I first saw Shira Gill's home through an Airbnb link that my friend forwarded to me, and I was instantly smitten. Shira, the owner of a professional organizing business called Simply Sorted, keeps her home exactly how I would (and sorta do). Her decor is minimal and clutter-free without being boring, an impressive feat with two little girls.
She and her family just moved into this 1916 traditional-style home four months ago, but the place looks impeccable — not a cardboard box to be found. She and her husband Jordan scored the two-floor Berkeley home thanks to friends who had to suddenly moved to London.
I love the way Shira complemented the dark woods with natural, neutral interiors to bring more light into the cozy 1300-square.-foot space. Her light fixtures, some sourced from Schoolhouse Electric, had me drooling, as did the abundance of outdoor space (especially appealing to a city girl like me). Home envy on this end for sure.
Take a look at the modern and inspiring home, and please give a shout to Shira for sharing.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Streamlined, airy and comfortable. I love the simplicity and beauty of Scandinavian style and love a space that feels calm, open and relaxed. My philosophy is to try to buy less, but to invest in a few high quality, thoughtful pieces. I also think that fresh flowers keep a home feeling pretty and cared for.
Inspiration: The usual suspects (Pinterest, design blogs, books, travel) but also my super talented friends and my favorite local boutiques — Good Stock and Atomic Garden in Oakland and Erica Tanov and The Gardener in Berkeley are my current favorites.
Favorite Element: I love the layout of our two-story house. Oddly enough, I have always dreamed of a home where the bedrooms were all upstairs and the living space and kitchen were below. I love that we can have dinner parties downstairs while our kids sleep upstairs and not worry about waking them.
Biggest Challenge: My style is light and bright, with lots of open space and sunlight. Since we bought a 100- year old house with tons of dark wood, I had to work hard to bring in a lot of balance. I used white linen cafe curtains and cool, crisp paint colors to brighten the space. We also opened up the doorway between the living and dining room to improve the flow. I like a home where my kids can run around without crashing into walls!
What Friends Say: "Where is all your stuff?!" OR "Please don't paint the wood white!"
Biggest Embarrassment: Our TV stand, which is an old kids' bookshelf. We literally sawed a hole in the back with a kitchen knife to weave the cords through.
Proudest DIY: Hmmm...We do not win awards for this category, but we are proud of our herb garden outside the kitchen. We planted tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs, and our girls love clipping off sprigs to use when we cook.
Biggest Indulgence: The light fixtures. We bought our house from a good friend who took her amazing light fixtures with her, so we needed to start from scratch. I convinced Dana, the owner of Good Stock in Oakland, to sell me some her unique vintage finds right off the boutique floor. I also found some great factory lights from Schoolhouse Electric and collaborated with Omega Lighting to design my own globe pendants for the kitchen.
Best Advice: Fill your home only with things that you use and love. I edit ruthlessly and frequently. My career is helping busy families to streamline and simplify their spaces, so I am often inspired to do the same! Life has dealt us some tough personal blows in the past few years, and having a home that feels streamlined, calm and pretty has been a saving grace. I try to make my home a sanctuary where we can unwind after a busy day, cook, play and relax.
Good Stock - //wearegoodstock.com/
Atomic Garden - //atomicgardenoakland.com/
Erica Tanov - //www.ericatanov.com/
The Gardener - //www.thegardener.com/
Brookfarm General Store - //www.brookfarmgeneralstore.com/
Nickey Kehoe - //shop.nickeykehoe.com/
Lawson Fenning - //www.lawsonfenning.com/
Lost & Found - //lostandfoundshop.com/
Schoolhouse Electric: //www.schoolhouseelectric.com
Heath Ceramics: //www.heathceramics.com/
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- Benjamin Moore
- Living and dining rooms - Light Pewter
- Kitchen - Nimbus
- Bedrooms and Office - Vapor Trails
- Snowfall White for moldings and ceilings
- Rope Doorstop: Uncommon Goods
- Door Mat: Lawson Fenning
- Wooden Mirror: Omega Salvage
- Pillows: Lawson Fenning
- Olive Tree in Metal Bucket: Alameda Antique Fair
- Rattan Chair: Erica Tanov
- Mid-Century Side Table: Urban Home Consignment
- Rattan Side Table: Serena & Lily
- Coffee Table: EQ3
- Woven Stool: Erika Tanov
- Couches: Crate and Barrel Outlet
- Accent Pillows: Good Stock
- Wire Magazine Tray: Lawson Fenning
- Metal Lamp: Omega Lighting
- Rug: West Elm
- Black and White Coverlet: Atomic Garden
- Village Art Print: Leah Duncan
- Seasons Print: Leah Duncan
- Recycled Tire Basket: Atomic Garden
- Cotton Plant on Wall: Terrain Home
- Personal Photos and Art
- Flowers by Laura Miller
- Vintage French Table: Alameda Antique Fair
- Vintage School Chairs: Alameda Antique Fair
- Childrens Art Table + Stools: P'ikolino
- Nelson Saucer Pendant Lamp : DWR
- Art: Etsy, (KikiandPolly)
- Accessories on Mantle: Alameda Antique Fair
- Vintage Turkish Rug: Etsy (Crystalbluestudio)
- Hanging Lights: Custom by Omega Lighting
- Ceramic Bowls: Heath Ceramics
- Cutting Board + Cake Stand: Roost
- Dish Towel: Atomic Garden
- Pitchers and Lemon Juicer: The Gardener
- Enamel Pour Pot: Atomic Garden
- Bellocq Teas: Good Stock
- Voluspa Candle: Good Stock
- Tall Candle: Erica Tanov
- Marlo Bed: Room and Board
- Floral Quilt on Bed: Erica Tanov
- Basic Bedding: West Elm
- Mid-Century Nightstands: Urban Home Consignment
- Vintage Rug: Good Stock
- Brass Swing Arm Lamp: Shop Onefortythree
- Vintage French Ceiling Light: Good Stock
- Metal Wall Sconces: Omega Salvage
- Art: Etsy (AshleyG)
- Juliana Armchair by Aristeu Pires: DWR
- Jewelry on Dresser: Good Stock
- Vintage Stool: Book/Shop
- Felt Bowl On Nightstand: Yolk
- Shearling Throw: Etsy (aQuiver)
- Oeuf Crib: Giggle
- Wooden Airplane: Mint
- Dresser: IKEA
- Book Cubbies: Land of Nod
- Twin Platform Bed: West Elm
- Hoola Hoops: Ruby's Garden
- Handmade Doll: Ruby's Garden
- Flush Mount Pendant Light: Schoolhouse Electric
- Metal Sconces: West Elm (Added Pull Strings)
- Steele Rolling Cart: The Gardener
- Monte Luca Glider: Mill Valley Baby & Kids Company
- Shearling Throw: Etsy (aQuiver)
- Hand Soap + Lotion: Compagnie De Provence
- Turkish Towel: Atomic Garden
- Hand Towel: Lost and Found LA
- Bathmat and Shower Curtain: West Elm
- Art: Etsy (KikiandPolly)
- Leif Pillow: Leah Duncan
- Alpaca Throw: Good Stock
- White Tassel Blanket: Good Stock
- Magazine Basket: March
- Desk Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric
- Parsons Desk: West Elm
- Eames Eiffel Armchair: DWR
- Gold Paper Banner: Tail of The Yak
- Assorted Patio Pillows: Good Stock
- Arrows: Good Stock
- Lookout and Wonderland Throw: Good Stock
- Voluspa Votives: Good Stock
- Festival Lights: Terrain Home
Thanks, Shira and Family!
(Images: Theresa Gonzalez)
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