Ana & Patrick’s Bright & Organic “California Casual” Apartment

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Ana Kamin)

Name: Ana Kamin, freelance photographer, writer and blogger and Patrick Kamin, software engineer
Location: Haight Ashbury — San Francisco, California
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years rented

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When Patrick and I moved from Germany to San Francisco in 2012, we were lucky to find this little gem—an apartment on a rooftop of an old Victorian in Haight Ashbury—just next to Golden Gate Park. Coming from an apartment with very high ceilings, I wasn’t so pleased with the lower ceilings of the new apartment, but we adapted and today we like to think of it as a small cottage with a view.

(Image credit: Ana Kamin)

The space is filled with natural light, delicate colors, and soft textures. We are so in love with California, so our interior mirrors the natural beauty we see almost every day.

I’m a photographer for Airbnb and travel-focused content creator for different online outlets, and I work from home. So I’ve created a relaxed calm, office space (which converts into a guest room) to support my work, because working from home isn’t all rainbow and unicorns (there is lots of discipline to it). Patrick, a software engineer, has an office at his company. Our home is constantly evolving; we have a very similar taste. And while I like more soft, feminine things, Patrick is more into modern pieces, which perfectly balance out each other.

(Image credit: Ana Kamin)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our interpretation of California casual, lots of bright colors and organic textures and shapes mixed with some modern pieces to balance out both our tastes.

Inspiration: There is so much inspiration everywhere in these days of Pinterest and blogs. Also, my work as a photographer has been very inspirational. I’m amazed what pretty homes people have who are not necessarily in the world of design blogs, interior magazines, and Pinterest. Some of them do a really good job. Usually, I get inspired to redecorate or add something new after a road trip or a vacation, because in my research for hotels or Airbnb I come across so many beautiful spaces.

Favorite Element: Our big, deep couch! I cannot imagine how we could have lived without that couch. It’s so deep and comfy, no matter how I sit, I’m always on the couch. No fighting for space and no slipping off the couch legs. Guests sometimes don’t know how to approach the couch, because when they lean in, they are almost lying down, but then we say “hey put your feet up” and that immediately lets them feel at home and comfortable.

Biggest Challenge: Art. I’m so bad at choosing art. I want something meaningful, but also something I won’t get tired of looking at it. It is definitely the most challenging thing for me when it comes to decorating. I might think too much about it. Thus, I paint myself just so we don’t have bare walls or I make some really simple wall hanging. There are many 10-minute DIYs you can too with gold rings and wool from your local craft store. All the paintings you see in this tour, are painted by me. I told myself it would be temporary, but now the pieces are up for almost four years.

What Friends Say: “This is so you! This is so you!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Our lower entry. Which is bad because that’s the first thing we see and also our guests see when they come in. Lots of shoes are going on there and we only have one open Ikea Billy shelf to store them, which looks super messy. Plans are in place to start redecoration and I have even bought a nice bench, but nothing has happened yet. I really need to get that done.

Proudest DIY: Painting our bathroom white. When we moved in, the apartment was in a good shape. The bathroom had nice blue floor tiles, yet the wall tiles where a combination of mix and match. And the sink cabinet had this “nice” brown color. So five days later, ten coats of primer and five coats of high-gloss white paint, we got a white bathroom. But I’m not so sure if I would do it again, because of the difficult maintenance—you can’t get full scrubbing power on painted tiles. For now, it works.

Biggest Indulgence: Hmmm… not sure. Maybe the couch again. 🙂

Best Advice: Things are there to be used and lived. Respect your things but don’t treat them as if they are displayed in a museum.

Dream Sources: I really love West Elm and CB2 for furniture and decoration; I think they do a great job in creating pieces that are modern, but still have a nice unique touch to them. Oh, and Anthropologie. I also shop at local stores (especially for ceramics) and independent online stores. Currently, my favorite is Shoppe by Amber Interiors. Can I please have one of each?


(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • All rooms, Behr, white
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • White slim console table, CB2
  • Vase, Crate & Barrel
  • Chopper bowl, Crate & Barrel
  • Wall Hanging, Urban Outfitters
  • Paintings & Pictures, My own
  • Runners, Crate & Barrel ( color stripes painted by me)
  • The textile art on the wall are actually just pieces of scraps my friend gave me.
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • Sofa, Crate & Barrel
  • Couch table, West Elm
  • Bookcase, CB2
  • Paintings, my own
  • Lamp on the bookcase, West Elm
  • Side Table, Home Decorators
  • Table Lamp, One Kings Lane
  • Rug, Rugs USA
  • Pillows, IKEA, H&M, CB2, Zara Home, Urban Outfitters
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • Table, Ikea
  • Chairs, Ikea & One Kings Lane
  • Sheepskin, Ikea
  • Black & White Rug, Ikea
  • Pictures, my own
  • Vase, West Elm
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • Cabinets, old
  • Runners, Rug Depot in Emeryville (a good source for cheap rugs)
  • Big white bowl, Carte & Barrel
  • Linen Napkins, Happy French Gang + Ikea
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • Bed, Ikea
  • Nightstands, the cheapest Ikea dressers painted white and jazzed up with gold knobs.
  • Dresser, Ikea but diy
  • Rugs, Urban Outfitters, Rug Depot, Ikea Sheep Skin
  • Hanging planter, WestElm
  • Round mirror, Ikea
  • Wall hanging, Nate Berkus for Target
  • Vase, Westelm
  • Lamps, One Kings Lane
  • Bedding, Washed linen from H&M
  • Pillows, h&m, from Germany, CB2
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • Storage shelf, Ikea
  • Rugs, Rug Depot in Emeryville
  • Shower Curtain, H&M
  • Baskets, Ikea
  • Towels, Target
(Image credit: Ana Kamin)


  • Table, Ikea
  • Chair, WestElm
  • Bookcase, an old Ikea billy, but I added the dividers to make it look fancier.
  • Big and small basket, with Target
  • Rug, Rug USA
  • Storage unit, Ikea
  • Rattan mirror, Target
  • Clothes rack, Ikea
  • Lamp, One Kind Lane
  • Paper Cabinets, Ikea
  • White Printer, Canon
  • White medicine ball, Amazon (why aren’t all medicine balls white?)
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Thanks, Ana and Patrick!