Melanie’s Playful Potrero Hill Apartment

published Feb 5, 2016
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(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

Name: Melanie Abrantes (and her boyfriend Rick Gibb)
Location: Potrero Hill — San Francisco, California
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months; Rented

We recently shared Melanie Abrantes’ fantastic Oakland studio, and today we’re getting a glimpse into her San Francisco apartment. Melanie’s playful personality is seen in every inch of the 500-square-foot home. From her quirky collection of llama figurines to the modern, happy hue of the living/dining room wall, there are hints of her lighthearted approach to design throughout the space.

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

Melanie’s love for plants is not only reflected in her studio space but in her apartment, as well. Her favorite room in the house is not what one would expect—she picked the bathroom because of the superb light and the humidity-loving plants that hang in the shower.

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern, eclectic, vintage, and playful

Inspiration: We are inspired by our travels to Brazil, Portugal, and Asia. We try to incorporate a little bit of those adventures in every corner.

Favorite Element: Our bathroom is a mini-jungle and has the best view in the house

Biggest Challenge: Not enough windows for my plant obsession! I keep buying them but they all end up in my studio.

What Friends Say: “Your home has the best view!”

Biggest Embarrassment: The weird hallway that enters into the house; it’s not apart of our actual apartment but it is the first thing you see!

Proudest DIY: Our bed frame! I made it with an old Indian room divider and planks of alder slabs. It was a fun afternoon project!

Biggest Indulgence: I have a soft spot for handmade designer goods… support small business!

Best Advice: Start small and build with pieces you love.

Dream Sources: Craigslist, CB2, Pinterest, design magazines, West Elm, DWR


(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)


  • Living/dining room: BEHR Sea Ice
  • Bedroom: BEHR UltraPure White
  • (Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)


    • Bookshelf: IKEA
    • Knickknacks: vintage
    • Yellow candleholder: Menu
    • Cork planter: Melanie Abrantes Designs
    • Alpaca: Peru
    • Rocking chair: Eames
    • Mirror: IKEA Hovet
    • Sectional sofa: DWR Bilsby
    • Throw pillows: Marimekko
    • Magazine holder: vintage
    (Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)


    • Table: CB2 Public High
    • Barstools: Steelcase
    • Lamp: Caravan Pacific Sullivan
    (Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)


    • Vintage cabinet: thrift store
    • Gradient vase: Christoper Basil Fong
    • Cocktail bar set: Crate & Barrel
    • Cork champagne bucket: a special present made for my boyfriend
    • Seasonal Fruit & Vegetable print: Young America Creative
    (Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)


    (Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)


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    A little reading nook in the living room is situated behind the sofa; it also serves as an unofficial entry way as it sits right next to the front door. (Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

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    Thanks, Melanie!