Kelsey and Mike’s Laid Back and Cozy California Rental

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Name: Kelsey and Mike Sheofsky (and Louella and Bird Sheofsky)
Location: Mission; San Francisco, California
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: 2 1/2 years; Rented

Kelsey and Mike make their living by creating beautiful outdoor spaces for their pop-up lodging service Shelter Co. They bring the same effortless style, laid back attitude and appreciation for travel to their San Francisco home, which they share with their perpetually chatty 7 month old Louella and their dog Bird.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

This little home abounds with personal details, and features furnishings custom made by Mike. The family has crafted a home in the heart of the city that is beautiful, functional, and 100% them.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Laid back and comfortable with pops of quirk. I try not to overthink when it comes to design and just create a space that’s relaxing but shows some personality. This is the third house we’ve been in since we got married 6 years ago. Every time we move we add and subtract as needed, but a lot of the anchor pieces have stayed the same.

Inspiration: I don’t like anything looking too perfect or purchased from one place. I was fortunate to have received a lot of free furniture when I worked for a vintage furniture store in LA years ago, and I also received some great mid-century modern pieces from my grandparents. We troll the flea from time to time for fun finds. Mike builds whatever we need when we can’t find the perfect piece, which is awesome.

Favorite Element: Can’t pick just one! I love our coffee table that Mike built. We have a house up on the Russian River that he built a great coffee table for — I loved it so much I had him do a similar one for this house. I also love a lot of our family heirlooms, like the photo of my great great grandparents in front of Niagara Falls, and an art project my Grandpa made my Nana when he was in med school. These pieces would be a cool find at a flea market, but are even more fun to be part of our family history.

Biggest Challenge: The baby’s room. It’s such a small space, and we wanted it to be fun without being too juvenile. We rent our house out on and didn’t want to sacrifice our 2 bedroom status, so we needed to keep the sofa bed. Mike was adamant we paint the crib international orange (the color of the Golden Gate Bridge), but the painter got the Pantone wrong so it’s more coral. The baby came early so we didn’t have time to fix it. Ahh well. It still looks cute. We joke that we may have to install a pulley system to raise and lower her toys — as she gets older as there is no more room except on the ceiling!

What Friends Say: Everyone agrees we struck gold finding a single family home with a yard and a basement in a great part of the mission. It’s a fabulous house. We have great neighbors and an awesome landlord, so we feel very fortunate. With rents the way they are in SF we can never leave!

Biggest Embarrassment: The backyard. Our property just recently was approved for a lot split, which means we will be getting a fence soon, making our yard private. Up until now it has been shared with our next door neighbors. We haven’t wanted to put any work into it until it became private, so it’s a disaster. I’m really looking forward to making it a welcoming outdoor space. Our entire business is based around creating luxury outdoor spaces, so it’s pretty embarrassing that our own backyard is super ugly. We’ve got big plans though!

Proudest DIY: Anything DIY in the house is Mike’s doing. He built our desk and coffee table, built the dog gate in the yard, reupholstered our dining chairs,etc. He’s not only handy but has an excellent eye, so he’s involved in all the design decisions in our house.

Biggest Indulgence: It isn’t a monetary indulgence, but Mike took a whole day to reroute the cable lines under the house in order to run them into his closet so our flat screen could be mounted without any visible wires. It’s seriously my favorite thing about the living room. I hate technology taking over a living room, and now we just have a clean mounted TV and nothing else. It’s glorious.

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to bring large furniture pieces into a small space.

Don’t buy anything with drawers from IKEA.

Buy furniture and decor when you find something you love, not when you desperately need it. That way the house evolves and really becomes a reflection of your personality.

Marry someone with great taste.

Dream Sources:

Big Daddy Antiques

Alameda Flea Market

Building Resources


(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Resources of Note:


  • White walls everywhere. Love a clean palette.


  • Key hooks- Anthropologie


  • Sofa- Ethan Allen
  • Pillows- Vintage Turkish from Santa Fe flea market.
  • Side table- Grandparent’s vintage hand me down.
  • Desk- Local Favorite (Mikes furniture company.)
  • Lamp- Vintage from The Other Shop in SF
  • Coffee table- Local Favorite
  • Rug-West Elm
  • Leather chairs- Emmerson Troop in LA
  • Skull- Flea Market in Santa Fe, NM

  • Dining Table, Chairs, and Shelves- Grandparent’s vintage hand me downs.
  • Chalk board- Orange in LA


  • Shelving unit- Vintage from Grandparents
  • Bar cart- Emmerson Troop, LA
  • Wall clock- Roost


  • Flying birds- Roost
  • Bed- Vintage
  • Lamps- West Elm

  • Shelving Unit- Ikea


  • Sofa- Gift from a friend.
  • Crib- Jenny Lind, custom painted.
  • Rug- Ikea
  • Shelving Unit- Ikea

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Thanks, Kelsey and Mike!

(Images: Kim Lucian)

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