Kate & Mark's Mission Statement

Kate & Mark's Mission Statement

Beth Bates
Jan 7, 2011

Name: Kate and Mark Shaw
Location: The Mission — San Fransisco, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years owned: 6

Kate and Mark's decor mission is simple: to steadily curate their space by adding and rearranging pieces in a way that ensures everything serves a purpose — even if only to celebrate favorite memories. Their collection is largely comprised of natural curiosities, handmade items, and found objects.

The Shaws live in a 112 year old Victorian home in the middle of the Mission in San Francisco. Mark is a co-founder and engineer at Strava, a social website for cyclists who ride with GPS data. Kate maintains the delightful blog, HallReady, which focuses on the art of display within interior design. Kate's forte for presentation can be observed from corner to corner of their home. She displayed Mark's racing numbers along with various cycling prints in the den. The fireplace is adorned with a sailboat that Mark built in college next to antique postcards of the site where he successfully launched the boat. The two refined living room tables were built by Mark's father, and the mixed media drawings and photographs found in most rooms were made by Kate. To tie the rooms together, the couple used a neutral palette with snaps of warm tones. Consistency in color, texture and framing methods illustrate ways in which Kate has artfully arranged their stories and memories throughout their home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: New Victorian meets preppy rustic .

Inspiration: Designers at The Commune, Roman & Williams, Darin Geise of Coup d'Etat, as well as family, friends and old movies.

Favorite Element: The wooden coffee and console tables in our family room. Mark designed the coffee table and his Dad built it. He also made the console table for us as a wedding gift. They're very special to us. Also, I'd have to say the wood floors with inlay borders. They are very old and a little beaten up yet they create a warmth and character that can never be improved upon.

Biggest Challenge: Aligning the style of each room to contribute to one, harmonious overall look. I like mixing and matching, but I don't want our house to look like a flea market.

What Friends Say: They feel relaxed here. We always want friends to feel the freedom to put their feet up and watch a game on TV or know that kids can spill juice and nothing's ruined.

Biggest Embarrassment: Cracks and decay. When you're house is over 100 years old, the list of repairs never ends.

Proudest DIY: : It's small and simple, but I love the antique shipping rope we found and coiled in the glass lamp. I just love the texture and the idea of something old and functional being so pretty to look at when displayed in a new way.

Biggest Indulgence: Good framing. Quality frame jobs make a big difference when showcasing art or simple memorabilia. Why not invest in how you display the pieces you love so much?

Best Advice: Decorate slowly and let style develop over time. I'm a big believer in buying classic pieces and changing out and adding art and accessories over time as memories are made and accents are collected. Your home tells the stories of your life, that's why it's so fun to invite friends over to visit and be a part of it.

Dream Sources: Juxtoposition, Waterworks, Summer House, Battersea, Nathan Nichols, Coup d'Etat, Natural Curiosities

Resources of Note:


    • Den: Benjamin Moore, Vintage Vogue


    • Fish anatomy poster: I haggled with the staff at an Anthropologie store to buy it off of one of their displays.
    • Jean Baptiste Geometric prints: Natural Curiosities
    • Gouche shapes on book paper made by Kate herself.
    • Glass Lamp: Pottery Barn, Rope purchased at Monument in San Francisco
    • Pendant Lamp: Design Within Reach
    • Wool Knit Blanket: Kate's Aunt Debbie made this for a wedding gift.
    • Indian throw: Urban Outfitters
    • Wool pillows: William Sonoma Home


    • Cup and Bowl Drawing: Summer House. Mill Valley


    • Striped Rug: Found at Past Perfect, San Francisco
    • Painting: Hand me down from Kate's Grandma Mary Ellen.
    • Twinkle Photo by Irene Suchocki on Etsy
    • Mounted antlers: Past Perfect, San Francisco


    • Charcoal Drawing of Gay Head by Amy Campbell
    • Tuxedo shower curtain: Cliff's Variety, San Francisco


    • Cowhide Rug: SH Frank, San Francisco
    • Point Reyes Seashore Map: Marine Map Store
    • Model Sailboat made by Mark
    • Cyclocross racing numbers of Mark's
    • SF Bike Print, Chrome, San Francisco

Thanks, Kate & Mark!

Images: Beth Bates

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