Jennifer's Inner Sunset Retreat

Jennifer's Inner Sunset Retreat

Jessica Tata
Aug 13, 2009

Name: Jennifer Hewett
Location: Inner Sunset, San Francsco, CA
Size: 1100 square foot 2 br/1 bath
Years lived in: 13

We first saw a snippet of Jennifer Hewett's bright and beautiful home in a Flickr Find here on Apartment Therapy. Now, back by popular demand, we have the opportunity to take a look at Jennifer's entire home! A fantastic mix of found and vintage treasures, Jennifer's home is a light-filled haven for furniture with a provenance.

Jennifer Hewett has a passion for bringing in the old and making it new. Almost every part of her apartment is furnished with vintage pieces, used furniture or fantastic found items. With a little patience, ingenuity, and creativity, she has made one person's trash into a beautiful apartment. As an artist, herself, she has really given her home a personal touch with a lot of her own artwork. Take a look at Jennifer's handiwork, and try not to be jealous of her vintage finds, beautiful artwork, and amazing natural light!

AT Survey:

My style: Vintage, used and found (that somehow all work together).

Inspiration: Found objects. I pick up other people's discarded furniture all the time – my nightstands, the doors I turned into tables, the red chairs in the entryway which didn't have seats when I found them.

Favorite Element: The windows, which make my apartment so bright and airy. Every room except for my kitchen has bay windows.

Biggest Challenge: My studio/office/dining room is a large room that serves many purposes. It has three distinct work areas, but I didn't want the room to look like three separate rooms mashed into one.

What Friends Say: That it feels like a real home – a welcoming, comfortable space. They're also often jealous about how much space I have and how much light I get.

Biggest Embarrassment: My bed. I've been meaning to buy a headboard for 13 years now, but have never gotten around to it. I think I'm secretly hoping that I'll find one on the street!

Proudest DIY: My tables made from antique doors. My friends had created a similar table from a door they salvaged when they remodeled their house. I wanted to make my own, but didn't know where to find them. I was walking Jake one morning and found two doors in someone's trash pile. I carried both home (each probably weighs more than 40 lbs) and up the stairs, and attached some IKEA legs to them. I started to sand them with a borrowed belt sander, but the dust from it hosed my computer so I stopped. One day I'll get around to finishing stripping them.

Biggest Indulgence: … My living room furniture. A friend was moving into a new house with her fiancé, and she offered to sell me her old, barely-used, living room furniture, which included a couch and two chairs. It was quite expensive for me at the time but I'm glad I bought it. I've had the set for six years, and she had it for four years before that. Quality furniture is worth the price.

Best advice: Received – "A clean house is a calm house." Thanks, Mom.

Given – don't rush to furnish a place. You'll often end up spending too much money on expensive pieces, or buying cheap, throwaway filler. A home develops organically, so take your time.

Dream source: When I first moved to San Francisco, the city used to host neighborhood big item collection days. Do you remember those? Everyone in one neighborhood would put out their old furniture and other bulky items on a designated day and the trash collectors would pick it up early the next morning. That's my dream source.


Wedgewood stove that is probably 60 years old. My landlord's elderly father keeps offering to replace it with something new, but I keep refusing. It's just like the stove I grew up with, and it works just fine. Plus, it's beautiful.

Living room – Couch, chairs, rug were all bought used from a friend. I don't even know the brands. The two wood chests are from the Philippines. The smaller was a gift from an aunt when I visited the country for the first time (I was seven at the time); it's inlaid with caribou horn. The larger is an antique that my mom dismantled and shipped back to me about 10 years ago; it's inlaid with mother of pearl. The shelves were salvaged from my last employer's office move.

Bedroom – My parents gave me the dresser when I moved into the apartment. My dad had found it at a yard sale and stripped off layers of paint. I stained it. My vanity/desk was purchased from a now-closed vintage shop in my neighborhood. My nightstands – which are mid-century and made of teak – are my best finds ever. I found them on the sidewalk six years ago.

Studio/Dining Room/Office – The tables are salvaged doors that I added legs to. The teak chairs were purchased at a neighbor's yard sale (she also had a matching table and sideboard; I still regret not buying the set, but a dealer beat me to those). Shelves are Blu Dot and were purchased used through Craigslist. Bertoia chair knockoff was also purchased used through Craigslist.

I'm not big on collecting things except for vases since I do like to have fresh flowers in the house. I have a few milk glass pieces, which are all thrifted. The huge vase in my studio/dining room/office was from Goodwill.

The chandelier in my studio/dining room/office is from IKEA, as are my bedside table lamps. All other lamps are yard sale finds.

Kelly-Moore! I love that place.

Rugs and Carpets
Because I have a dog, I prefer plain, durable rugs. With the exception of my living room and bedroom rugs, all rugs and runners are from Crate and Barrel or IKEA. The living room rug was purchased with that room's furniture. The bedroom rug was one of the first things I purchased for my apartment. I think I've had it for 13 years.

Window Treatments
I made all the curtains in my apartment. The living room and dining room/studio/office curtains were made from Urban Outfitters bedspreads which I tailored to fit my windows. I made my bedroom curtains from some fabric I bought at Calico Corners. Buying pre-made floor length curtains for my huge, San Francisco windows would have been very expensive.

Most of the artwork is my own work. I'm a printmaker and am starting to run out of wall space for my prints! I purchased the Berkeley Bike Show poster when I was in college. The orchid print in the living room is Susan Gantner, and the elephant print is Kate Durkin. I painted, printed, or photographed pretty much everything else in my apartment.
**Jennifer's prints are available on her Etsy shop here!**

(Thanks, Jennifer!)

Images: Jennifer Hewett

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