Darren’s Castro Casa
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Location: Castro/Dolores Park Heights, San Francisco
My partner and I are Los Angeles natives who moved to San Francisco about a year ago. We found a beautiful, one-bedroom apartment with amazing views of downtown and even the Bay Bridge and Oakland on a clear day. Given the competitive renter’s market up here, we consider ourselves very fortunate to find such a great home.
Since our roots are in Southern California, we wanted many of our LA pieces, like the midcentury style bookshelf and vintage Hollywood film posters, to meld with newer purchases made in San Francisco. The silkscreen cable car art we purchased as a “good omen” from HD Buttercup in Culver City before we even had the green light on our move. (It must have worked!) I found the Asian style chairs at a garage sale for 20 bucks and painted them in a similar hue to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Many of our favorite photos and art, some drawn by friends, were hung in a neat collage above the couch. Since our wedding a couple years ago I’ve been collecting Heath Ceramics made in Sausalito, so I also scattered some their colorful bud vases throughout the house.
We really dig California made or inspired items and try to purchase from local artisans whenever we can. The monkey wood coffee table was handmade by a photographer friend in Manhattan Beach who does woodworking as a hobby. It’s one of our favorite pieces.
The love seat in the dining room was a freebie I found down the street from our apartment. I originally planned to take it back down to LA and have it recovered for future use, but when I tired it as extra seating at our dining table it felt just right, even alongside the modern eiffel chairs.
We have a built-in captain’s bed in our tiny bedroom, so we keep that space clean and simple to let the original character stand out. It can be a challenge to make that bed everyday, but the charm is worth it.
The office was one of the last rooms I tackled. I work from home, so it’s important I have a functional space to do my thing. I used the cherry red desk for many years and brought it up north with us, but felt it was time for something new. I bought some handmade hairpin legs from a craftsman on Etsy and attached them to simple wood top from Ikea to make my new desk. It sits higher, so an adjustable drafting chair did the trick. I couldn’t part with my old red desk, so I kept it and use primarily for storage. With those crazy views outside my window, I’ll admit it’s very hard not to get distracted during the work week!
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