A “Laid-Back Glamorous” San Francisco Studio

updated Apr 30, 2019

A “Laid-Back Glamorous” San Francisco Studio

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Kym Pesola
Location: Lower Pacific Heights — San Francisco, California
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

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“I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a real dining table and more space, but it’s actually cozy to gather around on the floor and the sofa when friends come to visit.” In one sentence, media relations manager Kym Pesola sums up big pros and cons of studio apartment living: the intimacy it can offer and the lack of space. So she made the best out of her home by dividing it to suit all her needs (even squeezing in a keyboard). Although Kym claims decorating didn’t come naturally to her at first, she’s clearly a master of it now: her small studio is a study in sophisticated glam and laid back functionality.

With stops in Washington DC and Oregon, Kym has found her home in the City by the Bay. In the never ending drama that’s San Francisco’s rental situation, Kym was super lucky to find an affordable, cute little apartment with good bones in this neighborhood. The high ceilings and windows in the living/bedroom provide lots of light, making the room feel spacious and airy. Thankfully, since the room has to serve as a bedroom, living room and dining room.

The secret to Kym’s success? “Not having an eye for interior design, I drew inspiration from professional decorators. When I started decorating, I wasn’t in love with individual pieces. It wasn’t until each unique piece came together that I felt like my home represented my own personality and the sense of style I never knew existed within me,” she recounts.

Since Kym loves to cook, the most challenging part was figuring out how to make most of the small kitchen. She maximized real estate by placing as many of her kitchen utensils as possible on the walls and the kitchen cabinets. Wine glasses are stored in a hanging glass rack over the sink, while the knives found their spot on a magnet wall rail.

“I love having friends over for dinner, and one thing I know is: no matter how small space, that will never keep me from hosting,” Kym says.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Laid-back meets glamorous. Bold colors dance among soft shadows.

Inspiration: Taking ideas from other interior designs. My inspiration is to achieve a look that is charming and for everyone.

Favorite Element: The long windows with simple gray linen curtains and gold feather drape holders that I spray painted myself.

Biggest Challenge: Working with an apartment that hasn’t been renovated or loved for a very long time.

What Friends Say: It is quaint, stylish, comfortable, and cute. Very warm and welcoming feel to it.

Biggest Embarrassment: Setting a fire in my oven by forgetting it was on while having banana bread cooking in the oven. I arrived six hours later to what looked like a crime scene because of the fire fighters. I got a new oven out of it though! Now every time my smoke alarm goes off (which is often) my neighbors are on high alert.

Proudest DIY: My handmade merino wool arm knit throw that I whipped together in just a few hours.

Biggest Indulgence: My Cameroonian Juju headdress that was worn by a king!

Best Advice: Draw inspiration from the pros! Find a photo of a space that looks similar to yours with a design you adore and start shopping! In time you’ll have a space that you’re boastfully proud to call home.

Dream Sources: Z Gallery, Jonathan Adler, and more space to decorate!


Sofa — Crate & Barrel
Gold side table — West Elm
Drapes — IKEA
Feather curtain tie back — Urban Outfitters
Wool Pouf — CB2
Rug — West Elm
Orchid picture — IKEA
Lamps — IKEA
Juju Headdress — Etsy
Brazilian Agate Coasters — Shopbop
Peace Sign hand symbol sculpture — Amazon
Howard Elliott Arctic Blue Mirrored Pedestal — Bluefly

Island — Dot & Bo
Clock — Crate & Barrel
Kavka Floor Mat — Wayfair
Steel Bookshelf-style Kitchen Rack — Overstock
Miu Magnetic Tool Bar — Overstock
Stemware Rack — Overstock

Butterflies picture — IKEA
Vase & flower – IKEA
Shelf – Crate & Barrel

Picture — IKEA
Tub Shelf — Overstock
Extra wide shower curtain — Bed, Bath & Beyond

Thanks, Kym!

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