A Classic and Contemporary San Francisco Home Has the Coolest, Coziest Breakfast Nook

A Classic and Contemporary San Francisco Home Has the Coolest, Coziest Breakfast Nook

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Bedrooms
Square feet
1326
Sq ft
1326
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Name: Anthony Rodriguez (he/him), husband Garrett (he/him), and Echo: (dog) – the center of our universe. She’s tri-color Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 1,326 square feet
Type of Home: A traditional 1930s row house that is attached on both sides.
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned

We had very specific wants when we started the hunt for a single-family home in San Francisco. Having spent over a decade living in 700 square feet in the heart of the Castro District in San Francisco we knew we were ready for more space, the quiet, parking, and a yard for our sweet Cavalier King Charles to play in.  

Being an interior enthusiast, I also knew that I wanted a home that I could put my very own stamp on. I didn’t want anything too turn-key. We instantly fell in love with this 1300-square-foot 1930s row house perched high up on a mountain top. It was huge — at least to us — and generously offered up three bedrooms and two full baths with a big overgrown yard, a garage, and bonus room that I converted into a walk-in closet. Even better is that she was nestled into a storybook neighborhood that we instantly fell in love with, full of ancient trees, wildflowers, and friendly neighbors — each more charming than the last.

It was a logical next step for us in terms of a home and neighborhood. The location was still close to everything we knew and loved, but with the added space, views of the San Francisco city, and with easy walks through mountain peaks and forests. All of these vistas and idyllic strolls are all just five minutes from my front door. I take long nature walks daily with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Echo. I just love that we feel so close to nature but are still in the heart of the city all at the same time. It’s really the best of both worlds. Everyone says this neighborhood is the best-kept secret in San Francisco.

Fridays are date night. We almost always walk from our doorstep to one of the many amazing eateries to help with the transition from work to weekend. Weekends are spent in the garden; we started with an overgrown jungle that we have slowly cultivated into our very own garden oasis complete with Japanese Maples, blackberries, tomatoes, rosemary, basil, and thyme. We even have made friends with the raccoons, squirrels, and skunks that migrate the northern tip of the property nightly. We cook a ton and dine on the deck often. In the end, life is simple and joyful at 136home. Between home DIY projects, hitting the trails, cooking in the kitchen, lounging on the deck while watching the clouds whip overhead, it’s a leisurely existence — often filled with sleeping in, lots of coffee and a healthy dose of reality television.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I describe my aesthetic as classic contemporary. I love to mix both old + new to create a big bold look one detail at a time. My look is often signature by mixing both high and low. I love a good deal just as much as the next guy.

My aesthetic often includes mixing in thrifted treasures from Facebook Marketplace, Chairish, etc. along with local flea market and thrift stores. Some of my favorite pieces in my home are from Facebook Marketplace — like my nightstand, the oil painting above my fireplace, and even a vintage steamer truck that I flipped on its side to make a side table in my living room. I swear these pieces were meant to live here. I just love bringing in pieces to my home that have a story — or things that are even discarded and made a new, ready to tell a brand-new story in my space right next to a Pottery Barn or CB2 piece as well. Both can live together in perfect harmony.

I love my designs to be livable and not fussy.  But I always stress that each moment needs to be intentional. I do this thoughtfully curating my space over time — without the rush of a big reveal. One detail (or corner) at a time. I find that designing a home over time makes for the best results. I just love to source the exact right pieces (at the best price) to make my vision come to life. If I can do it so can you.

Inspiration: I believe that good design (and inspiration) can come from just about anywhere. That means a gorgeous fallen tree branch — that can be pruned and styled to make your mantel sing. Or even a scuffed-up candlestick that will look like a million bucks on your coffee table. I just love seeing the beauty in the little things. I find that most people do too — if you take the time to notice.

But really, I get the most inspired by the community we have in the blog and Instagram world. There are just so many incredibly talented and amazing designers out there. Some of my favorites are Jake Arnold Alexander, Heidi Callier Designs — they both do a moody look well. I am obsessed with Sean Anderson Designs, and a bouquet of home influencers that I turn to daily for laughs and inspiration — because they are truly incredible talents, people like: Kim + Scott from Yellowbrickhome, Younghouselove, TheRenovationhusbands, and who doesn’t love ChrislovesJulia?

Gone are the days where you had to be in the pages of Architectural Digest to share your talent for beautiful styling + design. Now you can engage and reach other like-minded folk much easier. I love to get inspired by the DIY and interiors community, and the community we serve. It really is a great place to be online. I can’t get enough. Here are my favorite home DIYs.

Favorite Element: I am so proud of my home — it’s been slowly curated and designed with love and attention to detail over time. It’s hard to pick just one thing. I love the decision to go black for our doors and kitchen cabinets; we even swapped out builder grade hardware for brass and crystal doors knobs. I love the addition of archways for extra character in both the main floor hallway and in my primary-suite. Of course, the breakfast nook is always a pleaser, as is the brass bistro shelf in our kitchen.

But if I had to pick just one element that brings me the most joy — it’s probably my hallway gallery wall (I have three in my home). I just love how a gallery wall is an instant moment to wow and reflect. I have found that great art helps us connect with our guests — offering opportunities to share a story or learn more about one another. My gallery evokes so many fond memories, and tells a story — reflecting the joys of life, the feelings of uncertainty and even sorrow. But, in the end it all blends together beautifully leaving you thinking. The prints are all hand-picked over time (are you seeing a theme here?), and I love that I am always able to change it up, swapping things in and out as I collect pieces. My gallery wall is by far the thing I get asked most about — mostly how to do one just like it. Head here for my tips and supplies to do it all on your own.

Biggest Challenge: There were many! While in great shape and perfect on paper, the home really lacked character. We also had the tiniest, unattractive lime green bathroom attached to our primary suite. It was tricky because we knew we needed to expand the space, it was just too small for two grown men — and that meant pushing into our much-prized garage while still leaving room to park. Worse? This meant that we had to move our plumbing for our washer and dryer as well as moving around a ton of air ducts. But the good news is that with some smart space planning and some great advice (and city permit) I ended up with a bathroom that I am so in love with — it feels like it was always meant to be. The new configuration allows for my husband and I to wash up for the evening and tease one another every night before bed. I just cherish the memories this bathroom configuration has afforded us. Gone are the days of having to take turns to get ready for bed at night! It’s the little things that matter, guys!

One other really odd design challenge we had to solve for was a pesky 8” soffit that ran the perimeter of our downstairs primary suite. It couldn’t be removed because it’s part of the foundation. Living attached to a mountain side, this was necessary to keep the bedroom dry and attached to the hillside. But it was really shrinking the room. Remember, we wanted to find authentic and budget friendly ways to infuse charm into our home that didn’t break the bank — and don’t forget that fireplace and bathroom remodel took up a good amount of the budget! So, the addition of two arch bookcases built right on top of the soffit (I also added arches to our upstairs hallway passthrough space) was the perfect solution. Not only was it an affordable way to only cover up that pesky 8”, but it also maximized the vertical space in our bedroom, transforming an otherwise dead space into an amazing styling opportunity to display my thrifted treasures.  

Proudest DIY: I absolutely love to DIY. I have a ton of amazing and affordable DIYs in my space including: gallery walls, new faucets, furniture restoration, accent walls, hardware upgrades, wallpaper, and even restoring a vintage door knocker. But, by far my favorite — because it’s fast, easy to do, and makes a huge statement — is to simply switch out the builder grade vents for new brass registers. I replaced all of mine in a single day in my home and I am still blown away by how this tiny detail upgrade makes all the difference, especially in my hallway. This DIY just personifies everything I love about home design and how I approach things. This upgrade was one of the first projects I ever did when I started sharing DIYs on my blog — and maybe in part because it was my first, I have an extra soft spot in my heart for this project. All this DIY takes is a screwdriver, and a bit of time.

Biggest Indulgence: By far our fireplace addition was our biggest cost. It also had the most delays and setbacks. You have to permit with the city, and you have to install and order just the right pieces to pass code! I’m happy to report that in the end it was well worth it; the space just comes to life now, as it was screaming for a focal point fireplace pre-renovation. It’s temperate and foggy in San Francisco, so while it was an expensive addition, we use it almost every day. I just love the streamlined minimal look and curling up and clicking on the fireplace at the end of a long day. Plus, the mantel provides me plenty of opportunity to decorate seasonally and bring in fresh cut stems into my home from my morning walks. The fireplace addition instantly made the living room feel complete with tons of charm. I am so glad we did it.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why?

  • CB2 Snake Lamp — This lamp always causes a shock (then quickly followed by delight)
  • Luxe Linen French Please Curtains — Nothing pulls a room together like gorgeous window treatments. These will work perfectly in almost any space – but they are exceptional in mine
  • Emtek Brass and Rosette Door Knobs — The details matter. Painting my doors black and bringing in this dash of vintage charm elevated my entire home in an instant. I am obsessed
  • Doorman Designs Josephine Four Poster King Bed — What’s more lux than a four poster, modern canopy bed. I feel like a king sleeping in this work of art every night. It’s the perfect balance of old + new that I adore so much in my home
  • Westport Flint Olive Recliner — My husband insisted. I looked in dismay, until I found the Westport. Who knew I was a recliner fan? The sleek silhouette and grounded color make it the perfect solution for partners who demand a recliner.
  • CB2 Medicine Cabinet — I insist on tons of storage in my space – along with a sleek modern look. This medicine cabinet is the perfect blend of form and function
  • McGee and Co. Bistro Sconces — My home is brass and black. These modern yet vintage sconces were the perfect statement lighting to crown my primary bath. I love the pearl orbs paired against the matte black and brass accents.
  • London Berry Target Side Table — I love a Target buy just as much as the next. I have three of these in my home because they are gorgeous, durable, and look good in literally any room.
  • Small Bread Board — Nothing looks better than a distressed cutting board in a kitchen. Everyone needs one. Here is my favorite (affordable) option
  • Loloi Olive Charcoal Rug — Rugs matter – like the most. This rug is a great deal and looks good in almost any room. I have it as a runner too. This is my most recommended item I share by far

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

  • My entire home is painted in two colors “Chantilly Lace White” by Sherwin Williams. Doors are painted in satin; walls and ceiling are matte; trim is eggshell. And “Tricorn Black” by Benjamin Moore, with the cabinets painted in semi-gloss and the doors are in satin.

LIVING ROOM

DINING ROOM / KITCHEN

BEDROOM

  • Josephine Canopy Bed — Doorman Designs
  • Luna Cord Pendant Light — Schoolhouse
  • Euro Chunky Woven Tassel Throw Pillow — Target
  • Luxe Bedding Set Brook
  • Prelada Golden Throw Blanket — Cb2
  • Horse Painting — Etsy
  • Gallery wall — North + Finch
  • Nightstand — FB Marketplace

BATHROOM

Thanks Anthony!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.