A Cozy & Eclectic California Apartment

updated Feb 20, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Post Image
(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Name: Allison & Luke
Location: The Castro; San Francisco, California
Size: 715 sq. ft.
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented

It all started with a table. While visiting a friend recently I remarked on her amazing barn wood kitchen table, “Oh, it’s not mine. It’s on loan from a friend. Seriously, though — you should see the rest of her place.”

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

With those magic words, she put me in touch with Allison, and a week later I found myself standing at her front door. “Great job” proclaimed the doormat, and I wryly thought about the hill I had just climbed between my place in the Mission and hers in the Castro. She laughed when I told her the path I had taken. “I keep saying they should make an app that takes the hills into account!” Then she showed me her deck. “But check out the view.”

The space is creative, optimistic and original, packed with finds from the local flea markets and a few very impressive DIY’s, not to mention the view. Great job.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Comfortable and eclectic. Vintage, colorful, practical, fun.

Inspiration: Flea markets, design blogs (Apartment Therapy!), and our friends and family.

Favorite Element: The tall ceilings and hardwood floors are everything we could have hoped for in a San Francisco rental apartment. And the view isn’t half bad either.

Biggest Challenge: The apartment is a railroad style (a long hallway with rooms off of one side of it), so each room is relatively small and segregated from the others. That layout limits furniture options and isn’t great for entertaining, but we make it work.

What Friends Say: They are always amazed by the view.

Biggest Embarrassment: There are a couple of pieces (the bed and the sideboard, especially) that we want to paint or refinish. We love the shape and functionality but they need to be cleaned up and updated. Unfortunately it is hard to do big projects in the space we have, but eventually we will make it work!

Proudest DIY: Most recently I rewired a lamp to be battery powered for when we are out on the deck so that we don’t have to run an extension cord. I also love both of our magnetic projects – I made the magnetic chalkboard in the kitchen with sheet metal, chalkboard paint and molding, and in the hallway we attached metal trim to the wall to hang a rotating collection of our Polaroids.

Biggest Indulgence: The sectional on the deck. We just got it at the beginning of the summer, and we have spent a ton of time on it already. It is so comfortable and inviting and makes for a great spot to eat brunch or have a drink at the end of the day when it isn’t too cold.

Best Advice: Don’t get so settled that you are afraid to change things. We are constantly switching things around and like that it makes things feel new and different without necessarily having to spend much money.

Dream Sources: Backwoodsy flea markets with lots of treasures that haven’t been picked over.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


  • White, white and more white. We aren’t allowed to paint.


  • Coat Rack: Urban Outfitters


  • Couch: Ethan Allen
  • Coffee table: Crate & Barrel
  • Rug: Crate & Barrel
  • Stools: Alameda Point Antiques Fair
  • Shelves: Craigslist
  • Baskets: Target


  • Book shelves: Ikea
  • Crates for records: inherited from Luke’s parents
  • Poufs: Crate & Barrel
  • Chairs: Craigslist
  • Coffee table: Craigslist
  • Bike rack: The Art of Storage via Amazon.com


  • Sideboard: Estate Sale
  • Table: Craigslist
  • Chairs: Estate sale (reupholstered by us)
  • Chalkboard: DIY


  • Captain’s Bed: Craigslist
  • Closets: Ikea
  • World Map: Alameda Point Antiques Fair
  • Instagram Canvas Prints: canvaspop.com
  • Nightstand: Alameda Point Antiques Fair
  • Over-the-door baskets: Southern Enterprises via Amazon.com

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Allison and Luke!

(Images: Kim Lucian)

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.