Lively Fabrics, Patterns, and Colors Turned a ‘Bit of a Blank Slate’ Home to Fully Whimsical

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.
Bedrooms
Square feet
2000
Sq ft
2000
Living room with light gray sofa, round marble coffee table with vase of yellow flowers, black leather chair, large windows behind sofa, ceiling-height fiddle leaf fig tree in basket planter
Credit: Julie Mak

Name: Julie Mak; husband; three sons; and rescue dog, Finn
Location: San Francisco, California
Type of home: House
Size: 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Credit: Julie Mak

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We live in a mid-century home that was a bit of a blank slate when we moved in. It has been a wonderful palette for adding the lively fabrics, patterns, colors, and lines that I love.

Credit: Julie Mak

My husband works from home full-time, and I am working from home most of the time, so we get to enjoy the space a lot. My day job is as a genetic counselor, and creating our home (and all the projects inside) it is my distraction!

Credit: Julie Mak

My home is definitely an expression of multiple aspects of my identity. I love making things with my own hands and finding unique vintage items, so you’ll see a lot of furniture that has been customized and given new life. My parents were born in China and grew up in Borneo and Hong Kong, while I was born and grew up in North America — I’m really drawn to chinoiserie design, with its fusion of Western and Chinese-inspired designs.

Credit: Julie Mak

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Whimsical mid-century modern chinoiserie.

Credit: Julie Mak

What is your favorite room and why? I’m going to cheat and tell you about two rooms that I love for shared reasons: our living room and our bedroom. Both spaces face west and have beautiful light and sunset views. Also, to fit our family of five, with both parents working from home, our living room doubles as our college student’s bedroom when he’s home, and our room doubles as my office and craft space. I really enjoyed the creative challenge of making these spaces beautiful and versatile!

Credit: Julie Mak

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I still haven’t figured out if it’s a gift or a fatal flaw, but I have scored some incredible free vintage furniture over the years, whether it’s on the curb or on Craigslist! Most recently, I saw a fuzzy, awkward photo of a free wooden cabinet and noticed that the hardware was beautiful. Once I got it home and cleaned it up, this little campaign-style cabinet became a real gem that is now a feature in our entry!

Credit: Julie Mak

Any advice for creating a home you love? Keep an overall inspiration in mind — such as a specific designer or space you love — and make choices that fit with that overall aesthetic. Within that guiding vision, choose items that make your heart go pitter-patter!

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