Kristen & Kourosh’s 70s Modern California Beach House

updated Feb 20, 2019
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.
Post Image
(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

Name: Kristen Philipkoski, Kourosh Karimkhany, and daughter Frida
Pacifica, California
2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years; rented

When Kristen Philipkoski, a science writer turned fashion blogger, spotted this 70s beach house in Pacifica, just 15 miles south of San Francisco, she knew she had to have it. Complete with a sunken living room, wall-to-wall shag carpeting, and a mod fireplace, plus awesome views of the Pacific, the retro architecture and boho-beach vibe suited her eclectic style perfectly.

1 / 53
(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

Though she could have done without the dated kitchen cabinets and waterbed left behind, Kristen made them work with modern pairings. Her décor sources, like her fashion ones, include local vintage shops, but also online home design shops and places from her travels like Guatemala. Her mother-in-law’s beautiful gifts from Iran (textiles, rugs, and pillows) add to the multicultural mix.

Her husband Kourosh enjoys a styled man cave downstairs with a roomy IKEA sofa, vintage bar, and globe lamps (the 70s wallpaper is original and grew on the couple over time). Kristen’s lady cave is where she works from home — a closet full of vintage dresses and shoes sits on the other side of her desk, the perfect inspiration for her writing.

Their daughter Frida scored two rooms in one with a closet that divides the bedroom from the playroom. Vintage flash cards and Japanese embroidery, a rug from Iran, Marimekko fabric, and a Frida Kahlo jewelry box all work in harmony to create a playful, eclectic space.

Although their sleepy town is known for its fog, the day of my visit was sunny and warm — take a look, and thank these two for sharing their cozy home!

(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I love mixing modern pieces with ethnic textiles. I feel very lucky to have a mother-in-law who has brought so many gifts — rugs, pillows, tapestries and lots more — from her home country, Iran. I also love mixing vintage with new. I scour the vintage stores in Pacifica for quirky, unexpected pieces. For larger pieces I usually play it a little safer and look for something new (preferably on sale!).

Inspiration: The rustic style prevalent in Pennsylvania reminds me to keep things simple. Domino magazine was a huge influence, and I still have all my copies. Last year we stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and I’ve obsessed ever since. And after seeing photos of the new Ace in L.A. I can’t wait to see it in person. Plus travel, the beach, the natural beauty of California, and my friends who have amazing style.

Favorite Element: The view. The fireplace is a close second.

Biggest Challenge: Definitely the baby’s room. It has a closet sticking out of the center, and the landlords left behind a child-size water bed that weighs a ton. When a burly friend of ours was visiting, he and my husband moved the bed into the corner against the wall so at least now I can treat it like a day bed — albeit one that makes you a little seasick.

What Friends Say: Amazing view! Also: That’s a lot of shag carpet!

Biggest Embarrassment: The downstairs back deck. We always forget about it and it’s strewn with pine needles and pinecones.

Proudest DIY: The wall hangings in the living room and bedroom are Marimekko fabric that we stretched over wood frames. That’s about as DIY as we get.

Biggest Indulgence: We recently splurged for a custom-made king bed, new mattress, bedding and the whole works.

Best Advice: To SFers wary of the fog in Pacifica: it’s not as bad as you think.

Dream Sources: March, Kelly Wearstler Interiors, Cavalier, The Future Perfect, Viracocha, Big Daddy’s, Monument, for X21 to get back in business, and far-flung flea markets.

(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

Resources of Note:


  • Console table: Room & Board
  • Photograph: panorama of Dolores park by Jon Snyder
  • Art: vintage, a gift from my BFF
  • Silver vases and elephant: West Elm
  • Wooden tray: from a trip to Guatemala
  • Chandelier: landlord’s flea market find
  • Tapestry: from India, wedding gift from Kourosh’s aunt


  • Couch and silver floor lamp: Room & Board
  • Hanging lamp: eBay
  • Wall hangings:
  • Orange tables: CB2
  • Wood rocking chair: H.D. Buttercup (via Craigslist)
  • White rocking chair:
  • Rug and pillows: from Iran, gifts from Kourosh’s mom
  • Wood side table: Vintage Cove in Pacifica
  • Lambskin: Ikea
  • Coffee table:


  • Table and benches: vintage, X21 (RIP)
  • China cabinet: Room & Board
  • Art on China cabinet: gift from Kourosh’s mom
  • Gardenia painting: by Kourosh’ mom
  • Mirror: TJ Maxx
  • Glass candlestick holders: CB2
  • Orange candle holders: Vintage Cove in Pacifica
  • Upholstered chairs: West Elm


  • Table runner and wall art: TJ Maxx
  • Drawing of glass: by Kourosh’s mom
  • Pitcher: Ma Maison (gift)
  • Sticks and Twigs: Paxton Gate
  • Curtains: vintage


  • Bed: custom from Greenpiece furniture
  • Crocheted afghan: made by my Aunt Gloria
  • Colorful textile: gift from Kourosh’s mom from Iran
  • Birch tree wall hanging: Marimekko (
  • Black wall hanging and bird lamp: Urban Outfitters
  • Wood dresser: left behind by landlords
  • White dresser: Ikea
  • Side tables: garage sale
  • Lamps: Lamps plus
  • Ceramic side tables: Target
  • Metal picture frames: Room & Board
  • Wooden box and glass frame: TJ Maxx
  • Tiny box: from Iran
  • Chandelier: eBay


  • Green vases and rug: West Elm
  • Heart: The Yonder Shop
  • Green and red vase: Anthropologie
  • Shower curtain: vintage
  • Brown/white vase: gift
  • Eiffel Tower drawing: Pont Neuf in Paris


  • Desk, mirrored cabinet, white shelves, black shelves, wood shelf: Ikea
  • Glass globes and white-framed pictures: The Pickled Hutch (now in San Mateo)
  • Lamp, cow and dog paintings: Community Thrift
  • Lampshade: Dogfork lamp arts
  • Chair and fabric chandelier: Discarded to Divine auction, by Agustin Sanders
  • Large poster:
  • Band of Horses poster: Outside Lands
  • Photographs in closet: by my Dad, Richard Philipkoski
  • Dresses: vintage


  • Couch and globe lights: Ikea
  • Textile on back of couch: from Iran
  • Textile on arm of couch: from Guatemala
  • TV Stand: Ikea
  • Bar: vintage, gift from friends
  • Stools: West Elm
  • Desk: left by landlords
  • Various white figurines: Mostly West Elm


  • Crib: Stokke, gift from friends
  • Shelves: Ikea
  • Flash cards and Japanese needlepoint: Uncommon Objects in Austin, TX
  • Mini ghost chairs, beanbag chair, yellow quilted pillowcase and light switch covers:
  • White table: garage sale
  • Pink chair: gift from next door neighbors
  • White ceramic animals (with birds on heads), felt ram: Joy & Revelry
  • Ceramic calf: TJ Maxx
  • Hanging shells and beads: West Elm
  • Pom poms: Studio Mucci
  • Mirror: Crate & Barrel
  • Red bedspread: Marimekko from Crate & Barrel
  • Vera pillowcase: vintage, gift from friend
  • Quilted pillowcases: wedding gifts, handmade by Katie Dean
  • Mosquito netting: Amazon
  • Frida Kahlo jewelry box: gift, by Miguel Vasquez, from Casita Del Pueblo in Whittier, CA (
  • Rug: from Iran, Kourosh’s mom
  • Rocking horse: Melissa & Doug via Amazon
  • Rocking chair: Vintage Cove
(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

Thanks, Kristen!

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.