Ariana and Andreas' Downey Street Tree House

Ariana and Andreas' Downey Street Tree House

Jess Watson
Mar 16, 2010

Name: Ariana and Andreas
Location: Ashbury Heights, San Francisco, California
Size: 823 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 months

Ariana and Andreas may have moved into their Ashbury Heights flat a mere three and a half months ago, but their collection of choice pieces has been years in the making. When Ariana and Andreas found their new home, they immediately knew that the period details from the 1906 building along with the open floor plan and large amounts of light would be the ideal space to fully realize their home together.

Before the couple purchased their condo late last year, they had already spent much energy finding the perfect furniture and art to fit their modern, irreverent style. They just didn't yet have the right space to display it all in then, but now Ariana and Andreas' new home is the perfect backdrop for it all. While their process is ongoing and their space continues to evolve (that amazing Brukbso Baccus bar was purchased for a steal just two weeks ago at the Alameda antiques fair), they don't seem to mind taking the time to find pieces that speak to them.

With backgrounds in creative fields, it's no wonder Ariana and Andreas are particular about what makes it into their homes and into their lives. Their sources vary, from Knoll to IKEA and George Nelson to Jonathan Adler, but one thing that remains in common is that they obviously have fun with their style. At a quick glance, one might miss many of the cheeky details, but upon closer inspection one finds references to their cats and their shared "A" initial throughout their home. Ariana and Andreas manage to maintain a style that is functional and carefully curated but doesn't take itself too seriously.

AT Survey:

Our style: Mid century modern, eclectic, urban, simple.

Inspiration: 1960s spy and sci-fi movies, our two cats, nature, 1906 architectural details in our home, and each other's creativity. We both work in creative fields, Andreas owns his own boutique ad agency (Brothers by Choice) and I work in textiles at the San Francisco Design Center so we both love to bounce ideas off each other about the design of our home.

Favorite Element: We love the back facing view. We actually call our place the "tree house" because we live in the heart of the city, but we have a view of trees, flowers and the fun of spotting birds, squirrels and raccoons.

Biggest Challenge: Adaptation. We've only lived here a short period of time so we are in a constant state of evolution and flux trying to make the space look as nice as possible. Things get added, things get taken away. Feeling like the place is as beautiful as it can be is a constant journey.

What Friends Say: "You guys have such a great place."

Biggest Embarrassment: The closets, the fireplace tile, the kitchen and the bathroom.

Proudest DIY: Herb garden flower boxes, unobtrusive surround sound and learning that the green wire is for the ground.

Biggest Indulgence: Eero Saarinen dining table - we wanted one for years.

Best advice: Realize your home projects are bound to fail. Instead of trying to do a project in a single day, understand that unexpected problems are bound to occur and give you setbacks. Also, let your place transform organically and don't force it.

Dream source: De La Espada, Knoll, Parisian markets.

Knoll: Saarinen Dining Table, Saarinen side table
Herman Miller: Eames rocker, Eames bucket chairs
House Industries: Valentype letter blocks, Benny Casa lion pillow
Toys: KidRobot, Ebay, Eboy, various
Vitra: George Nelson Elihu the Elephant Clock
Jonathan Adler: Georgia table lamp, Eve hand sculpture, Ipanema needlepoint pillow, Ventana floor lamp
Alameda Antique Fair: Brukso Bar, Antique Phone and wooden frames that we refinished and sprayed white.
Etsy: Monkey and Squirrel Key hooks
IKEA: bedding, office chair, bookcase, bedside lights, cat beds
FLOR: rug in living room and rug in den
West Elm: Globe light (hall), Drum shade (bedroom)
CB2: double decker bed, Lubi day bed
Room & Board: magazine rack, Copenhagen media cabinet (den)
Craigslist: Room & Board sofa
Orb Audio: 5.1 surround speaker system
Retro@Home: coffee table
Anthropologie: Crystal drawer pulls and owl switch plates
MoMA design store: Block Lamp, Owl Lamp, wood block LED clock
Rain Collection: Roost Glass Piggy Bank
Thomas Paul: daybed accent pillows
Sloat Garden: herb gardens and money tree
Urban Outfitters: owl pillows
Vintage: cat fire irons, oriental rug runner in hallway
Ebay: colorful mobile
Clarence House: hanging sheer fabric in Den
Framing: Frame O' Rama SF

Art work: Dalek, ESPO, Faile, Barry McGee, Jeff Soto, Andy Howell, Albert Reyes, PushMePullYou, Aster, vintage needlepoint art and vintage cat screenprint.

Paint colors:
Bedroom – Benjamin Moore – Shabby Chic; Den – Benjamin Moore – Silver Lake.

(Thanks, Ariana and Andreas!)

Images: Jessica Watson

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