Golden Hour in This Small San Francisco Rental Apartment Is Breathtaking

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A white living room with large windows

Name: Mandy Shold, partner, Blake, and tiny apartment panther, Misty
Location: San Francisco, California
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I moved around a lot as a kid, and while I relished in the clean slate of redesigning my room every couple of years, I knew once I came to San Francisco in 2014 that I would be here for a while. I knew that it was finally time to put down roots and build out my home.

I spent the first five years of my time in the city in a small studio a couple blocks from the Painted Ladies, but six months into the pandemic, I knew that 500 square feet was far too tight for two of us to be living and working from.

I started casually daydreaming about the perfect space — something with warm hardwood floors and plenty of sunbeams for the cat and my plants — and lo and behold, this was the first (and last) place I toured.

Not only did it have plenty of space for living, working and — one day — entertaining in, but the big windows and location across Golden Gate Park made it feel expansive. It sits on the top floor of a 1926 build, complete with its unique charms — like beautiful original molding and wavy single-pane glass windows.

Since finding my place in this city, I’ve also found my design style — spending my time curating my space to be both neutral yet interesting, open yet cozy, structured yet organic.

One of my degrees is in Environmental Studies, so it was really important to me that my home reflect Mother Nature. When you look around my space, you’ll see dozens of house plants, scattered pieces of my rock collection, and nature prints in all of the gallery walls. Since sustainability is important to me, you’ll also find quite a few eco-friendly textiles, like linen bedding, and a lot of secondhand pieces — from my inherited cowhide rug to my favorite Craigslist find, the mahogany leather Pottery Barn chair.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Organic Industrial Modern

What is your favorite room and why? The moment I first saw the living room, I fell in love. It has beautiful molding and domed ceilings, and gets the most beautiful afternoon light coming through the bay windows. The real show stopper though is the panoramic view — with the Pacific Ocean on one side and a view of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge out the other.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The West Elm Trace Chandelier in the bedroom! There’s no overhead lighting in the living room, and since the two rooms are connected I really wanted a show-stopping piece that would look great day or night.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Invest where it matters and take your time curating your space. Your dream home takes time, and you will never regret waiting for the perfect piece — whether it’s because you’re saving money or waiting on supply chain slowdowns. For those important pieces, spend the extra few dollars to get a sofa you actually want to collapse on, a desk chair you don’t mind spending your nine-to-five in, or bedding you can’t wait to crawl into at the end of a long day. If something’s not quite right, keep looking. Besides, your space should look like it took time to build, not something you copy-and-pasted from your favorite home retailer. Trust your instincts and never settle.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. 
Share Your Style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form