Past & Present Styles Mix in a San Francisco Home

Past & Present Styles Mix in a San Francisco Home

Marcia Prentice
Jul 4, 2016

Name: Janel Holiday Huff, Interior Designer and Principal of Janel Holiday Interior Design, and Jim, Freelance Maverick Design Curator and Captain of soon to be opened Blu Dot Showroom in San Francisco
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 1,350 square feet
Years lived in: 6 1/2 years

Janel and Jim's home is feminine, or maybe it's eclectic, and/or Mid-Century modern — I would say it really can't be defined by one particular style. They've created a mix of objects and decor that they love without pigeonholing themselves into a single look.

I am so inspired by Janel and Jim's home and its expression. It feels lived-in and feels like a place where they can just be themselves. I also love seeing how Janel and Jim's styles come together to create something even better, a look and feel that is unique to their home. It really seems like this is a home where memories are made (as cliche as that may sound!).

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style:

Janel: We definitely have a common love for Mid-Century modern design – the masters of that era especially. The first words that come to mind when I think of our style is that it is a design collaboration. If it was just my house, it would look completely different than it does now, and vice-versa.

Jim: Our style is a mix of our combined admiration of the past, present, modern design, art, and more, which is ever-changing. This leads to a goal of having an edited selection of interior items.


Janel: I am a huge fan of color and pattern. I love colors inspired by nature, plant life and the vast California landscape. I'm literally inspired by everything, so I would say that my home probably reflects that with its "busy-ness" – there is a lot to look at, pick up, read, converse upon. I would hope that people go away from our home learning something new or being inspired by something they picked up, artwork they saw, or color/pattern they experienced in a non-typical way.

Jim: Modernity, factory made, nature, craft, past, present, future, Eames, Emeco, Wanders, Bauhaus, simplicity, complexity, pattern, colors, materials, vintage cars, skateboarding, vintage scooters, Rams, Jongerius, Ain, Elwood, Case Study Program, Barber/Osgerby, Fukasawa, Matthew Hilton, Jasper Morrison, punk rock, travels, architecture, graphics, friends, Prouve, Castiglioni, Ralph Rapson, plywood, aluminum, concrete, Ruscha, Scharf, Andrea Zittel, the desert, the ocean, the mountains, Barbara Bestor, B. Fuller, Nakashima, Droog, Arad, The New Moderns, motorcycles, bicycles, tools, furniture, architecture, graphics, and industrial design... to name a few. I always want to inspire others, inspire them to explore Modernity and ways to embrace their space. I dig it when people finally get on board and address their living space. The end result is a place where they like to hang out, as well as others, for dinner parties, social gatherings, etc.

Favorite Element:

Janel: We started collecting art together from the beginning of our relationship. Not only do the pieces have visual appeal, but they also represent certain times in our life and have great memories attached to them. Incorporating wallpaper is always a favorite for me, being able to use bold patterns that I have a hard time convincing my clients to use. I also appreciate that we have separate creative areas to work in (Jim's office not shown in this shoot).

Jim: A combination of all of the elements is my favorite; the way things work and play off of each other as a whole. I would say the following elements, that help make up the whole, are some of my favorites -

  • Our books
  • A wedding painting by Sheryl Schroeder
  • Braun RT-20 radio, Ply-chair by Jasper Morrison
  • Another wedding painting of a skull and apples by Brandon Smith
  • A couple of lamps hand-crafted by Emily McClennan
  • A photo of Bettie Page by Bunny Yeager, circa 1954
  • An Eames DCW that belonged to Gregory Ain
  • Pendleton blankets
  • Our Nook bed from Blu Dot
  • A photo of a vintage car race (1962) at Nurburgring
  • Weber grill
  • David Weeks lamps from 1997
  • A spun aluminum vase by Russel Wright
  • Some paintings by my great uncle
  • Ping pong table

Biggest Challenge:

Janel: Blending our tastes at times can be challenging. Since we both have design backgrounds, something as mundane as picking out an ice-cream scooper can turn into a full on research project/conversation. Which I mean, is ridiculous. Also knowing what I know exists in terms of design and products can be challenging – working within my budget. I am constantly fantasizing about what my dream home would look like!

Jim: At times, it is the "getting on the same page" factor. Then there are the things that have not been fully addressed or completed. But, as with design and the world, things are always shifting.

What Friends Say:

Janel: I think our friends feel taken care of when they are here. I love playing hostess and make an effort in knowing and incorporating their favorite music, beverage, foods, etc. into entertaining. I try to align things as much as possible and then let the universe take it from there. I am all about people having an experience. I purposely don't have very precious flooring right now, with the combination of an older dog and the city street living, so that people can come on in and feel relaxed. Comfort is important to me.


  • Wow.
  • What is this?
  • Where is that from?
  • I love it!
  • You two are nuts.
  • You two are rad.
  • You have an amazing gathering of things.
  • Is your dog humping that stuffed gorilla?

Biggest Embarrassment:

Janel: For sure the kitchen and bathrooms… and the paint job. We painted ourselves and it looks okay from far away, but the beauty in a professional paint job is a real treat. It is a hot mess when you get up close to it!

Jim: The kitchen still needs attention as a whole, so I'll go with that.

Proudest DIY:

Janel: I recently found the faux-bamboo, vintage Stanley Furniture credenza that now resides in our bedroom at a thrift store, and my husband painstakingly sanded and painted it over the course of 4 days while I was away enjoying myself in Las Vegas. I would say part of it being my proudest DIY is because I didn't have to do a thing!

Jim: Nothing too major in this department. I would say that painting and other minor tweaks and tunes have helped over time.

Biggest Indulgence:

Janel: The rubber dipped Tobias Wong chandelier in our bedroom. It is everything I love about design…. subjective, curious, strong, more than meets the eye, creative and unexpected. I am a sucker for lighting in general. It makes such an impact on a room.

Jim: I wouldn't say there is a biggest indulgence per se, but there are some design and art pieces that took a bit more "spirit" to obtain.

Best Advice:

Janel: Wow, there is so much I have received over the years from being around so many creative people. I worked for Rebecca Bradley Interior Design here in San Francisco for almost 6 years (until the beginning of this year) and she always encouraged me to think and go beyond what I thought was the "last step" – to constantly check in and make sure I am pushing myself.

Jim: Some advice I can give is to make it yours. A space is a reflection of things you embrace and that you have gathered along the way. Some of these things come and go, while others are in it for the long haul. If you need guidance, hire a designer that can help you complete a vision. A vision that is an extension of you!

Dream Sources:

Janel: 1stdibs is like design crack to me – I could spend hours on it every day (and sometimes do!). I also love keeping an eye on designers that continue to push the button with your not so typical design standards – Steven Gambrel and Kelly Wearstler are two of my favorites. We have a ton of great showrooms here in the SF that I love to frequent.

Jim: I'm not sure if I have a dream source per se, as it has been such a mix of sources over the years. I think it is more about what you stumble upon while navigating life. I find it harder to get something when it is the only focus. I'm sure that you have heard tales of people shopping for a sofa for 3 years; they drive the process into the ground. I usually end up finding the thing that I'm not looking for.

Resources of Note:


  • Living Room - Benjamin Moore "Split Pea" 2146-30
  • Kitchen - Benjamin Moore "Mochachino" #AC-13
  • Hallway - David Hicks Wallpaper from Cole and Son #66/8053
  • Art Room/Guest Bedroom - Spectra Tone "Blue Ridge" #8083M
  • Janel's Office - Spectra Tone "Siberian Ice" #8772W
  • Guest Bathroom - BM "Light Salmon" #2175-60
  • Master Bathroom - Custom color
  • Master Bedroom - Behr "Silver Sateen"


  • Coffee table: Noguchi Table from Herman Miller
  • Sofa: Design Within Reach Eames Lounger: vintage
  • Vintage Bertoia Diamond Chair Red Chair: Gaetano Pesche "Up Chair" from B&B Italia
  • Resin Deer Head: Z Gallerie
  • Floor Lamp: "Spun Floor Lamp" by Sebastian Wong from Flos
  • Side Table: Saarinen from Knoll
  • Small Lamp on Saarinen: Noguchi
  • Bookshelves with Baskets: IKEA
  • Firescreen: William Jackson
  • Fire tools: Crate&Barrel


  • Lamp: Flos Table Gun Lamp Gold by Philippe Starck from Hive
  • Jonathan Adler ceramics
  • Paintings by Jim Frew
  • Credenza: vintage Jens Risom


  • Table: IKEA
  • Chairs: mix of new and vintage - Moooi / Wegner / Eames / Arad / Bertoia Pendant: George Nelson saucer lamp
  • Large art: Aron Ives
  • Smaller painting by Jim Frew


  • Sofa: Tim Powers for Asplund / Sweden from Asplund
  • Red Side Table: Componibili by Kartell
  • Stainless Side Table: Cappellini
  • Shelves: IKEA Malm Series
  • Chairs: Eames LCW and Eames LCM from Herman Miller
  • Chair at Desk by E15
  • Wall Sconce: David Weeks
  • Art: several including: Steve "Espo" Powers, Tim Biskup, El Gato Gomez, Sheryl Schroeder, and random flea market paintings


  • Desk: Eames
  • Chair: vintage Eames
  • Carpet -
  • Floor Lamp - vintage
  • Bookshelves - IKEA Malm Series
  • Stainless side table - B&B Italian
  • Diamond Bertoia chair - vintage
  • Green cart - Joe Colombo "Boby" cart
  • Art - Tanner Goldbeck, Jason Hallows, Brandon Smith, Damian King


  • Bar hutch - vintage Danish Modern
  • Table - vintage Eames Aluminum Group Table
  • Chairs - Eames vintage shell chairs


  • Low dresser - vintage find/repainted
  • Bed - Nook from Blu Dot
  • Rug - Cush from Blu Dot
  • Dresser - Modulicious from Blu Dot
  • Lamps - Spun from Flos
  • Side tables - Malm from Ikea
  • White side chair - Hudson from Emeco
  • Vintage chairs - Eames
  • Wallpaper - Suzy Hoodless Design
  • Art - Tanner Goldbeck, Sheryl Schroeder, Jennybird Alcantara, Vanae Rivera, Bunny Yeager, Joe Shea

Thanks, Janel and Jim!

(Images: Michele Lee Willson Photography)

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