Kim Lucian's Recent Articles
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5 Tips for a Better Roadtrip
Living a little over 350 miles north of my home town Los Angeles, in San Francisco, I find myself making the 7+ hour drive on a pretty regular basis. While I love a good road trip, I’m not going to lie, the commute can get pretty tiring. Here are a few tips that make it a little easier: 1. Take a few minutes to plan ahead. Check for roadwork, freeway closures (happening almost every weekend in LA now) and try to schedule things so you can avoid rush hour in any urban areas.
Jul 28, 2014
Our Best Tips for Living Without a Washing Machine
When this topic came up as part of our monthly focus on “renters solutions” I jumped at the chance to write about it. I recently had the good fortune of having a washing machine in a unit that I lived in for a few months, and that was a serious luxury. But currently I’m living without a washing machine in my apartment… or anywhere within a city block.
Jul 15, 2014
Smart Shopping: 5 Tips for Navigating the Flea Market
Last Sunday was the monthly Alameda flea market just outside of San Francisco and we emerged from the day happily clutching our finds and sincerely wishing that we had brought some sunscreen. Here are a few takeaways from the experience. 1. Read up. Knowing what to expect before you show up is half the battle. Is there free parking nearby or a shuttle to the site? Is there a cover? Should you expect 50 or 500 vendors and what is the loading policy?
Jul 8, 2014
5 DIYs to Try: Crystal Projects
I’ve lived in San Francisco for nearly a year and a half and just finally made it down to Haight and Ashbury, in search of inexpensive crystals for a project. I found my treasure trove in a little shop that also boasts a meditation room. Here are a few of the ways that I plan to put my finds to use. 1. Amethyst Mirror DIY, from Design Love Fest 2. Crystal Bottle Stopper DIY, from Camille Styles 3. Crystal Cluster Lacquered Box DI, from Kelly Christine Studio Blog 4.
Jul 7, 2014
Top 10 Ways You Can Tell Your Apartment is Seriously Tiny
Urban apartments are shrinking as demand for space rises, and while I can’t wait for the day that it takes me more than five seconds to walk a lap of my entire apartment, I’m making the most of small space living while it lasts. In that spirit I’ve put together a little top ten list for you. Top 10 Ways You Can Tell Your Apartment is Seriously Tiny: 1. When the smallest tree on the lot takes up your entire living room at Christmas time. 2.
Jun 30, 2014
Myka and George’s Modern Abode
Name: Myka + Georges Haddad Location: Laurel Heights — San Francisco, California Size: 600 square feet Years lived in: 6 years, rented Myka of the blog Modern Sequins shows us how great style can translate from fashion to the home. With pieces collected from years of event styling and her signature sparkle throughout, the apartment that she calls home with her husband George is only out-shined by one thing… …Her wardrobe!
Jun 15, 2014
Offbeat Registry Items for the Space Challenged
One size does not fit all, especially for those of us who reside in very small apartments. When registering for our upcoming nuptials, my fiance and I found ourselves faced with all of the traditional options, which for the most part did not fit our lifestyle or needs. A 16 piece china set? No thanks. Our dishes are carefully pared down to the bare essentials. Here are a few of the (slightly offbeat) items that did make it on the list. 1.
Jun 9, 2014
Erin’s Casually Sophisticated Modern Loft
Name: Erin of Apartment 34 Location: Mission/Potrero Hill , San Francisco CA Size: 900 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years Anyone who follows Erin’s lifestyle blog Apartment 34 will know that her style is synonymous with clean lines and tasteful restraint, with a touch of glam and global influence. Her loft follows suit with beautiful bones, and airy style and refined textures, with perfectly styled accessories bringing things up a notch or two.
May 13, 2014
5 Daily Habits to Help You Survive Allergy Season at Home
With the recent wave of warmer weather everything is in bloom here on the West Coast, and while I’m enjoying the colorful flowers, it also means seasonal allergies are starting to kick in. While medicating to get through the season might be tough to avoid if you plan on setting foot outside, there are a few things you can do to minimize the effects indoors and help you sleep better at night. 1. Take off you shoes.
May 7, 2014
Meg’s Classic, Glamorous Apartment
Name: Meg Shackleton Location: Cole Valley — San Francisco, California Size: 1200 square feet Years lived in: 3 years; Rented Meg Shackleton is the creator of Margaret Elizabeth designs — check out her recent studio tour. Not surprisingly, her home incorporates many of the elements that make her jewelry line so unique. Color, form, and shine come together in a style that is at once classic and modern.
Apr 29, 2014
Do You Thrive on Routine?
I feel like my life is less routine than most, in both a good and a bad way. I have my personal rituals that keep me on track and set the tone for the day, like checking my email over a latte and walking the dogs, but after that portion of the day is over my career as a freelancer sends me all over the place. I might be out on a shoot, holed away editing for days, or taking meetings at local cafes.
Apr 28, 2014
Do You Rotate Your Decor With the Seasons?
While here in California the seasons are a little less, ahem, defined, transitioning from winter into spring still not only inspires me to trade in the heavy bedding — it also makes me want to bring on the color and add seasonal treasures like fresh local blooms. Trading out accessories like throw pillows, duvets and seasonal decor can be a great way to both mark the change in seasons and to shake things up a bit from time to time and keep your home fresh.
Apr 28, 2014
Small Space Style: 10 Inspiring San Francisco Small Spaces
With rents rivaling those in New York, the high cost and low availability of apartments in San Francisco is driving locals to live small. Here are a few San Francisco residents who pull off small spaces with big style, all under 500 square feet. TOP ROW: 1. Krystal’s San Francisco Studio, 400 sq ft 2. Erin & Danny Living Together in Only 500 Square Feet, 500 sq ft 3. Lauren’s Eclectic San Francisco Apartment, 450 sq ft 4. Lauren’s Happy, Inspired Studio, 500 sq ft 5.
Apr 21, 2014
Thayer Photography Studio Tour
Name: Thayer Allyson Gowdy Business Name: Thayer & Co Location: Bernal Hill, San Francisco Size: 500 sq feet Years in Business: 14 years The studio that Thayer Photography calls home is a great example of form meets function. Walking in, you have no doubt that actual business is conducted here — in fact, they seem ready for anything — and the most utilitarian elements, like the sealed concrete floors and custom plywood cabinets, are also some of the best stylistic elements.
Apr 16, 2014
The 10 Commandments of Keeping a Small Space Organized
Living in a compact (read: tiny) one bedroom with my fiancé and our two dogs sometimes resembles a giant game of Tetris. When it comes to cramming our lives, complete with hobbies, home cooking and my photography business, into 450 square feet organization is key. Here are a few of the ways that we manage. 1. Build upwards.
Apr 15, 2014
What Would You Do With an Extra Room?
Maybe I’m the only one who regularly indulges in this fantasy, but for those of us who have lived our entire adult lives with one bedroom or less, the idea of a spare room to devote to anything we would like is a fun one to explore. I like to imagine what I would use mine for, and I tend to flip flop on this one a lot.
Apr 14, 2014
Decoration Inspiration: Fitting a Home Office into a Small Space
Not all of us who work from home are lucky enough to have an extra room to devote to a home office, so we utilize what space we do have. Culled from our House Tours, here few great home offices that don’t sacrifice style or function, even when they’re short on square footage. 1. A sleek desk fits in with the glam decor in Bianca and Craig’s Moody Glam Apartment tour. 2.
Apr 7, 2014
Hope and Pete’s Bohemian Modern Abode
Name: Hope & Pete Colling Location: Terra Linda, California Size: 1955 sq ft. Years lived in: 2 years; Owned Pulling up to Hope and Pete’s home I can’t help but notice that I’ve entered a place where all of the homes are perfectly landscaped in gravel and native plants and maintain a uniform sense of modern, minimalist design. It’s almost Stepford-ish in its perfection, if the Stepford wives took their cues from Dwell magazine.
Apr 5, 2014
5 Quick Styling Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Home
Whether you are looking to photograph your place to submit to a contest (like our Small Cool or Room for Color) or just want to preserve it for posterity (look how I lived before kids!), here are a few quick styling tips from my own house tour photo shoots that will help you get the perfect shot. 1.Bring in fresh flowers. Fresh flowers, or any bit of greenery, will add a bit of color without modifying your decor, and create the impression that the space is well cared for. 2.Tape it up.
Mar 31, 2014
Inspiration Roundup of Personality Filled Rooms
Having a great personality comes from truly knowing and embracing the things that make you unique, and a willingness to share those things with the world. In seeking out spaces with a real personality (a testament, no doubt, to those that created them) I had to look no further than our own house tours. 1. Amy’s Vintage Jewel Tone Apartment Two tone green walls create a background that unifies the space, and makes the colorful and eclectic artwork and accessories in this kitchen pop. 2.
Mar 27, 2014
But It’s a Bargain! Tips and Tricks for Not Buying What You Don’t Need
There are few things as alluring as a deal. My inbox overflows with them: advertisements from retailers I frequent, flash sale sites, and group deals. And more often then not, I click through, just to see if there is something I might need. The reality is that if there is something I really do I need, I will seek it out.
Mar 17, 2014
Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry Studio Tour
Name: Meg Shackleton of Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry Location: Union Street; San Francisco, California Size: 750 square feet Years in business: 7 years When you step into the studio of Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry you are taken by the similarities in style between the jewelry line and the space where it is created. Metallics with pops of color and plenty of texture set the tone in this studio workspace and showroom.
Mar 15, 2014
Thayer’s Modern Beachy Apartment
Name: Thayer Allyson Gowdy and Scott Paterson Location: Bernal Hill, San Francisco, California Size: 1,200 square feet Years lived in: 7 years; Owned Photographer Thayer Gowdy’s carefree style comes together with a mix of clean-lined Danish designs, eclectic accessories, and pieces sourced from her travels around the world. → Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2014 The result is collected without feeling too busy, and modern without losing its sense of warmth.
Mar 12, 2014
Tips for Navigating IKEA In Record Time
IKEA, the mega-store for budget modern design, can be great for picking up a few pieces to round out your space without breaking the bank. On the flip side, it can also be easy to spend hours wandering around feeling overwhelmed, picking up impulse buys and completely forgetting what you came there for. Here are a few suggestions for getting in, getting out, and getting what you want. 1. Start online.
Mar 7, 2014
Best Basics: 10 Good, Cheap Frames
Hanging art can easily find its way to the bottom of the to do list, especially when sourcing attractive, inexpensive frames that don’t look, well, cheap can be a challenge. We’re rounded up ten great options to get your art from lingering on the to do list to hanging the wall, without breaking the bank in the process. 1. Gallery In A Box Frame Set – White, West Elm, $99 2. Astor Solid Wood Picture Frame- Silver, Wayfair, $18 3.
Mar 5, 2014
Repurposed, Comfy & Colorful in California
Name: Candice and Jason Rose Location: Mission, San Francisco, California Size: 1,000 square feet Years lived in: 6 weeks; Rented Candice and Jason moved into their current apartment six weeks ago — yes, six weeks. But you would never know it when you walk through the front door. The space feels warm, collected, and well organized.
Mar 4, 2014
10 Inexpensive Ways to Add Life to Any Space
Sometimes you feel like your home needs a refresh, but you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money. These are my 10 go-to tricks, whether I’m preparing for company, getting things photo shoot ready, or just feel the need for a little pick me up without spending much money. 1. Bring the outdoors in with houseplants. A little green can go a long ways towards bringing life into your space. Choose something low maintenance, like a succulent, if you have a less than green thumb. 2.
Feb 27, 2014
Sarah’s Modern San Francisco Loft With Global Details
Name: Sarah Glicken of Develop Agency Location: Potrero Hill; San Francisco, California Size: 1,100 square feet Years lived in: 5 years; Owned Sarah’s loft is open and expansive without losing a sense of warmth, and keeps the relaxed sensibility of a space that feels truly lived in while still maintaining a strong point of view and style.
Feb 19, 2014
Should You Buy or DIY? 5 Tips to Help You Decide
With a wedding just six months away I’m debating what to DIY and what to dedicate what’s left of my budget to. While sites like Pinterest can make the most complicated projects seem “totally doable,” we’ve all seen the Pinterest fail memes… Here are a few of my considerations when I decide whether to DIY or buy. 1. What is the actual cost of doing it yourself?
Feb 17, 2014
Sarah’s Curio Filled Studio
Name: Sarah Becker, of Sarah Becker Skincare Location: Pacific Heights; San Francisco, California Size: 500 square feet Years lived in: 6 years; Rented Upon stepping into Sarah’s apartment, your eye is immediately drawn around the room, resting on carefully arranged collections of found objects and curiosities, colorfully patterned textiles, and a collection of paintings culled from the local flea market.
Feb 14, 2014
5 Tips for Gardening on the Cheap
While most of the country is still covered in snow, California’s planting season rapidly approaches. Gardening is one of those hobbies where costs quickly add up before you even realize it. Here are a few ways to get the most bang for your buck. Here are five tips for frugal gardeners: 1. Work with what you have. Take cuttings and collect seeds from existing plants. This is the best way to fill out a space and stretch your gardening dollar.
Feb 4, 2014
A Moody Glam California Apartment
Names: Bianca Sotelo, Blogger at A Fabulous Challenge and Editorial Manager for Apartment 34 & Craig King, Assistant District Manager, G-Star Location: Alameda, California Size: 750 square feet Years lived in: 3 years; Rented I love interiors that set a certain mood and turn the innate quirks of the space to their advantage. The style mix in Bianca and Craig’s place does just that. Bianca and Craig live in a garden level unit and their design embraces the naturally dim interior.
Jan 24, 2014
No More Matchy-Matchy Bathroom Decor: Unexpected Looks
As part of my January Cure this month, I’m hoping to pull my place together with a few finishing touches, starting with the bathroom. While searching for inspiration I found myself drawn to these images. Each incorporates warm touches usually found in other parts of the home, instead of the usual matchy-matchy bathroom accessories. They are much more suited to my home’s aesthetic as a whole and a great way to create an extra inviting space.
Jan 22, 2014
Jesse’s Modern Bachelor Pad
Name: Jesse Leake, Photographer Location: Lower Pacific Heights; San Francisco, California Size: 1,100 square feet Years lived in: 10 years; Rented The antithesis of the proverbial bachelor pad, photographer Jesse Leake’s well-considered space is evidence that stereotypes are meant to be broken. A reflection of his globetrotting, artistic endeavors and eye for the offbeat, the space hits all of the right notes.
Jan 19, 2014
Kim’s Cure: A Place for Everything…
The concept of creating a “landing strip” in my apartment to sort through the clutter of the day and attempt to filter through things as they come in is one that appeals to me. However, my petite abode lacks any sort of entryway, with the door instead opening straight into the main living area.
Jan 14, 2014
Tell Us: What Makes a House a Home?
I’ve moved around a lot over the past five years, bouncing from coast to coast and staying in places, furnished and unfurnished, from one month to three years. All this has made me wonder about what it is that really makes a place feel like home. Obviously it’s not always a tangible thing — for me it’s most often a combination of things, from getting to know my neighbors and finding a great local coffee shop, to unpacking my books and personal mementos.
Jan 13, 2014
Kim’s Cure: Kitchen Cleanup, Fresh Flowers & Dinner
When I saw what the assignment was for this weekend, my first thought was that I had better clear some room in my schedule. While my kitchen (if you can call it that) is tiny, it poses a few challenges that might not crop up in one with more space: For one, it is completely open to my living area. More specifically, it consists of a row of appliances, a few cupboards, and approximately three feet of counter space.
Jan 11, 2014
Natalie & Seth’s Organic Modern Home
Name: Seth and Natalie Brookshire Location: Presidio Heights; San Francisco, California Size: 2,700 square feet Years lived in: Seth for 10 years, Natalie for 3.5; Owned Walking up to this residence you’ll be greeted by Seth, an architect, and Natalie, a floral designer. The modern, light filled space you step into feels like a hidden treasure, and for good reason. The place was designed from the ground up by Seth, and every detail was carefully considered, with flawless results.
Jan 7, 2014
Jesica’s Mix and Match Studio
Name: Jesica Ryzenberg Location: Alamo Square, San Francisco, California Size: Studio, 450 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years; Rented When the door to Jesica’s apartment swings open, you are greeted enthusiastically and welcomed in wholeheartedly (even when you happen to show up on the wrong day).
Dec 5, 2013
Lauren’s Happy, Inspired Studio
Name: Lauren Mizrahi Location: Marina, San Francisco, California Size: 500 square feet, Studio Years lived in: 2.5 years; Rented Lauren of Live Happy Inspired brings her sense of colorful, stylish living to her home as well as her blog.
Dec 2, 2013
How To Make a Succulent Wreath
I took a trip to the craft store a couple of weeks ago with the intention of picking up a few Christmas decorations. On a whim I decided to DIY my own succulent wreath, and walked out with my arms filled with supplies. I love the idea of decorations that can easily be modified and used year round. When the season is up I plan to remove the bow and hang my wreath outside.
Nov 26, 2013
Alison’s Eclectic Mix in a Cozy San Francisco Apartment
Name: Alison Hotchkiss Location: Mission; San Francisco, California Size: 700 square feet Years lived in: 3 years; Rented Event Planner Alison‘s home is a reflection of her finely honed aesthetic, cultivated both by years in the wedding and event industry and her travels throughout the world. When quizzed on her resources she was as likely to drop the name of an exotic locale as a big box store.
Nov 18, 2013
Before You Leave Home: A Pre-Trip Checklist
Coming home from a long trip can be a welcome reprieve: you look forward to sleeping in your own bed, raiding the fridge, and cozying up in front of the TV. That is, until you arrive to an overstuffed mailbox, fruit flies, and a fridge full of semi-liqified produce (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything).
Nov 11, 2013
Preparing for Company in 60 Minutes (or Less!): My Speed Cleaning Routine
Whether someone is stopping by on short notice or you just can’t stand the mess yourself but are short on time, a speed cleaning session that focuses just on the more public rooms in your home (entry, living/dining, kitchen, bathroom) can be the perfect solution. This doesn’t replace regular, deeper cleanings, but is great in a pinch.
Nov 8, 2013
Winter Home Accents: Instantly Cozy Up with Sheepskin
A hallmark of Danish design, the classic sheepskin rug is about as ubiquitous as tapered legs in MCM style homes. Whether draped over a chair, the back of the sofa, the foot of the bed, or layered over a rug, the sheepskin is an element that instantly makes any room feel cozier with little effort. Here are a few of our favorite examples and options. 1. Worn in sheepskins help create a laid back environment in this living room.
Nov 1, 2013
The Creative Process: 5 Ways to Cultivate Inspiration & Ideas
I had a conversation with a friend recently about the creative process and how people seem to just “come up” with amazing ideas in the spur of the moment. For those who depend on their creativity for a living, and even those who struggle to fill a blank wall at home, here is a little secret… If you want moments of inspiration, you have to cultivate them.
Oct 30, 2013
Under $50: 10 Online Sources for Affordable Art
The idea of collecting art can be a daunting one and when it comes to finding the perfect pieces to fill your walls it can feel like there are only two directions you can go in, mass produced cookie-cutter art or the intimidating, confusing and often expensive option of buying directly from a gallery. The internet has democratized the process quite a bit, but can be hard to sift through what’s available. Here are ten of my go to resources for good, affordable art.
Oct 14, 2013
Buy or DIY: 10 Hanging Planters
Hanging planters are having a resurgence in popularity, and with their space saving design they are a perfect fit for square-foot-deficient plant hoarders (ahem, me) and 70’s aficionados alike. Here are a few great options to buy or DIY one for yourself. BUY: 1. Brass Himmeli Hanging Planter no. 2, $65 from Hruskaa on Etsy 2. Scribble Hanging Planter, $70 – $90 from Pigeon Toe Ceramics 3. 3 Tier Oval Porcelain and Cotton Rope Planter, $140 from Light and Ladder on Etsy 4.
Sep 19, 2013