Anna’s Bright & Creative Small Space in San Francisco

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Name: Anna Korkobcova
Location: Lower Pac Heights — San Francisco, California
Size: 420 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented

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The moment you cross the threshold of Anna’s home, you are greeted as warmly as an old friend. I arrived on her doorstep late and battling a cold, for which she insisted on sending me home with her own tried and true remedy.

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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

While I snapped photos of her beautifully curated space—the type that has a certain je ne se quoi that you can’t quite put your finger on but you know when you see it—she proudly informed me that her boyfriend made up her bed for the shoot. It is a skill that he is adept at and one that makes any guy a serious winner in my book.

With a background in interior design, Anna has made a career out of visual arts, splitting her time between creating upscale interiors for clients and working on her artwork: creating playful little paint chips, abstracts, and mixed media works involving photography, florals and paint. Her warmth and creative spirit comes together in the home to create a space that both nurtures and inspires.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, layered, curated. Overall it’s a collection of my travels and various artistic interest in my life.

Inspiration: Parisian flats for their effortless chic style and Scandinavian homes for their restraint and authenticity. I’m always drawn to natural and raw elements such as varieties of stone, woods and metal. My work exposes me to design fields such as architecture, interior design, fashion, graphic design etc. and I love learning more about different styles and design periods. And finally, books have always played a special role and are a prized possession, moving from place to place with me.

Favorite Element: The existing architecture of the apartment with high wall panelling, hardwood floors, charming bathroom tile, the amount of light in the main room and even the old telephone system in the hallway. Then the mood of the home I’ve slowly created, it’s calm, inspiring and inviting.

Biggest Challenge: The type of work I do requires different spatial conditions so I wanted to create work areas that would meet these desired needs. Living in a studio apartment meant making some compromises. Most computer-based projects happen at the dining table in the kitchen. It’s calm and quiet. My Color Series and paintings ask for larger surface and all that happens on open floor area in the main room. Often I like to pull out lots of materials for Color Series and think about the idea for a day or two; it’s nice to have the luxury to leave it on the floor so it can be edited and manipulated in the spur of moment as process plays a big part in everything I do. Creating the large open floor area meant giving up on typical living room setting with sofa and lounge chairs but it was the right thing to do.

What Friends Say: That this apartment is very me. Playful, feminine, artistic, cozy, calming and always changing. Supposedly it has a creative atmosphere which warms my heart since it acts as workspace studio and the aim is to make it inspiring.

Biggest Embarrassment: Because the apartment is a rental and I will move at some point, I decided not to invest in any ceiling light fixtures. I love dramatic lighting so the kitchen light in particular is interior designer’s nightmare.

Proudest DIY: Not really a DIY but I like to use existing things in new ways. For example, my kitchen coasters are stone and wood samples I sourced for clients and kitchen placemats are actually large fabric samples.

Biggest Indulgence: Walk in closet. In San Francisco particularly, that is a dream!

Best Advice: When it comes to your home, don’t feel the pressure to follow trends. Instead, focus on creating environment that you feel comfortable in, may it be through collecting art, books, antiques etc. Add plants or tall branches for extra greenery and interesting scale. I also always have snippets of flowers throughout the house. Instead of rushing through meaningless purchases, hone-in your long term vision and work your way towards it. Home is about personal being and it will naturally change as we grow so in a way it should reflect these moments of time and grow with us.

Dream Sources: 1st Dibs, ABC Home, B&B Italia, Cisco Home, Anthropologie, COUP D’ETAT

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Resources of Note:


  • Frame: Vintage
  • Art: Cesky Krumlov, my hometown in Czech Republic
  • Vase: Vintage


  • Dresser: Antique (vanity turned into dresser)
  • Table and Chairs: Ikea
  • Rug: Urban Outfitters
  • Candle: Anthropologie
  • Cups: Anthropologie
  • Ballerinas: Czech porcelain, inherited from my grandparents
  • Pottery and Ceramics: collection from Czech, Heath Ceramics etc.
  • Tablecloth: Paola Navone for Crate and Barrel
  • Cutting Board: Anthropologie
  • Marble Dish: Williams/Sonoma
  • Art: various artist including Kari Herer, music notes, postcard from DeYoung from Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit, painting of Cesky Krumlov (my mom and sister have identical in their kitchens), drawings by my niece, my own works, cd cover of idol Carla Bruni, gifted notes and sketches


  • Side Table Cubes: Create and Barrel
  • Chair: Eames
  • Table: Ikea
  • Table Lamp: Urban Outfitters
  • Rug: Urban Outfitters
  • Candle: Cire Trvdon (sold at Hudson Grace)
  • Art: Parisian 1920’s original painting from Lizzie Derriey Design Studio, frame Cheap Pete’s / Abstract, personal work Anna Korkobcova, gold frame Crate and Barrel / Abstract, personal work Anna Korkobcova, white frame Target
  • Hand Sculpture: Flea Market Find
  • Candle Holder: Vintage
  • Turkish Pipe: Vintage


  • Step Stools: Ikea
  • Rugs: Ikea
  • Storage: Ikea
  • Mirrors: Vintage
  • Art: Lujac Desautel
  • Jewelry Dishes: Anthropologie and Vintage


  • Frame: Flea Market Find
  • Art: Abstract, personal work Anna Korkobcova
  • Towel: Anthropologie
  • Towel: Crate and Barrel
  • Shower curtain: Anthropologie
  • Vase: Jonathan Adler
  • Bath Mat: Crate and Barrel
(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Thanks, Anna!

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