Inside The Home of ModCloth Founders Susan & Eric

Inside The Home of ModCloth Founders Susan & Eric

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David Dines
Jun 1, 2016
(Image credit: David Dines)

Name: Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger, with dogs Winston and Blue
Location: Noe Valley — San Francisco, California
Size: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths
Years lived in: 5.5

Susan and Eric Koger have come a long way from the cramped dorm room where they founded ModCloth in 2002. High school sweethearts turned college entrepreneurs turned retail power couple, their current home may be a bit bigger than their original digs, but the spirit behind things hasn't changed. Do what you love, work hard at it, and surround yourself with whatever inspires you.

(Image credit: David Dines)

It's Sunday afternoon in Noe Valley, San Francisco. Down a street lined with shade trees and row houses is the Koger residence—a Marina style home with a garage door resembling a giant Pantone swatch book (think the “Spring Vibes” collection). At the door I'm greeted by Eric and internet icon, Winston the pug, whose Instagram following easily surpasses most of the staff at Apartment Therapy. Inside, light fills the open floor plan, a Jenny Lewis record plays, and I get a firsthand look into the home life of indie fashion pioneer, Susan Gregg Koger.

(Image credit: David Dines)

For Susan, the same vintage obsession that inspired ModCloth extends to every room in the house. From road trips to flea markets to family heirlooms, their home is a collection of cool finds and mid-century signature pieces. The vibe is contemporary and retro, refined but relatable. This aesthetic, together with Eric's ability to keep things organized and operating smoothly, creates a balance that has become the trademark of their personal and professional success.

(Image credit: David Dines)

After some extensive exploring and a successful mission to win over the dogs with treats (Winston's brother, Blue the dachshund, doesn’t take well to strangers), I head downstairs with Susan into what is essentially the center of the ModCloth universe—her closet. A shrine to vintage fashion and functional design, the converted bedroom features pull-out mirrors, pull-down racks, and a motorized clothes conveyor. Almost everything in here is ModCloth or vintage, each with its own unique place in time.

(Image credit: David Dines)

As the evening winds down, Eric and I sip bourbon while Susan plays Carole King on the ukulele. Spending the day with the Kogers has been great, and as impressive as their home is, it's their hospitality and charm that makes the place what it is. The sad news for those of us in SF? This is their last hurrah in Northern California before relocating to Los Angeles to be closer to the ModCloth design team. But if their new home in Los Feliz somehow manages to out-cool this place, I can only hope to be invited back for another tour.

(Image credit: David Dines)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I’m aesthetically driven, while Eric is all about function. It’s a pretty good mix! I’m always striving to ride that line between “cool collections” and “straight up hoarder.” At the end of the day, we can both agree on pieces with smart, beautiful design that will stand the test of time.

Inspiration: Clean mid-century lines, world travel, our Moms and Grandmas, and anything else that happens to catch my eye.

Favorite Element: The open floor plan and indoor/outdoor living spaces! We are total home-bodies and love spending cozy time at home, just us and the pups. But we can also throw a killer dinner party or a big party easily!

Biggest Challenge: I’m a collector, and I love being surrounded by my things. But I don’t want to feel like I’m living in a museum…or an overcrowded junk store.

What Friends Say: The biggest compliment is when our friends say that our house “feels like home” to them.

Biggest Embarrassment: I’m horrible at making commitments and hanging art. Most of this stuff sat on my floor, leaning against the wall, for WAY too long before it found its permanent home.

Proudest DIY: My collected lady portrait staircase gallery.

Biggest Indulgence: Eames lounger. They’re expensive, but also the most comfortable chair of all time, and we will keep it forever.

Best Advice: Keep the walls white.

Dream Sources: Any and all antique/flea/junk stores around the world.

Resources

(Image credit: David Dines)

LIVING ROOM

  • Couch: Room and Board
  • Pillows: mix of CB2, vintage, and ModCloth
  • Credenza: vintage, from Monument
  • Gold lamp: vintage, from antique mall
  • Books: vintage, various flea markets
  • Painting: original by Ben Collinson
  • White bird: Jonathan Adler
  • Blue bird: vintage, from a shop in Pittsburgh
  • White vase: Ferm Living
  • White arc light: CB2
  • Dog stairs: Amazon
  • Coffee table: vintage, from Another Time
  • Eames lounger: Room and Board
  • Red knit poufs: CB2
  • Books: mix of vintage, gifts, and Amazon
  • Antique Nabisco ad wall art: gift from friends
  • Victorian house line drawing: vintage from Stuff
  • Tofu dog bed: gift shop in Little Tokyo, LA
  • Records and vintage accordion: Alemany flea market
  • Portable record player: ModCloth
  • Green Eames chair: Pittsburgh yard sale ($25!)
  • Stuffed bear: antique mall in Sedona, AZ
  • Acoustic guitar: gift from Susan’s dad
  • 7 sign: vintage gas station number, from Stuff
  • Mushroom wall art: Whurl vintage marketplace
(Image credit: David Dines)

DINING ROOM

  • Table: CB2
  • Eames shell chairs: Room and Board
  • Candle holder: antique mall in Sedona, AZ
  • Tea cup vase: ModCloth
  • Plates: ModCloth
  • Candle holder: gift shop in Amsterdam
  • Gold bar cart: Alameda Flea Market
  • Mushroom glasses: gift
  • Orange goblets: gift from Eric’s mom, Jane
  • White and gold vase: Jonathan Adler
  • Geo wall hangings: ModCloth
  • Flower & glitter art: Susan’s own drawing, flea market
  • Moon art: bought directly from artist that I found through an interior blog, can’t find the link anywhere though! Anyone else know?
  • Dutch house art: shop in Amsterdam
(Image credit: David Dines)

KITCHEN

  • Mid-century shelving unit: vintage store in the Mission that is now out of business
  • Stuff on shelf: mix of vintage, collected at the flea, and ModCloth
  • Bowls, strainers, vase: mix of vintage, collected at the flea, and ModCloth
  • SF wooden print: ModCloth
  • Hula hoop: Amazon
  • Bar stools: HD Buttercup
  • Cake print: Etsy
(Image credit: David Dines)

BEDROOM

(Image credit: David Dines)

MASTER BATHROOM

  • Hanging owls: ModCloth
  • Cosmetic containers: vintage, collected from the flea
  • Framed moon phases: Etsy
  • Dino print: Susan’s own photo
  • Vases: vintage, collected from the flea
  • Amsterdam towel: Anthropologie
  • White towels: from Grand Bazaar in Turkey
(Image credit: David Dines)

OUTDOORS

(Image credit: David Dines)

CLOSET

  • Mostly ModCloth
  • With some vintage
  • Everything has a story! I could write an entire article on this room alone!

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Thanks, Susan & Eric!

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