A Small Condo Has Clever Renter’s Solutions and a Gorgeous Mini Patio
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Name: Nayana Anil and foster cats (currently Patrick and Caleb)
Location: SF Bay Area
Size: 650 square feet
Type of Home: One bedroom condo
Years lived in: 3 years, renting
When I first moved to the Bay after grad school, I spent two months flitting between Airbnbs while I looked for an apartment. This would be the first time I’d be living by myself so I wanted to put in the effort needed to find a space that resonated with me, that I could make my own. I’d say I got pretty lucky with my home—super close to where I work, minutes away from San Francisco city, has the dreamiest natural light streaming in, and best of all it’s right next to the water! One look at the gorgeous view from the patio and I was sold. I think the most delightful perk is being able to fall asleep to the sound of the waves softly crashing onto the shore through the bedroom window.
I took my time furnishing the place, making sure to only pick pieces that I’d really enjoy looking at every day. I’d say it’s still a work in progress and there are a few areas that could do with some jazzing up, but I adore that my home is constantly changing, constantly growing; it’s a gentle inspiration to imbibe the same in everyday life. I collect most of my pieces from travels so it’s really easy to get carried away into a memory as I walk past them.
I share my home with foster cats, Patrick and Caleb. They’re the ninth and tenth kitties to have lived with me here so far and spoiling them makes up most of my day. The lockdown has me working from home so I’ve had more time than ever to spend with them and I’m absolutely loving the extra cuddles!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mostly California boho with a few modern elements
Inspiration: Practicality and coziness. I need a lot of functionality and storage while also surrounding myself with curios that instill a warm and homey vibe.
Favorite Element: The patio. One of my favorite ways to spend a lazy weekend is to have a picnic out in the patio, just relaxing in the warm sun with some freshly baked goodies, a glass or two of prosecco and a kitty in my lap. After sunset, when the lanterns and fairy lights are lit, it just makes the perfect space for a romantic seaside dinner.
Biggest Challenge: The living room window faces north and has a huge fir tree right outside of it. While I love the aesthetic and privacy this provides, sunlight streaming in doesn’t reach all the way to the kitchen resulting in some spots being really dark. Also, the dark wood cabinets and dark counter and backsplash in the kitchen didn’t help. So, to brighten up the space and create some reflection, I used a white marble contact paper on the counters and removable white subway tile backsplash. Another challenge was the minimal counter space in the tiny kitchen. Strategically placing a console table was super functional, not only because it acted as an extra counter and breakfast table but also as additional storage for pots and pans!
Proudest DIY: I really believe that the art you surround yourself with should be your own. As a proud DIY queen, I’ve kept to that ideology. A few of my favorite creations are the abstract painting in the foyer and the blue and gold buddha in the living room. My latest project was the feather macramé lamp in the bedroom. It took about 40+ hours to finish but I love how it turned out. The dim light that filters through the macramé knots when the light’s turned on casts a warm, pleasant glow over the room that’s perfect for when I want to wind down for the night.
Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence is probably my crystal collection. I have some in every room and the subtle sparkle always catches my eye.
What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? It sounds cliché but the best thing you can do is to take the time to make your home truly your own. Really question every item and the energy it brings with it. You want your home to be your sanctuary—to have it bursting with positivity. Do everything you can to make that happen. Friends and family who visit also feel similarly. The number one compliment I receive is how comfortable they are lounging around the house. I love being able to create that tranquil atmosphere for both me and my close circle.
- Cane trunk basket — Thrifted
- Vase and fig leaf branch — West Elm
- Pendant light — IKEA
- Couch — West Elm
- Side Tables — Wayfair, DIY stained
- Rocking chair — Wayfair
- Rug — Target
- Bed — IKEA
- Ladder bookshelf — Wayfair
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