A 500-Square-Foot San Francisco Rental Apartment Is Gorgeous, But the Patio is Downright Enviable

A 500-Square-Foot San Francisco Rental Apartment Is Gorgeous, But the Patio is Downright Enviable

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Name: Amber Guyton and Ralph, a 12-year-old longhaired dachshund
Location: Russian Hill, San Francisco
Size: 500 sq ft
Years lived in: 2 months, renting

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This summer, I traded my studio apartment in Burlingame, California for a junior one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco! Due to the global pandemic, while so many were fleeing city life in the Bay Area and California entirely to work remotely with a cheaper cost of living, I was excited to get closer to the action of living in the heart of it all and live within walking distance from my new employer’s office in the Financial District (we’ll go back to the office eventually, right?). I found my apartment listing on Craigslist and instantly fell in love with the picturesque, quaint neighborhood, incredible views, and hidden back patio of the basement floor apartment. After a bit of negotiation, my new lease was signed and I moved in. The place has surpassed all of my expectations, I may never leave.

Credit: Angie Silvy

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style can be described as boho-modern with a touch of glam. I love all things mid-century modern and anything with marble, brass, and gold accents. I like to mix wood colors, different patterns and textures, and collect unique artwork. I’m not afraid of pastel palettes, bold colors, and jewel tones. I love clean lines, white surfaces, and anything that brings cleanliness and organization up a notch! Most importantly, I want my living space to be comfortable, inviting, and authentically me.

Credit: Angie Silvy

Inspiration: I’m a firm believer that inspiration can be found all around you. I find my inspiration in my surroundings (architecture, nature, people, traveling, etc.), different cultures, and my faith. Aesthetically-speaking, I’m obsessed with West Elm, Anthropologie Home, CB2, and HomeGoods! Specific designers that inspire me daily include Justina Blakeney, Kirsten Grove, Emily Henderson, Cheryl Luckett, Forbes + Masters, Shauna Glenn, Shavonda Gardner, Carmeon Hamilton, and Dabito. Lastly, I’m often inspired by history, bible scriptures, and quotes, so have many words of inspiration framed throughout my home for constant motivation and positive energy.

Credit: Angie Silvy

Favorite Element: The best part of my place is the various artwork you’ll find throughout my home. Though my space is very small, it was important that I cover every inch of every wall with art that inspired and looked like me. Though most of my apartment’s color palette is neutral/natural with a touch of blush, the framed prints and canvases on every wall add a pop of color, element of sophistication, and source of conversation.

Credit: Angie Silvy

Biggest Challenge: Though I gained a great location with the new place, I lost a ton of storage and counter space used in my previous apartment. I had half the cabinets, no pantry, kitchen island, or peninsula and zero closets. That’s right, NO CLOSETS WHATSOEVER. I talked my landlord into building some storage in the hallway near my entry so I can have an adequate amount of wardrobe space despite my honest attempts to purge and downsize. The IKEA closets he built did the trick and I purchased a counter height table from CB2 for my kitchen area that doubles as a prep surface and dining table. With those additions and a few organization solutions from The Container Store, I was able to make it work!

Credit: Angie Silvy

Proudest DIY: My bedroom is super small, so I wanted to add a dramatic element that would fancy up the space. I found this beautiful wallpaper mural by Joyfire Designs at Mitchell Black that I was able to quickly install myself. This was actually the first time I considered and executed installing peel-and-stick wallpaper, so I was pretty proud of the finished look! Though I’m a perfectionist, it was very easy to do and not as tedious and painstaking as expected. Also, this isn’t really a DIY, but I moved everything into my apartment and decorated the entire place during the three-day 4th of July weekend. That was a huge accomplishment!

Credit: Angie Silvy

Biggest Indulgence: I was ecstatic about having a semi-private outdoor space. It’s actually really unheard of in the city! So once my lease was signed, I began pinning and purchasing furniture to create a beautiful outdoor oasis that I could enjoy year-round! This included a few layered rugs, a Adirondack conversation set from Target’s Project 62, and a large, comfy egg chair swing from All Modern. After throwing up some party lights and adding a few plants and accessories, the space was complete! I love sitting out there for all occasions—meditation and yoga, work Zoom calls, morning coffee or evening wine with my girlfriends—it’s perfect. Surprisingly, it doesn’t even feel like I’m in the middle of the city when back there. Though I spent a decent amount on all the new outdoor furniture, having the space makes this apartment find completely priceless.

Credit: Angie Silvy

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? With everyone working from home indefinitely, it was important to me to invest in an office desk that wouldn’t take up too much of my living space but provide ergonomic support during long digitally draining days sitting at my computer. I purchased an electronic standing desk from Uplift Desk that makes working from home less stressful on my body so I can actually focus and be productive from 9 to 5. As the line between work time and personal time is super blurry these days, I still set boundaries with utilizing this office space and it doesn’t take away from the rest of my living area where I watch TV, lounge, or read in my adjacent reading nook.

Credit: Angie Silvy

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? This may sound a little crazy, but PLANTS! Living in isolation has made me a better caregiver to my pup, Ralph, but also as a new Plant Mama! I have about 20 plants scattered throughout my home after only having about four in my last place. My favorites include my fiddle leaf fig tree, bird of paradise, monstera, pothos, aloe vera, and snake plant. Having greenery in each space helps my home feel less stale and more alive. I also religiously purchase a fresh bouquet of flowers from Trader Joe’s or a local corner market weekly to brighten up my kitchen and add a little fragrance to the air.

Credit: Angie Silvy

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Make your bed every day, change your towel and linens often, keep a fresh vase of flowers in the kitchen, and be intentional about everything you purchase. Each item in your home should serve a purpose and bring you happiness. If it doesn’t bring you joy, free your space and life from its existence. I promise, if you do this, no matter what’s going on in the world or what corner of the world you live in, your mind, spirit, and dwelling will be filled with peace… and there’s no better place to call home than that.

Resources

Credit: Angie Silvy

ENTRY

Credit: Angie Silvy

LIVING ROOM

Credit: Angie Silvy

KITCHEN

Credit: Angie Silvy

BEDROOM

Credit: Angie Silvy

BATHROOM

Credit: Angie Silvy

PATIO

Thanks Amber!

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