Chelsea's Cozy & Eclectic Garden Apartment

Chelsea's Cozy & Eclectic Garden Apartment

Lindsay Tella
Apr 17, 2012

Name: Chelsea Olson
Location: Presidio Heights — San Francisco, Ca
Size: 430 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 — rented

Chelsea is a friend and coworker as well as a talented graphic designer, photographer, and fashion blogger. I've been looking forward to sharing her seamlessly styled, yet functional, space on the site. It's the perfect mix of elements collected over time, both vintage and modern, paired with many of her own creations, including some impressive refinished and repurposed furniture projects.

Entering Chelsea's space brings on a feeling of comfort and peacefulness. All the windows in her small yet open apartment look out to the garden, capturing light from the south and illuminating her space with a warm blanket of sun. Her open floor plan allows for flexibility, at the cost of challenging space planning. Somehow, within a mere 430 square feet, Chelsea has incorporated everything from a home office to dining and lounging areas for hosting guests. I think one of her most impressive feats is the way she dealt with a kitchen that features only a single upper and lower cabinet for storage. Her closet, overflowing with shoes and clothes, has also forced her to edit and get creative with storage solutions.

Chelsea's aesthetic shines through in everything she does, from her work, to her perfectly styled outfits, to her innovative home projects. The girl's a master diy'er, and I envy her motivation to move from one project to the next. After our photo shoot, she painted her bedroom wall a deep blue, and since then she's moved on to a handful of other projects all featured on her blog, heels and sunkissed curls. Chelsea's work is creative, without being crafty. She has an obvious passion for what she does, and it shows in her space and her style.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage and eclectic with a hint of modern.

Inspiration: It's all in the details, I love details and originality. I love finding pieces at the flea market and making them my own, and there are so many great places to look in the bay area. I believe there is beauty and whimsy in the unexpected. I'm also a big do-it-yourselfer; I gather inspiration from all around — clothes, photographs, graphics, etc. I love all things artistic and creative, and I enjoy creating my own pieces. If I put my blood and sweat into it, then it's usually worth keeping around.

Favorite Element: The garden is definitely what sold me on the apartment. I also love the neighborhood and proximity to the Presidio. It's like I have my own little sanctuary in the city.

Biggest Challenge: My space is a bit awkward. The layout is open, so it's difficult to define the separate living areas while at the same time maximizing the light and space. I have tried to arrange everything in a way that works for me, and allows for work, play and relaxing. Each piece has lived in several different spots; so far this arrangement is the by far the best.

What Friends Say: Generally, everyone is very surprised at how much space I really have, but sometimes they comment that I must really like blue. My best friends say, "It's very Chelsea."

Biggest Embarrassment: Up until a week ago I had a filling cabinet full of clothes that I couldn't fit in my closet. A few days of purging, donating and reorganizing got rid of the filing cabinet and created much more space, with room for more clothes and shoes.

Proudest DIY: I am really into DIY's; every time I can't find a place for something I try to think of what else it could be used for. I love my lamp shade chandelier, my dining room table and newly nail head trimmed couch, but my proudest DIY would have to be my refinished cabinet that holds my T.V.

Biggest Indulgence: My shoes and clothes pretty much win. However, I have found that I do have a thing for lamps and pillows; they seem to be everywhere.

Best Advice: Only buy pieces you love; if you love it, you'll find a way to make it work in your space. Oh, and of course, quality over quantity.

Dream Sources: If I could live in an Anthropologie catalog I probably would.

Resources of Note:


    • Artwork: Artists own, Three Rabbits and Flea Markets


    • Book shelves: Crate & Barrel
    • Lamps and Shades: Anthropologie
    • Couch: D Studio
    • Leather Chair: World Market
    • Desk: Pier One


    • Chairs: West Elm
    • Table Top Mirror: EQ3
    • Table Base: EQ3
    • Glass Table Top: Pier One


    • Cabinets: IKEA


    • Bed: IKEA
    • Bedding: Anthropologie
    • Vintage Suit Cases: Alameda Flea
    • Floor length mirror: IKEA


    • Light Fixture: Urban Outfitters

Thanks, Chelsea!

(Images: Lindsay Tella)

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.

moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt