Esteban Cortez


Oakland, California

Esteban is a photographer and writer in Oakland, California. When he isn't taking photos or writing for Apartment Therapy, he obsesses over his record collection and which antique store to visit next.
These New Parents Love Their Unique Living Arrangement
See inside the comfy, eclectic house of this family of three, located in North Oakland's intentional community, Radish.
Nov 29, 2023
This Eclectic, Vintage Apartment Is Located in an Actual Commune
See inside this couple’s 750-square-foot apartment that’s located in Radish, an intentional community in Oakland.
Nov 28, 2023
This Podcaster Lives in a Cozy One-Bedroom Apartment on a Commune
See inside the home of Danielle Bezalel, the founder of feminist podcast “Sex Ed with DB,” who lives in a one-bedroom rental apartment on the Radish commune in Oakland, California.
Nov 26, 2023
See Inside Oakland’s Radish Commune, Home to 19 Adults (and 4 Babies!)
Tour the community spaces of the 19 adults and 4 babies that make up the intentional community Radish in North Oakland.
Nov 22, 2023
Not in Love With Your Backsplash? We Tested Adhesive, Removable Smart Tiles
Smart Tiles promises easy installation, easy cleaning and resistance to heat and humidity. As a renter, I wanted to give them a try.
Nov 18, 2022
Our Best Advice Of The Year For Fixing Up (& Loving) Your Rental
No rental home is perfect. Perhaps your landlord prohibits you from putting holes in the walls or altering the space in any way, so you feel like all your #housegoals are impossible to achieve. At Apartment Therapy, nothing is impossible! We gathered the best posts of 2017 highlighting how simple changes here and there can really make your home shine, and perhaps make you fall in love again.
Oct 13, 2022
This Small San Francisco Studio Apartment Looks and Feels Like a Sunrise
This 560-square-foot studio apartment in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood is Dipa Halder's first solo apartment, and she's personalized this blank canvas with murals, DIY art, and furniture and decor that remind her of the colors of a sunrise.
May 17, 2022
This TikTok Star's Colorful Condo Is Packed With Fun and Fresh DIY Project Ideas
"The goal for my home has always been to make it feel like the most fun place you’ve ever been in, and I want every room to have a surprise in it once you enter," says TikTok DIY decor star Taylor BeepBoop of her "Pee-Wee’s Playhouse chic" San Francisco condo.
Jan 5, 2022
This 'Wild Eclectic Glam' Apartment Boasts Seven Wall Colors Across Six Rooms
When it came to decorating this Oakland apartment, interior designer and artist Sophia E. Aguiñaga painted the entire space, and surrounded herself with pieces that inspire and start conversations: like art by Black artists and artists of color, queer artists, and pieces purchased from Black- and woman-owned shops.
Aug 17, 2021
This Designer Uses Color to Create Distinct Areas in Her Small Studio
Instead of using heavy or bulky room dividers, Abigail was able to maximize all 415 square feet of her tiny studio apartment and create an entryway, living room, dining room, bar, bedroom, and office!
Mar 22, 2021
25 Smart Solutions For How to Store Your Stash of Records
From casual collectors to zealous vinyl nerds, it doesn't matter how many records you have, there's a storage solution here for you.
Nov 17, 2020
Planning a New Kitchen? How to Add Charm & Character to a New Build
When Huberdine and her husband Bertie bought their Dutch home 11 years ago, it had just been built. While it’s lovely to have a brand new home — the downside to new construction is that it doesn’t have years and years of historical character and charm! Always a fan of romantic and rustic design elements, Huberdine immediately started to fill her home with vintage finds and natural elements to offset the home’s modern finishes.
Jul 17, 2020
A Real Life Chaotic Closet Gets a Makeover: Esteban & Todd’s Clutter Challenge
Closet size: 24 square feet How many people use this closet? Two. My partner Todd and I share the closet. How long have you lived in your home? Five years Your closet in 5 words or less: Small, narrow, chaotic, cluttered, disorderly. We moved into our Oakland apartment five years ago, and our bedroom closet has been a mess ever since. It’s not the amount of space that’s the problem, but how we use it.
Jul 17, 2020
A Renter Found a Gorgeous Modern Loft (In an Former School) on Craigslist
House Tour
Ella Khan found this apartment listing on Craigslist for a 800-square-foot space: a spacious unit in a former elementary school that was built in 1915.
May 29, 2020
This Author’s Cozy San Francisco Apartment Is Bursting With Books, Color and Art
It's definitely maximalist, but not chaotic.
Apr 22, 2020
This Colorful San Francisco House Is Like a "Victorian on Acid"
It’s like a Wes Anderson movie that hasn’t been filmed yet or like a little Madonna Inn.
Feb 21, 2020
Every Paint Color in This Gorgeous Modern Mexican Home is Our New Favorite
From yellow steel accents, to a bold blue exterior, to pink bathroom cabinets, a green bedroom, and more, this modern Mexican home is serving of colorful, 1970s-inspired style vibes.
Feb 5, 2020
This Dark, Moody, Maximalist Apartment Was Inspired by Rihanna
The apartment is also inspired by "extravagantly rich white women."
Jan 23, 2020
A Couple Shares the Most Organized, Functional 240-Square-Foot Studio Ever
Every item must have at least three different uses, be used three times a week, or be used for more than three years.
Dec 19, 2019
Victorian Style in an Oakland Apartment of Wonder & Oddities
Name: Caitlin Hackett and Dave McHale Location: Cleveland Heights — Oakland, California Size: 950 square feet Years lived in: 2 years; Rented When Caitlin and Dave shared photos of their home in a House Call post earlier this year, Apartment Therapy readers wanted to see more of their wonder-filled Oakland home. Stepping into their spacious two-bedroom apartment, it’s obvious that their tastes and experiences have influenced their home’s décor.
Dec 19, 2019
A Handmade, 600 Square Foot Berkeley Apartment
Name: Natacha Nay and Joshua Location: Berkeley, California Size: 600 square feet Years lived in: 10 months; Rented Natacha and Joshua live on one of Berkeley’s busiest and most historic streets. Though their neighborhood is generally hectic, their home reflects a minimal way of living that contrasts with the busy street scene.
Dec 19, 2019
Fay’s Charming Grand Lake Apartment
Name: Fay Johnson Location: Grand Lake; Oakland, California Size: 1,100 square feet Years lived in: 3.5 years; Rented Looking at Fay’s gorgeous Oakland apartment, it’s hard to not feel envious. Situated on the top floor of the building, her apartment boasts features most people desire in a home: large windows that provide plentiful light all day, original hardwood flooring and a working fireplace.
Dec 19, 2019
Clara & Sam’s Warm & Inviting Rockridge Home
Name: Clara of Banner Day & Sam (and their dog Morgan) Location: Rockridge; Oakland, California Size: 1,600 square feet Years lived in: 2.5 years; Owned Clara and Sam live in a 1930s cottage just a short walk from Oakland’s charming Rockridge neighborhood. After leaving a career in corporate law to start her interior design business Banner Day Consulting, Clara has been constantly pursuing her passion for design in their home, as well as for her numerous clients.
Dec 19, 2019
Annie’s Harmonious Oakland Studio
Name: Annie Oxenhandler Location: Adams Point; Oakland, California Size: 624 square feet Years lived in: 2 years; Rented Though a challenge at first, Annie managed to create a harmonious space with the illusion of having separate rooms in what would otherwise be an open studio.
Dec 19, 2019
Olivia’s Elegant Oakland Apartment
Name: Olivia Smartt Location: Adam’s Point; Oakland, California Size: 700 square feet Years lived in: 3 years; Rented As a Bay Area photographer, Olivia likes her walls to remain mostly clear so that she can relax in her home after a long day, as her professional life is very busy and visual. Though bare in some areas, it’s clear that she has put much thought into which art, furniture and decor pieces takes up space in her elegant and minimal Oakland apartment.
Dec 19, 2019
Vivian & Leonard’s Converted Loft in Oakland
Name: Vivian and Leonard Location: West Oakland; Oakland, California Size: 1,100 square feet Years lived in: Leonard since August 2010, Vivian since December 2011; Rented Though Leonard was living in their West Oakland loft before Vivian, the two have managed to successfully bring in both of their personalities to create a rustic and organic space.
Dec 19, 2019
Kevin & Emily’s East Bay Sanctuary
Name: Kevin and Emily Location: Adam’s Point; Oakland, California Size: 650 square feet Years lived in: 2.5 years; rented If Kevin and Emily had to describe their apartment in one word, they’d say it’s “thoughtful.” As soon as you step into their 650 square foot apartment—located just two blocks from Oakland’s beautiful Lake Merritt—you can see their careful cultivation of a unique decorative style.
Dec 19, 2019
Two Artists Share a “West by Southwest” Oakland Apartment
James and Lauren are two artists living in Oakland, and their apartment is perfect for work and play.
Oct 31, 2019
A Chicago Garden Unit Is Bright and Full of Vintage Finds
"Have you ever looked at an apartment in the pitch black without heat? It's not great."
Sep 6, 2019
A Couple and Three Dogs Share a 200-Square-Foot “Bitty Berkeley Bungalow”
The couple DIYed the whole thing using mostly recycled or second-hand building materials.
Aug 29, 2019
A Playful Penthouse Apartment on the Beach in Puerto Rico
Carlos' apartment showcases his playful personality, like a Nintendo game system from his childhood, a South Park throw pillow, and mustaches. Lots of mustaches.
Jul 31, 2019
A Berlin Apartment Inspired by Queer History
Name: Dean Sameshima Location: Berlin, Germany Size: 1,044 square feet Years lived in: 10 years, renting When Dean Sameshima came to Berlin in 2007 to put on an art show with Peres Project, he didn’t expect to stay put for so long. What started out as a one-month stay quickly became three months, and luckily, he found this gem of an apartment at the end of his trip.
Jul 10, 2019
‘Visibility is a Revolutionary Act’: How Our Readers Celebrate Pride at Home
We asked some of our readers what Pride means to them and how they celebrate at home or in their communities. Here’s what they shared.
Jun 25, 2019
A Storied San Francisco Home That Inspires Style and Spirit
You can Instagram every corner of this San Francisco rental apartment, where every element inspires and tantalizes your senses.
Jun 20, 2019
Get the Look: Travel-inspired & Contemporary
Kristen and Michael’s historic home in Rhode Island is filled with beautiful items featured in Kristen’s shop, as well as treasures they find on their travels. To get this contemporary and travel-inspired look in your home, check out the sources below, which include some of the fabulous items in Kristen’s well-curated shop. charset="utf-8" src="
Jun 18, 2019
A Colorful “Tongue-in-Chic” San Francisco Apartment
The number one rule is there are no rules!
Jun 18, 2019