This San Francisco Mother and Son Make the Dining Table the Center of Their Home

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A large white living room with a sectional white sofa
Credit: Ruth
Living Room

Name: Ruth and 17-year-old son
Location: Outer Sunset — San Francisco, California
Type of home: House
Size: 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I am a psychotherapist and mostly work out of my home. I live with my son, who is 17. We moved from Cow Hollow during the pandemic to be closer to the beach. Once here, my son started surfing regularly, and I make it a habit to go to the beach every day (rain or shine). Our home blends an easy-going beach-y vibe (you can find shells and sand dollars everywhere in the house) with a more formal sensibility.

Credit: Ruth

We love our neighborhood, our neighbors, and our connection to the ocean! When we first saw the house, the walls were brown and the kitchen was brown and yellow. We loved the bones of the house and knew we would be there for the next few years so we negotiated with the landlord and he allowed us to paint and do a light remodel on the kitchen. Now the house is light and bright and the kitchen is sooo much better.

Credit: Ruth
Hallway/entrance to home

We believe in reusing, recycling, and connecting with nature so our home is filled with natural elements as well as recycled furniture from Craigslist, Home Consignment Center, and other sources. My boyfriend, who is a master woodworker, has restored family antiques, which we have also incorporated into our spaces.

Credit: Ruth
Master Bedroom

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Hygge, elegant, relaxing, light, beautiful.

Credit: Ruth
Dining Room

What is your favorite room and why? We love our dining room. It’s almost literally the center of the house and is filled with natural light. It’s where we eat most meals (we make a habit of eating dinner together at least five nights a week and we always light candles to add to the ambiance).

Credit: Ruth
Dining Room Detail

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing we bought for the house is our dining room tablecloth. We got it on Etsy for about $15. We love it and may order more in other colors. Why not?

Credit: Ruth
Master bedroom detail

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you don’t know what color to paint a room, try a warm white like Benjamin Moore’s “Cotton Balls.” Also, try to be consistent with design elements to create a flow through your home, and when doing any sort of detailed work on your home, it’s better to buy cheaper materials and pay for a great contractor than the opposite (especially when tiling, which makes such a difference when done correctly). Lastly, it’s great to get inspiration from magazines and websites, but be true to yourself… your space will feel better to you and will help reflect your values and personality to others.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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