Eunice’s Clean and Well-Lit Place
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Name: Eunice Chang, Senior Principal User Researcher at Autodesk, a 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software company
Location: Eureka Valley, border of Castro and Mission; San Francisco, California
Size: 1,073 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned
The soothing coast meets San Fran city living inside Eunice’s sophisticated-yet-laidback urban hideaway. After years of moving around from place to place on the East and West Coasts and Hawaii, she returned to her home state of California to put down roots.
Three years ago, this apartment with a great layout caught her eye, and despite its having a 1980s bachelor pad style at the time (yellow-beige painted ceilings and harsh track lighting galore) she fell in love with it for its potential and great location, embarking on her first experience in home ownership.
Seeking to create serenity in the city, Eunice began by quickly deciding what changes would give her the best bang for her buck, and suggests that other young homeowners do the same when they’re short on funds but want to make a big impact. A change-up from carpeting to hardwood floors proved to be a significant investment, but was totally worth it for the strong, clean foundation it provides each room. After this initial large project and some strategic painting (no more yellow-beige ceilings!) Eunice began culling the furniture and objects she’d already acquired over the years, and finding new pieces at places as varied as the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and Costco.
A coastal ethos of treasure-hunting is an undercurrent of Eunice’s homemaking, reinforcing her belief that consistently bringing together pieces she loves will create a cohesive environment she can continue to freshen and create anew as time goes on. Brighter elements pop against the sun-parched color of driftwood, and a large piece of actual wood given to her as a gift retains a prominent space in her entry foyer, as seashells and other personal tokens appear in bookshelves and in spots around the apartment. Like a professional beachcomber, she takes great pride in picking up compelling treasures, compiling memories and objects from the favorite places and people in her life, and letting placeholder items fall away as these new and old essential pieces begin to shape her space.
As much as she believes in editing, Eunice also makes it a point to repurpose and creatively resuscitate elements as well. “When I get bored of something, I put it into a drawer, and then take it out later and say, ‘What can I do with this?'” I love the Anthropologie cupcake holder repurposed as a planter, and was amazed by the simple ingenuity of using wood to frame the master bathroom mirror to achieve the sleek effect of having a single piece of furniture. Small tweaks and ongoing projects satisfy Eunice’s hands-on home creativity, keep the space feeling bright and energized, and continue to make it a place that is uniquely hers.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Natural, earthy, coastal, fresh, feminine, creative and imaginative.
Inspiration: The beach, DIY, Houzz, and Apartment Therapy of course!
Favorite Element: The natural light and the view of Liberty Hill. I love all of the different colored houses on the hill.
Biggest Challenge: To make the place feel special and reflect my personal style, on a limited budget, and while complying with HOA rules!
What Friends Say: That they want to clean and redecorate their own homes after leaving mine, or to curl up on my sofa with a throw, or that they want to come live with me!
Biggest Embarrassment: The ribbon I used to tie up the toilet paper roll in my master bathroom, the gap underneath my recycling pull-out bin in the kitchen, and the outside hallway décor. The hallway is common HOA space, so it’s not really up to me to change. The outside of my door is a rusted red color and the hinges are old gold brass. I couldn’t paint it since it’s standardized for all units, so I painted the inside of the door instead.
Proudest DIY: The hook and postcard holder in my entryway (so quick and easy!).
Biggest Indulgence: Hardwood floors.
Best Advice: If you can’t find what you want or need, make it! Be resourceful: reuse and repurpose! If you’re going to make big purchases, buy in neutrals and accessorize with pops of color. My passion for my home is about finding treasures in everyday things. Be inventive and make it a journey, don’t think you have to do everything at once. Buy things you love, and they will go together in your home. Find inspiration all around you.
Dream Sources: Flea markets in Paris.
Resources of Note:
• Row of hooks: wood is an old floorboard from salvage yard, hooks are from Cost Plus
• Entry rug: Ballard Designs
• Shoe rack: Pottery Barn
• Basket: Tanzania, Africa (bought while on vacation)
• Couches: Costco
• Coffee table: Craigslist (originally from West Elm)
• Console: Crate and Barrel Outlet
• Frames: Aaron Brothers
• Pillows: Pillows for Hope, and Pottery Barn
• Lighting: Lamps Plus
• Tealight candle holders (I repurposed some of them as little flower vases): Crate and Carrel Outlet
• Deer head: Zgallerie
• Boat model on console: craft fair in Portland, Oregon
• Dining table: Crate and Barrel
• Dining chairs: Craigslist
• Island: Craigslist (originally from Ikea)
• Console: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Cupcake baking pan: Anthropologie sale department
• Vintage colander for plant: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Baskets hanging on wall: Salvation Army
• Lighting: Lamps Plus
• Bed: Crate and Barrel
• Side tables: Craigslist
• Leather chair: Craigslist
• Jewelry frame: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Oval mirror: Home Depot
• Vintage suitcase: Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles
• Painting: original (don’t judge me too harshly, I’m not an artist!)
• Curtains: West Elm
• Curtains: West Elm
• Chest: Craigslist
• Dresser: Craigslist (Ikea)
• Lamps: Ross
• Sheepskin rug: Amazon
• Bathmat: Bed Bath & Beyond
• Mirror frame: made from trim, cut to size (I painted the trim and bathroom
cabinets to match)
• Basket: West Elm
• Dresser: Craigslist (one of my best finds, at $20!)
• Curtains: Bed Bath & Beyond
• Desk: Craigslist (originally from Cost Plus)
• Painting: inherited from my parents
• Bench: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
• Outdoor rug: Amazon
(Images: Alexis Buryk)
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