Girolamo & Alex’s Creative San Francisco Loft (& Downstairs Coffee Shop!)
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Name: Girolamo and Alex
Location: Dogpatch — San Francisco, California
Size: 871 square feet (1,200 square feet including the coffee shop)
Years lived in: 7 years; Owned
Very few people can roll out of bed and be at work in just a few steps. For Girolamo and Alex, getting to their coffee shop—La Stazione Coffee and Wine Bar—is just a quick commute down a spiral staircase. Though their live/work space is unique on its own, their loft features plenty of remarkable traits that make it special: huge windows that let in an abundance of light, an industrial-style chandelier made by Girolamo and Alex, and accent pieces and furniture that remind Girolamo of his Italian heritage.
Though it’s a great benefit to work just one floor down, the couple keeps their work style separate from their personal style. “I made it a point to separate the two so that we don’t feel completely tied to work, although that’s very hard to do since the spiral staircase acts as an umbilical cord that attaches the two spaces,” Girolamo said in his House Call.
However, the spacious loft is successful in showcasing their unique style. Artwork made by Girolamo and the couple’s friends hangs on the walls, and other items scattered throughout the loft make the couple smile, such as personal photos placed on stacked IKEA shelves that nearly reach the ceiling. And the replica turtle shells are a reminder of Marettimo, an island west of Sicily where Girolamo was raised.
Though they enjoyed their spacious home and the seconds-long commute downstairs, the couple have since moved just a couple floors up to a space that allows them to tend a garden and enjoy an outdoor space. Though some of their belongings were packed up in boxes during the photo shoot, their space appeared almost immaculate. Just moments after the shoot’s conclusion, movers came in to pack up the rest of their furniture, leaving behind seven years of memories in their unique space. “I wanted to share this rare glimpse of my American dream and a little about my life for the community to see,” Girolamo said.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Industrial Baroque Meets Nature Loft Living on Caffeine; Old Meets New
Inspiration: Family and friends, my [Girolamo’s] Italian heritage, travel, and the world around us
Favorite Element: Too many to list. Here are a few: large format projector screen, my artwork, 16-foot ceilings, and the cafe—which takes the cake!
Biggest Challenge: Not enough storage
What Friends Say: “Wow, you literally roll out of bed and go to work? That’s amazing!”
Biggest Embarrassment: The hallway is an awkward space which we oftentimes use for storage.
Proudest DIY: The rope-and-pulley suspended round chandelier, which I designed and built together with Alex, gets a lot of attention. So does my huge baroque gilded mirror suspended in rope by a serpentine pediment architectural top. However, the single most significant thing: I fused an IKEA Besta with my dad’s old fisherman chest/dresser which he used for storing his fishy work clothes. I topped the combo with a 12 foot-long Carrara marble slab and called it done. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of my dad, which is great.
Biggest Indulgence: Graphic design, art, collecting, chocolate, spending time with each other
Best Advice: My college art professor’s words etched in my brain: “always take out”; “less is more”; “crop till it hurts”; and “the bigger the better”!
Dream Sources: Art and daydreams. Frequently, right before going to bed, I think about how to take an idea and make it POP! My grandiose design ideas for the future include bleaching and toning a wall-mounted bison head and making a dining table out of a Vespa scooter. I also want to transform a self-playing grand piano into a glass table with chairs all around and drip vibrant colorful paints on a full-size terra cotta warrior statue.
PAINT & COLORS
- Loft: Valspar Du Jour
- Loft accent wall (above): Glidden Silver Birch
- Bathroom: Glidden Willow Leaf
- Cafe: Glidden Wood Smoke
- Cafe accent wall: Valspar Kendall Charcoal
- Mirror: World Market
- Bench: sidewalk
- Cowhide: Rio de Janeiro
- Art: friends, finds, and photos by Girolamo
- Stag head: Restoration Hardware
- Marble square: Oberon Design and Manufacturing in Dogpatch
- Mile-high bookshelf: three stacked IKEA Kallax
- Sectional sofa: Pottery Barn
- Chairs: Shamrock Rocker Chairs by Martin Brattrud
- Media console: IKEA hack with marble top made by Girolamo and Alex
- Amphoras: antique from Sicily
- Dough bowl with frutti di mare shells: Big Daddy’s Antiques
- Baroque mirror: housewarming gift from Jonathan Glendinning Staging in Palo Alto
- Replica turtle shells: Restoration Hardware
- Round chandelier with pulley system: custom made by Girolamo and Alex
- Bronze giraffe: Craigslist
- Drapes: custom made by Girolamo
- Framed art: Anders World #1 and #2 by local artist Zannah Noe of Dogpatch
- Table: Craigslist
- Chairs: West Elm
- Camel saddle stools: white linen custom upholstery
- Wood bench: made by friend
- Light fixture: Flora Grubb
- Framed swan art: giclée made by Girolamo, inspired by Alexander Pope’s The Wild Swan (one of his favorite paintings) from the De Young Museum
- Portrait of Girolamo: Girolamo
- Portrait of Alex: a friend
- New Orleans-style Victorian art: a friend
- Pop art: Alex
- Casa Zandermo typography art: custom made by Girolamo (Alexander + Girolamo = Zandermo, what their friends call them)
- Island: IKEA
- Window pendant lights: Flora Grubb
- Booze: Costco, BevMo, travel contraband
- White Moorish mirror: Oberon Design in Dogpatch
- Bed: Craigslist
- Bedding: IKEA
- Nightstands: IKEA
- Lamps on nightstands: custom-made by Alex
- Decor: HomeGoods
- Lamps: Craigslist
- Dr Seuss large floor lamp: Oberon Design in Dogpatch
- Custom photo/mural roller shades: blinds galore
- Framed octopus: engineer print at FedEx, custom framed
- Framed Medusa: custom drawn by Girolamo
- Shelving: IKEA
- Art: local artist Zannah Noe of Dogpatch
- Artwork: Girolamo
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