Name: Molly Turner
Location: Duboce Triangle, San Francisco, California
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 7 months; Rented
When Molly Turner moved to San Francisco, she wanted a location that felt like a village, and had great public transit, with fantastic dining and shopping all within walking distance. It was easy for Molly to know what she wanted in a neighborhood since she's an urban planner.
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Thinking about what her ideal flat looked like, she drew from her experience living in Italy and sought out an apartment that had architectural details she could fall in love with. Molly found her perfect place in Duboce Triangle, and has quickly set about making this rental her own.
Having never met an urban planner before, but being someone who lives in a city and loves walkable, well thought out spaces, I peppered her with questions while snapping photos of her San Francisco home. Molly, being a kind and affable person, was happy to share her thoughts on city living and what inspired her career choice (there's a great profile that goes into more depth on her commitment to urbanism on SPUR). Molly came to San Francisco by way of Italy and Berkeley, and has only been in her flat for seven months. It was in Italy, while living in a flat from the 1700s with gorgeous parquet floors, that she began to think about the impact that tourists have on a city. Molly moved to San Francisco to work at Airbnb. She's the Director of Public Policy there, and when I asked her why an urban planner would work at Airbnb, she said:
I'm interested in the impacts that individual people have on the cities they live in--how their lifestyles, cultures, and even their tastes impact the character of their city. Through Airbnb, the local community can share their personal lifestyles and tastes with visitors, changing the way those visitors experience the city.
Instead of working for one city and having an impact there, she felt that by working with Airbnb she could have a positive global impact that was much farther reaching. Once she accepted the position at Airbnb, Molly set about finding her ideal apartment in San Francisco. She was fortunate to find her flat after searching for two months on Craigslist. Molly fell in love with the place the instant that she saw it, and said it was the Edwardian details that sealed the deal for her.
I entered her home on a sunny afternoon, and the place positively glowed. Her home is bright, comfortable, and cozy without being cluttered. Every piece of art in her flat has a story that she was more than happy to share. Her love of cities goes beyond her neighbourhood choice and extends into her home by way of her book collection. Although it is a rental, and one that she has only been in for a short time, Molly has worked to hard make the space inviting and personal.
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Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Coloring book modern. I like big swaths of color with clean hard lines, and some whimsy.
Inspiration: Cuban poster art. My brother brought me back posters from his frequent trips, and the colors have always inspired me. When I finally made the trip myself I brought back a few new prints that I ended up decorating around.
Favorite Element: How the tree outside my living room window encloses the space with a green glow in the afternoon sun, making the apartment feel like a big green cocoon.
Biggest Challenge: Getting over the fact that it's a rental and I can't scrape the plaster application off the walls. At least I got to paint it!
What Friends Say: 'It feels like Europe.'
Biggest Embarrassment: My gnomes. I adore them and am embarrassed by them at the same time. I bought them all while living in Torino, Italy, where garden gnomes were as common as gelato. I have three in different corners of the apartment. They're my little guardians.
Proudest DIY:The closet in the living room. I wasn't able to make many changes to the rental apartment, but my friend suggested I remove the closet door and paint the alcove pink. That little project really made the apartment feel custom.
Biggest Indulgence: Getting the walls professionally painted. I just didn't have the stamina to do it myself.
Best Advice: Do your art justice and custom frame it. The frames may be more expensive than the prints in them, but they make the art look like a million bucks.
• Almond Hartzog
• Alameda Flea Market
And I'd love a large format photograph from Andreas Gursky's Ocean Series to hang above my couch. I'll just have to keep dreaming…
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Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Bedroom & Living Room (halved): Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
• Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Christaline
• Closet: Benjamin Moore Dusk Pink
• Bathroom: Benjamin Moore Surf Green
• Bookcase: West Elm
• Entry table: vintage furniture store in Cambridge, MA
• Lamp: HD Buttercup
• Clock: Newgate
• Quarez poster: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
• Beach photo: my dad
• Sofa pillows and the rug custom made by Anita Ettinger of Maquett Interior Design
• Sofa: Nathan Anthony
• Coffee table and black chair: vintage furniture store in Cambridge, MA
• Console: IKEA
• Blue and white chair: Alameda Flea Market, CA
• Womb chair: Lexington Modern
• Yellow table: Urban Outfitters
• Marriage print: Alicia Leal, Cuba
• Floor lamp: SFMoMA
• Table: Room and Board
• Chairs: Design within Reach
• Poster: vintage movie poster, Cuba
• Tiger head: HD Buttercup
• Dresser and nightstand: West Elm
• Mirror: Big Daddy
• Trunk: family heirloom
• Wall lamp: Brendan Ravenhill
• Maps: vintage Cuban atlas
• Che print: Alicia Leal, Cuba
• Table lamp: West Elm
• Accessories: ABC Carpet and Home, NYC
• Mat: Urban Outfitters
• Curtain and Turkish towels: West Elm
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(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)
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