A Harmonious, Layered Mix in a Small San Francisco Rental

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Harmonious, Layered Mix in a Small San Francisco Rental

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Bonnie Berridge Faxén and Per Faxén
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 650 Square Feet
Years Lived In: 3.5 years, renting

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Designer and interiors consultant Bonnie Faxén says she has a passion for “art, design, architecture, colors, fonts, materials, textiles, paint, wallpaper. If it has to do with design I’m thinking about it!” This healthy obsession for visual elements has spilled over into the small apartment she shares with her husband Per.

When sharing a small-ish space, you don’t want to fill it to the brim with stuff, and Bonnie has kept decor at a comfortable minimum. The home feels far from sterile though, and that’s thanks to lots of layers of soft textiles and earthy colors. A few pops of bold color create just the right amount of contrast to this classic space.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic. I’m drawn to layered interiors that tell stories and create harmony among varying styles. I love mixing elements of Parisian, Spanish-Californian and Scandinavian design.

Inspiration: Traveling, nature, objects, books, magazines…it comes from everywhere. New places open my eyes to interesting color palettes, styles, architecture and ways of living. When I studied abroad in Paris I became hooked on crown molding, ornate gold mirrors and oversized doors and fireplaces. My mom was also a huge influence on me. She had an amazing sense of style and appreciation for well made, beautiful objects. Her fascination with all things design rubbed off on me over the years and helped shape my own style. Wallpaper was her specialty! She wallpapered every room in our home at least three times and I can safely say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree 🙂

Favorite Element: Our bay window dining nook with views of the Presidio, the Palace of Fine Arts and the Golden Gate Bridge. My husband Per and I love watching the the fog roll in and the sunsets at night.

Biggest Challenge: The narrow shape of our apartment and lack of closet space. We’ve managed to find a nook for everything and are becoming better at giving things away that aren’t necessary. Spring cleaning has become one of our monthly rituals. 🙂

What Friends Say: They seem to enjoy it! They love the view and think it feels very cozy or “mysigt” as Per would say in Swedish.

Biggest Embarrassment: Hmm, I’m not sure. Maybe our closet? Thankfully there are no pictures of that…it’s packed to the brim!

Proudest DIY: At one point in time I hand painted pale pink zebra stripes as an accent wall in our bedroom. It look me hours to meticulously paint the entire surface with a paint brush. I’m happy I took the risk to try something crazy and new even though I didn’t keep it very long — that’s what design is all about.

Biggest Indulgence: Our Restoration Hardware dresser that weights about 350 lbs… It look five men to carry it up three flights of stairs.

Best Advice: Follow your gut and don’t be afraid to try new styles — design is something to have fun and experiment with! Begin investing in classic, well-made pieces; they will last forever. Mix high with low to elevate your design without breaking the bank. Make a simple mood board before big purchases to ensure you like the total picture, and last but not least: wallpaper and paint are miracle workers!

Dream Sources: Fragments Identity for pillows. The ultimate treasure hunt that is the Alameda Flea Market for rad vintage rugs, mirrors and baubles. Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware and ABC Home for furniture. Cole & Son and Schumacher for wallpaper.


Behr — Ultra Pure White
Behr – Chalkboard paint

Färlöv Sofa – Ikea
Belgian Linen Blend Unbleached Sofa Cover – Bemz
Navy Blue Belgian Velvet Lumbar Pillow – Fragments Identity
Striped Mudcloth Lumbar Pillow – One Kings Lane
Luxe Velvet Pillow Cover – West Elm
Libeco Linen Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn
Wheaton Stripe Euro Sham – Pottery Barn
Bleached Ivory Basket Weave Jute Rug – World Market
Adjustable Floor Lamp, Brass – Williams Sonoma
Bowen Flatweave Jute & Wool Rug – Rejuvenation
Marble Side / Coffee Table – EQ3 (not online)
White Ornate Mirror – Home Consignment (not online)
Leopard Kantha Pillow – St. Frank
Dress, Pastel Artwork – My Aunt, Karen Von Felten
Empire Camelback Fabric Armchair – Restoration Hardware
Emlyn Basket (holding fig tree) – Crate & Barrel
Nature III Cactus by Ana Maniobra – Society6
San Diego Surf Beach by Alicia Magnuson – Society6
Oil Artwork – Grandma Sonja Lundberg

Classic Cafe Dining Chair – West Elm
Sheepskins – Åhlens (Sweden)
Pure White Ceramic Vases – West Elm
Raskmölle Rug – Ikea
Blue Mudcloth Throw – Alameda Flea Market
Peekaboo 38” Acrylic Console Table – CB2
Large Brighton Table Lamp – Serena & Lily
Round Platter – West Elm
Santino Wine Glasses – Pottery Barn
Bormioli Rocco Cassiopea Decanter – West Elm
Tessa Vase – CB2
Cambria Curtain Rod – Bed Bath & Beyond
Wide Stripe Curtain Panel – CB2
Dress, Pastel Artwork – My Aunt, Karen Von Felten

Moroccan Berber & French Linen Pillow – Fragments Identity
Italian Velvet Pillow Cover – Rejuvenation
Faye Textured Linen Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn
Vogue #29 by Zach Nagle – Society6
Bamboo Folding Nightstand – Serena & Lily
Blue Bird Textile – St. Frank
Totem Vase – West Elm
Table Lamp by Adam Court – West Elm
Montpellier 11 Drawer Dresser – Restoration Hardware
Clarissa Crystal Drop Round Chandelier – Pottery Barn
Gold Antique Mirror – Home Consignment Marin
Burl Wood Storage Boxes – CB2
Smiling Hill 1 Drawer Nightstand – One Kings Lane
Victoria Upholstered Bed – Macy’s
Solid Basketweave Throw – West Elm
Emery Linen/Cotton Pole Pocket Drap in Oatmeal – Pottery Barn

Ava Dhurrie Rug – Serena & Lily
Palm Leaves Wallpaper – Cole & Son
1938 Tobacco Leather Butterfly Chair – CB2
Black Sheepskin – Åhlens (Sweden)
Navin Print Lumbar Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn
Ceramic Herringbone Tall Vase + Ginger Jar – Williams Sonoma Home
Petit Ginger Jar, Scroll Motif – Williams Sonoma Home
Ghost Chair – Ikea
Desk – Ikea

Thanks, Bonnie!

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