A 475-Square-Foot San Francisco Studio Apartment Brings the Outside In with Lots of Green and Greenery

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Name: Mary Kate Duggan
Location: San Francisco, California
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 475 square feet
Years lived in: 2 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: It’s a top-floor, quiet studio with windows that let in a lot of light and has a nice entryway where I currently have my desk and work from home. It is the perfect work nook. The kitchen is cozy but has two separate entrances, which makes it feel open and big.

While my bed looks like a Murphy bed, it is not, but fits perfectly in that sleeping nook. There is a lot of green as it is my favorite color, especially with all the plants. In the corner I have a reading nook where I like to hang out, read, and drink coffee.

The apartment came with a beautiful built-in that now displays my record player along with pottery I have made. The back table overlooks the backyard and a lemon tree. The bathroom is very spacious and has a claw foot tub, which has now turned into my little sanctuary.

My name is Mary Kate, and I live alone here. I am a high school Spanish teacher. Alycia Piazza, my best friend, is the one who designed this apartment. They are my things, but she put it all together. My place would not look like this without her. She wants to get into interior design, and I would love to help her with that. She helps all our friends with design, and she deserves some recognition!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Artsy ’70s surf-inspired.

I was born and raised in a small beach town and still live close to the beach. The beach and ocean are so important to me, hence the beach and surf touches. I also love nature and the color green and have a lot of that in the apartment. My art also has been collected from my travels abroad, with many Spanish quotes and pieces as well. I love to travel, and I am a Spanish teacher. The other art also features the beach, Bay Area artists, and bright colors, as I consider myself a happy person.

What is your favorite room and why? While the bathroom is my sanctuary, I love the main room of the studio (where bed and reading nook are). There are so many colors that Alycia tied so well together, and the art and plants are all placed so well. My eyes never get bored gazing around the room at all the art and colors in the various places.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? An IKEA shelf to hang above my record player and put the record I am playing on display.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Collect things as you go. For a couple years, I had been collecting art and other pieces, and when I moved in, everything tied so well together. Also, find an amazing best friend with great taste who can do the job for you!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.