A Travel Editor’s Soothing San Francisco Sanctuary

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Travel Editor’s Soothing San Francisco Sanctuary

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Danielle Walsh and Greg Brownstein
Location: Laurel Heights — San Francisco, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

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Traveling is fun, but can also be hard work — especially when you’re a senior editor at a travel magazine. So your home needs to be something you love coming back to; a place you can take a vacation from vacation. When Danielle switched coasts and moved from New York to San Francisco to work for AFAR magazine, she first rented a room in an apartment waiting for her fiancé, Greg, to join her in the City by the Bay. The couple now lives in an Art Deco building in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights neighborhood in a spacious two-bedroom apartment with floor to ceiling windows. It’s clear why Danielle loves spending time at home.

When decorating the apartment, Danielle and Greg leaned toward a mix of mid-century inspired furniture, softened up with warm bohemian touches in the form of pillows, blankets, and home accessories. Since they spent so much time in New York, they also incorporated elements that pay homage to their former city, like the Brooklyn print by French Paper Co.

Greg also brought some of his furniture to the apartment, which found a new home in their guest room. “We had my furniture from New York and it didn’t quite fit our style, but we didn’t want to throw it away. It works great in the guest room so far,” Greg says.

Both are big entertaining enthusiasts, so it’s not rare for them to have spontaneous friends over for a few cocktails and bites. Their house bar is always stocked with ingredients to make old fashioned drinks. If you follow Danielle on Instagram, you will quickly recognize a pattern in her feed (namely food).

Besides travel, food is her second biggest passion. She scouts cities and neighborhoods wherever she is for new restaurants, but she also loves to cook at home and tries out dishes she’s discovered on her journeys. She even started the daily toast, an Instagram feed documenting her toast creations. One thing both are missing in their apartment is a gas stove. “It’s so much easier to cook on a gas stove,” says Danielle. “The food is just better, yet that doesn’t keep us from cooking, a lot.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We love to incorporate elements of a mid-century modern style with some warm, bohemian touches. Comfort is key for us — you’d never feel like you can’t touch anything in our home. We like to play with different textures and materials. We used to live in New York City, so you’ll see a lot of winks to our history there around our apartment.

Inspiration: We like to browse Pinterest and design blogs such as Apartment Therapy and Design*Sponge for ideas. Mostly, though, we just really know what we like, and we never buy anything that’s not going to make us extremely happy. For example, we recently bought a new floral shower curtain, and Danielle loved it so much that she popped her head into the bathroom every time she passed it in the hall.

Favorite Element: We love our dining room — entertaining friends and sitting around our long table on a Saturday night is a blast. We love that room so much, it was the first room we finished decorating!

Biggest Challenge: We’re not super thrilled with our electric stove. It took a bit of getting used to, but we make it work.

What Friends Say: We’ve had a lot of friends say that our apartment feels “very adult,” which we’ve taken as a compliment.

Biggest Embarrassment: We kill so many plants. Our fern has been able to hold on, though! Also, we live right on a bus line, and the exhaust has made our windows extremely dirty.

Proudest DIY: We hung a large canvas art print over our bed with binder clips instead of framing it to make it more earthquake-friendly. Does that count?

Biggest Indulgence: We inherited some really nice pieces of art that we got properly reframed. It made such a huge difference, and we’re so glad we made the investment. Also, we make it a point to always have fresh flowers in the house. Mixing and matching grocery store blooms is always fun!

Best Advice: Get a bigger area rug than you think you need. Our big shaggy rug pulls our living room together and makes it feel like it was staged by a designer (it wasn’t!).

Dream Sources: Jonathan Adler, vintage Eames, Anthropologie, Design Within Reach, ABC Carpet & Home, Blu Dot, Heath Ceramics, The Future Perfect, Parachute


Our landlords painted it this warm shade of gray.

Pineapple PrintSociety6
Antlers Brooklyn Flea
Bookcase Target
Stax Bookcase. (next to TV) — CB2
Moroccan Trellis shag rug — Diamond Grey (8×10) – Overstock
Oxford Oceanside Accent Chair — Overstock
Big Dipper Arc Brushed-Nickel Floor Lamp — CB2
Origami Coffee Table – Medium — West Elm
Crosby Chaise 2-Piece Sectional (pebble weave – shale) —West Elm
Champagne TV Stand — Macy’s
LG Electronics 49″ 4K Ultra HD
Bose Solo Soundbar — Amazon
Record Player Table — Urban Outfitters
Harper Side Table — Urban Outfitters
Crosley Troubador Entertainment Center — Best Buy
John Floor Lamp — CB2
Wren Accent Lamp (Cream) — Target
Sonos Speaker — Amazon
Target pink marble accent table (next to couch and bookshelf)Target
Heath Ceramics bud vase (on coffee table) — Heath Ceramics
Alameda pillow cover (on couch)Birch Lane

Dylan Dining Table (36×80) — CB2
Sleek Modern Accent Chairs — Overstock
Landola Print — From Hatch Show Print in Nashville
Meat Print — From Danielle’s Bon Appetit job
Coffee Cups of New York Print — From Knowlita (print no longer available)
Small Urban Wood Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table w/ Hairpin Legs — Etsy
Sonos Speaker — Amazon

Cooking utensil storage — Cost plus world market
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill — Amazon
Butcher print is discontinued.

Molar bear art print — Society 6
Large art print — Wayfair
Tripod Floor Lamp — Antique Brass – Target
Ten Best New Restaurants print — DW time at Bon Appetit
Bondi Beach print — Gift from Tourism Australia
Jute storage bowl on dresser — Container Store
Pintuck Duvet — West Elm
Bud Vase — Heath Ceramics
Rug on far side of bed Gaser — IKEA
SF Giclee Print — Bespoke Post
Hudson’s Bay Company Caribou Throw — Lord and Taylor
Tejn Lambskins (on windowsill) — IKEA
Lamp on dresser Cloche Table Lamp — CB2
Gumball Desk Lamp — Urban Outfitters

Nesting tables — Wayfair (discontinued)
Sunburst mirror — Pier One Imports (discontinued)
2017 local produce calendar — Maria Schoettle
LOTR Print (in hallway) — Fab.com
Glass vases throughout the house — IKEA

Plant — Wayfair
Dresser — Ikea (might be discontinued)
Bedding Bjornloka — IKEA
Brooklyn print — Orkposters

Shower curtain — Urban Outfitters
“Flawless” Bath mat — Urban Outfitters
Green bath mat — Target
Eye Chart Print: Paxton Gate — Paxton Gate

Thanks, Danielle & Greg!

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