Clara & Sam’s Warm & Inviting Rockridge Home

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

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

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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.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

After years of living in nearby San Francisco, Clara and Sam are happy to call the East Bay their home. “We love our Rockridge neighborhood, the pedestrian lifestyle of College Avenue and the quick access to vast hiking trails all over the East Bay,” Clara said. Oakland’s Lake Temescal and Redwood Regional Park are each just a few minutes from their home.

Like Oakland’s rich history, their home isn’t without a backstory. It is one of the few homes in the neighborhood that survived the 1991 Oakland firestorm, a large suburban fire that destroyed thousands of homes in the East Bay hills. Because of the home’s history, Clara and Sam decorate their home with furniture and décor that complements its traditional elements. “We love that our home is warm, inviting and reflects our personalities, but remains clutter-free and serene,” they said.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Bright, cheerful and polished with a touch of whimsy.

Inspiration: Textiles, nature and art.

Favorite Element: The large living room windows that bring in natural light all day.

Biggest Challenge: The kitchen. Although it’s not our style, it’s what we have and unless a large windfall comes our way sometime soon, the kitchen will remain the way it is for a good while yet. It’s bright and functional, but there is a reason people no longer install tile countertops, they are impossible to keep clean!

What Friends Say: “It’s so bright and cozy!”

Biggest Embarrassment: We were eager to host our first party after moving in. We hosted a New Year’s Eve party and thought a fire in the fireplace would create the perfect ambiance. The fire did create an ambiance, just not the kind we were aiming for—it seems that the chimney had not been cleaned in a while and things got a little smokey.

Proudest DIY: Not necessarily our DIYs, but we are very proud of the artwork by both our moms and the hand woven rugs by Sam’s mom that are placed throughout our home.

Biggest Indulgence: Our king size bed. We definitely don’t need all that real estate, and it takes up so much of our bedroom, but it’s such a luxury (and the only way we could sleep with Morgan in our bed since she likes to spread out).

Best Advice: A good mix of books, art and plants will breath life into any room.

Dream Sources: A wood artist to create the dining table of our dreams, and maybe some bookcases if he/she had some extra time.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Resources of Note:


  • Family Room: Benjamin Moore, Super Whit
  • Master Bedroom: Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace


  • Console Table: Overstock
  • Lamp: Crate & Barrel
  • Plants and container: Crimson Horticultural Rarities
  • Peach lithograph: Vintage
  • Zebra print: Paper Source (gift wrap)
  • Circular mirror: Target


  • Sofa: Room & Board
  • Loveseat: CB2
  • Leather chair: Restoration Hardware Warehouse Sale
  • Coffee table: Craigslist
  • Media console: Craigslist
  • Bookcase: Ikea
  • Rug: Overstock
  • Floor lamp: West Elm


  • Dining table: West Elm by way of Craigslist
  • Dining benches: West Elm
  • Dining chairs: Cost Plus
  • Botanical print: Wantful


  • Sectional: Room & Board
  • Ottoman: West Elm
  • Side table: Vintage
  • Artwork on wood: “We Are Who We Are,” by Robert Garcia
  • Citrus artwork: Angela Hardison
  • Rug: Cost Plus
  • Corner glass cabinet: Target


  • Bed: Pottery Barn
  • Dresser nightstands: Craigslist
  • Lamps: West Elm
  • Dresser: Ikea
  • Butterfly and Beetle lithographs: Vintage
  • Bedding: Restoration Hardware
  • Braided rug: Sam’s mom
  • Faux fur rug: Home Goods
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • Bench: Target
  • Jewelry box: Pottery Barn
  • Squirrel ceramic: Jonathan Adler
  • Alien animal tchotchkes: Quarter machine at Kroger’s
  • White barrister shelves: Craigslist


    • Artwork: Sam’s mom
    • Candle: Elsie Green
    • Floating book shelf: Amazon


    • Desk: Ikea
    • Desk chair: Amazon
    • Samantha the Giraffe: Z Gallerie
    • Artwork: Clara’s mom
    • Horizontal bookcase: The Container Store
    • Accessories on Bookcase: For current projects sourced from anywhere and everywhere (Vintage and consignment stores, Home Goods, Target, etc.)
    • Braided rug: Sam’s mom


    • Bed: Ikea
    • Bedding: West Elm
    • Chair nightstand: Craigslist
    • Lamp: Ikea
    • Sheepskin throw: Ikea
    • Decorative rose: Jeremy’s (originally from Anthropologie)
    (Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

    Thanks, Clara & Sam!

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