House Tour: Mason and Serena's Sunset Beach Bungalow

San Francisco

Name: Mason St. Peter and Serena Mitnik-Miller
Location: Outer Sunset, San Francisco, CA
Size: 400 sq. ft.
Years lived in: Mason: Since July 2007, Serena: Since July 2008
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San Francisco's Outer Sunset, the part that tickles the toes of Ocean Beach, is unlike any other area in the city. True, it's often colder and foggier in these parts, but there's a laid back beach town feel, a sense of community, and a growing art and cultural scene that reminds me of a place like Santa Cruz. It's not surprising then, that this is where designer Mason St. Peter and artist Serena Mitnik-Miller have made their home.

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Mason and Serena, business partners of Two Birds Fly, a green company that curates the art and design of surfboards, had to find creative ways to make more living space when Serena moved in this past July. Nestled in back of the main house inhabited by their landlords, their bungalow is of modest size. But with innovative solutions like a lofted bedroom in a tiny crawl space that can only be accessed via ladder, a built-in long table running along the kitchen wall, a tool shed made from wood pallets, and so many shelves throughout the house, the house doesn't feel cramped or overpacked with furniture. We like their mix of worn wood pieces, color arranged items, found objects, amazing artwork, and beautiful furniture. But we mostly appreciate that their main interests -- an active lifestyle (surfing, skating, biking, gardening), art, and their love for each other -- are so obvious in their decor.

AT Survey:

My/Our Style: Surf-shack modular built-in.

Inspiration: A desire to create a comfortable and uncramped home within a small amount of space.

Favorite Element: The studio.

Biggest Challenge: Limited amount of space.

What Friends Say: Wow!

Biggest Embarrassment: Lack of space.

Proudest DIY: Ladder leading up to lofted bedroom, kitchen shelves, bathtub installation, other shelves.

Biggest Indulgence:Our art collection and our surfboards.

Best Advice: It's only money.

Dream Source: An unlimited online resource for any and all amazing building materials and furniture.

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Appliances: builders resource, Craigslist

Hardware: The street, builders resource, hardware store

Furniture: Craigslist, Valencia street shops, DIY projects

Accessories: garage sales, the street, Craigslist

Lighting: re-use from other's projects

Flooring: builders resource

Artwork: Works by Geoff McFetridge, Thomas Campbell, Nat Russell, Amy Jo Diaz, Dave Muller, Johanna St. Clair, Hillary Pecis, Robin Bright and Serena Mitnik-Miller.

Window Treatments: Ross

Rug/Carpet: Someday, we hope to get our dream rug.

Paint: re-use from other's projects

Bed: Craigslist

Other: everywhere, always looking

(Thanks, Mason and Serena!)

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Photos by Phillip Maisel