Name: Jeni Wu
Location: Nob Hill — San Francisco, California
Size: 685 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented
After years of roommates and carpeted studios, Jeni finally got the chance to move into her own apartment, and she couldn't wait to add her personal style. She works as a home decor buyer and as an interior designer with her own styling business, Wunder Design, so it's only natural that her space is as stylish as the homes she puts together for clients.
In her twenties, Jeni's energy was focused on fashion. She was working as a buyer at J.Crew, and it was there she realized that it wasn't just about how cool an individual piece of clothing was, but rather how the entire outfit was put together. She applied this concept to interior design and her own space, and she ended up with a perfectly mixed and matched home that is great for entertaining and unwinding at the end of a long day.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mix & Match. I love the challenge of combining different styles: vintage and new, Mid-century modern and global, preppy and Scandinavian.
Inspiration: There’s so much inspiration out there nowadays, from physical spaces like museums, cafes, stores, and hotels to the massive amount of content on the internet. Some of my favorite websites are Apartment Therapy (of course), My Domaine, and Style by Emily Henderson. I also get inspiration from work. I’m a home decor buyer so I’m often traveling to trade shows where I get to see the latest and greatest.
Favorite Element: The black wall in the entryway—I’m normally inclined towards lighter colors, but I love how bold this looks.
Biggest Challenge: The gallery wall—I did not make it easy for myself! I wanted a lot of variety and tried to incorporate different colors, frames, and motifs. I brought over a few pieces from my last apartment and then started collecting individual pieces that I liked (without considering the overall look of the wall). As I got closer to having enough art, I put everything on the floor and got more specific about the remaining art I needed in order to achieve the variety I wanted. To add to the complexity, I bought the art and frames separately so I could save money. It’s not easy to find large, inexpensive frames in just the right size and right color so I painted quite a few of them.
What Friends Say: Most friends say, “Where did you get this? Where did you get that? Where did you get everything?”
Biggest Embarrassment: I attempted to paint the walls myself and ended up with a streaky, giant mess, a small chunk out of the ceiling, and lower back pain to boot. Learned my lesson and called the painters immediately.
Proudest DIY: When I was cleaning out my retiring dad’s office, I noticed two ugly '70s chairs that had reupholstering potential. My dad, who is the handiest guy ever, offered to reupholster them even though he had never done it before. I am proud that my dad can do everything and I love the way they turned out, even with the visible staples on the edges.
Biggest Indulgence: Nothing! ...because design is so much more accessible now. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for great design and I fully took advantage of that.
Best Advice: I have 3 pieces of advice. 1) Like fashion, home decor trends and tastes change, but it can get expensive to replace furniture. I try to stick to neutral, timeless large pieces and I use accessories and textiles to bring in the fashion and color. 2) Paper is a great, cheap way to decorate! Stores like Paper Source and art stores have beautiful papers. You can frame a few of them and create a gallery wall or use them to cover ugly books and create a stylish bookshelf. 3) Acrylic paint is your DIY best friend. I was a madwoman with a paint brush. You can change the look of any frame, vase, or pot with that stuff.
Dream Sources: Anthropologie, Alameda Point Antiques Faire, Serena & Lily, Morocco (the country), H.D. Buttercup, Flora Grubb Gardens (a lush, beautiful nursery in San Francisco—makes me wish I had a green thumb), Target (because I can find such great items for such low prices)
PAINT & COLORS
- Living room: Kelly Moore Swiss Coffee
- Dining room: Kelly Moore Himalayan Trek
- Hallway: Kelly Moore Himalayan Trek
- Bedroom (above): Kelly Moore Campfire Smoke
- Credenza: Craigslist
- Lamp: Target
- Art: Minted
- Letter holder: Etsy
- Sofa: Furniture Envy
- Coffee table: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
- Side table: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
- Bar cart: vintage store in the Mission District
- TV stand: Pottery Barn Teen
- Parsons bookshelf: Home Decorators Collection
- Two chairs: Jeni's dad’s office, reupholstered by her dad
- Diamond pillows: West Elm
- Mid-century chair: Alameda Point Antiques Faire with new upholstered cushions from Cushion Source
- Hollywood Regency black shade table lamp: Etsy
- Chinoiserie table lamp: pop-up shop in SOMA district
- Brass floor lamp: Lamps Plus
- Braided rug: Rugs USA
- Curtains: West Elm, DIY black borders by Jeni
- Deer figurine: little shop in Pokhara, Nepal
- White ceramic pedestal bowl on bookshelf: Alemany Flea Market
- Faux Monet Water Lilies painting: Jeni's parents’ house
- Frame: Jeni's parents' house, repainted dark navy by Jeni
- Dining set: Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler for JCPenney
- Rug: IKEA
- Chandelier: Serena & Lily
- Art on gallery wall: Etsy, Art.com, Minted, Urban Outfitters, One King’s Lane, market in Istanbul, DIY
- Cooktop/oven: Bertazzoni
- Dishwasher: Bosch
- Refrigerator: Summit Appliance
- Cabinets: unknown, installed by builder
- Headboard: Wayfair
- Bedding: Anthropologie
- Nightstands: West Elm
- Brass task lamps: Walmart
- Clock: World Market
- Dresser: Alameda Vintage Fair
- Navy lamps: Target
- Black-and-white pillow: IKEA
- Bench: Target
- Woven basket: Pottery Barn Kids
- Plant pot: Anthropologie
- Rug: Safavieh
- Teal canvas art: DIY
Send us your own:
→ Share your home with Apartment Therapy: House Tour Submission Form
→ Are you a designer/architect/decorator? Share your residential project: Professional Submission Form.
→ And see all of our past house tours here
Updated daily with fresh tours full of photos for you to pin & enjoy!