Inside Out: Ken’s Curated California Collection

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Ken
Location: Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, California
Size: 2-3 bdrm, 1550 square feet TIC
Years lived in: 5 years

Although Ken grew up in LA, a veritable mid-century mecca, he remained relatively oblivious to all things design until he moved to New York in the early 90’s.

Hypnotized by the 6th Avenue flea market, he started to collect art deco artifacts from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Over time, and upon returning to California, Ken’s taste migrated towards mid-century design. Ken’s apartment is rather spacious and his drive to amass 50-60 year old furniture is persistent, methodical, and rationed. So, each piece is bought to be site specific and gets the attention it deserves. And Ken’s home remains a work in progress.

Craigslist and Ebay are fertile ground.

AT Survey:

Style: Midcentury modern, with a little functionalist and a soupcon of 1940s Americana

Inspiration: I cannot think of an inspiration. I just wanted to create a place that felt comfortable to live in and allowed me to show off the cool furniture and objects that I have.

Favorite Element: My living room custom built-in cabinets with special cubby holes for my vintage fan collection.

Biggest Challenge: Figuring out how to use all 6 rooms well when my inclination is to live completely in one room (the den/office)

What Friends Say: “Where did you get all this furniture?”

Biggest Embarrassment: the bathroom

Proudest DIY: Figuring out the color scheme for the apartment (after promising the painter that there would only be 2-3 colors used)

Biggest Indulgence: Living alone in a 6-room apartment

Best Advice: 1) It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money, and buy name pieces of furniture and art to impress people. 2) Trust the advice of a really good craftsperson if you happen to have one in your house. The green and white tile pattern in the kitchen only happened because of the tilesetter’s suggestion (I was going to have a green counter and white floor.) And he didn’t even charge me extra for all the custom cutting.

Dream Source: The 6th Avenue (Manhattan) flea markets back in the good old days.

Originally Posted June 27th, 2007