brim with treasures and I adore this. But I like to keep my home pared down and subtler, a place for me to unwind and relax. But when you are an avid collector such as myself, this can be challenging.

What Friends Say: They generally gush at its beauty, but they may be just being tender, as they know how important it is to me.

Biggest Embarrassment: My lack of a walk in closet!

Proudest DIY: I wish I was more of a DIY girl- I’m more of a visionary. A handyman is a beautiful thing.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the stove in the kitchen. It’s a vintage O'Keefe & Merritt that I had fully restored, re-chromed and re-porcelained in jadeite green. I love to cook and entertain. I have always enjoyed old gas stoves. It just made sense to put my energy into something that brought my friends and me so much entertainment.

Best Advice: Remember a house with real soul is not decorated in a day. If you have a shoe string budget, be patient and collect things slowly that really move you. A real home is filled with memories collected over decades. Also don’t be afraid to have it be an ever-changing creature. If you come back 6 months from now, my house will have evolved into another incarnation of me.

Dream Source: An estate sale that included the estates of the Tsar of Russia, Jacqueline Bouvier, Marie Antoinette, P. T. Barnum, Howard Hughes and the lost wardrobe and prop archives of 20th Century Fox.

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Resources:

Living Room Chairs: Mickey's Monkey
Couch: Harrington's
Artwork over couch: Alexis McKinzie and Olivia Sung Park
Fireplace: stained black brick (Sasha used furniture stain instead of paint, which she knew would scratch easily)
Pottery: Sasha has been collecting pottery since she was a child and has many Weller and McCoy pieces in her collection
Dining Room Table: Paul McCobb
Dining Chaires: Saarinen and Eames
Sideboard and Buffet: Sasha purchased from a private owner
Large lightbulb: flea market
White Balloon molds: boutique in Brooklyn
Hutch in mud room: Paul McCobb
Big mural art in hallway: Bottle Cap gallery hosted a live painting
Bedside tables in Master Bedroom: old airport carriers purchased at the Salvation Army for about $40 each

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(Thanks, Sasha!)

Photos by Jessica Blake Tata

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