Location: SoMa — San Francisco, California
Size: 560 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months — rented
Matty recently returned to the Bay Area after completing his MBA at Northwestern's prestigious Kellogg School of Management. While he admittedly misses the freedom of student life, he has embraced the benefits of having a place to call his own. With a little bit of help from his design savvy sister and his first taste of discretionary income, Matty set out to create a comfortable space that suited his lifestyle.
Situated in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood (that's "south of Market" for all of you outsiders), Matty chose the apartment primarily for its location. While the neighborhood itself is not as cozy as some corners of the city, it's home to a vast array of art spaces and nightspots, not to mention SF's only Cal-Train stop and quick freeway access. Combine that with the assigned parking in Matty's building and you have a commuter's delight. And yes, you can hear the noise from AT&T Park, the World Series-winning Giants' stadium, creating an atmosphere both exciting and bittersweet for this die hard Cubs fan.
The studio is primarily used for winding down after a long days work, but with its large windows, spacious kitchen, and cleverly separated sleeping quarters, it's also great for hosting drinks and appetizers or having people over to watch the game. When asked to describe his apartment, Matty used the words "grown-up and playful." I absolutely concur. He focused on buying a few essential pieces in neutral colors and keeping a palette of red and black accents to give the place a simple, masculine feel. His "stud" pillow (an embarrassing gift from his girlfriend, he stresses) and use of wall decals, meanwhile, are a cheeky and inexpensive way to liven up the space. Well done Matty!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Clean and modern.
Inspiration: My sister and brother-in-laws' house in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco. They helped me furnish the apartment.
Favorite Element: I like the bookcase that partitions the sleeping area from the rest of the studio. It helps me feel like I'm not cooking in my bedroom/sleeping in my kitchen. Plus, I have easy access to my favorite books before I go to sleep.
Biggest Challenge: Trying to make a 560 sq/ft studio feel roomy, yet functional.
What Friends Say: "It feels like a grown-up apartment. When you go in, it's like when you were little and your parent brought you to a dinner party at their adult friends' place…."
They seem to think it is well furnished for a man's apartment, and accuse me of being "metro-sexual", an accusation which is not, in fact, accurate.
Biggest Embarrassment: I hate the mismatched blue and yellow light fixtures that are over the kitchen bar.
Proudest DIY: The black and white fabric-stretched-over-wood-frame piece that is mounted behind the television. It's not really DIY, in the sense that I didn't actually construct it myself. Rather, my parents made it back in the 80's and had used it to decorate my childhood home. It was passed on to my sister, who then passed it on to me.
Biggest Indulgence: The twin, natural steel cocktail tables in front of the couch that are from Room & Board. They look cool, but they were expensive and I'm constantly reminding people to put down a placemat or a coaster so the surface doesn't get scratched up.
Best Advice: Framing art is really expensive. Also, invest some money on stuff that you care about and will keep in your next home—the rest of the stuff you can get from IKEA.
Dream Sources: Room & Board.
Resources of Note:
• Bench: IKEA
• Framed alphabet print: IKEA
• Encased mirror: IKEA
• Couch (Murray Sofa): Room & Board
• Cocktail tables (Brooklyn Cocktail Table): Room & Board
• Media table: IKEA
• Rug: IKEA
• Globe lights in bookcase: IKEA
• Red throw pillows: Crate and Barrel
• Console table (Dwight Console): CB2
• Bar Stools: IKEA
• Wine Rack: Crate and Barrel
• Food containers: IKEA
• Bedspread & Pillows: Unison Home
• Battleship! decals: Blik
• Chair: IKEA
• Nightstand, IKEA
• Chicago Bridges framed print: Art.com
• Giant robot decals: Blik
Images: Jason Russell
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