Kirstyn’s Peaceful Pacific Heights Hideaway

published Nov 22, 2011
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Name: Kirstyn
Location: Pacific Heights — San Francisco, California
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 — rented

Kirstyn’s apartment is the quintessential San Francisco home, chock full of the impeccable architectural details we go crazy for. Each element, from the built-ins, to the molding, to the hardware, has been restored and finished with care. Her elegant and understated style allows the finishes to speak for themselves, enhanced with serene colors and choice vintage accessories for an overall calming vibe.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Prior to Kirstyn’s move, the wainscoting was white washed to cover the dark wood and the walls were all freshly painted, resulting in a soothing, open space. The large french doors also contribute to this openness, and come in handy on those lazy days, when watching TV from bed is a guilty pleasure. The treetop view out the bedroom window is so peaceful, I can’t exactly blame her for wanting to stay in bed every once in awhile. Like many older San Francisco apartments, there are an inordinate number of doors throughout the space. It took some innovation to create a flow that made sense and didn’t consume too much of the square footage.

Kirstyn combined inherited furniture, craigslist finds and some well thought out purchases to attain a Parisian vintage aesthetic on a limited budget. Collected treasures from her study abroad in China and etsy antiques are scattered throughout the space providing a glimpse at past experiences. As the first real “grown-up” apartment of her own, her decorating process is a conscious endeavor. Not the type to purchase on a whim, Kirstyn’s space is a continuous work in progress, slowly evolving with each new addition.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I love 60’s-70’s modern art and architecture with a punch of classic Americana, a twist of Parisian Glamour and most importantly a sense of humor. I am not sure that this is reflected in my interiors, but that is how I would describe aesthetics I am drawn to.

Favorite Element: My bed, it’s just so comfortable. I spend more time than I would like to admit here.

Biggest Embarrassment: I really love experimenting so I wouldn’t say I have any true embarrassments, except my poor attempt at DIY painting in my kitchen. Apparently chalkboard paint is insanely difficult to apply.

Proudest DIY: It’s sad to admit, but hanging my curtain rods by myself makes me pretty proud (I am not as handy as I wish I were.) Also, painting my nightstands and bench at the end of my bed.

Biggest Indulgence: 18th century French console table, a gift which I feel very lucky to have received.

Biggest Challenge: All the doors in the apt! I have 5 in my bedroom alone! And 13 in total (including closets etc). It is such a challenge to create flow from one room to another. I love watching guests who have never been in my apartment decide which doors to use to enter a new space.

From an accessories standpoint it has been incredibly difficult to find art that is within budget and also something that I’d like to hang on to long term. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Dream Sources: I am most often inspired by the carefully curated blogs I scour on a weekly basis. I am in awe of design talents like Ryan Korban, Grant Gibson and most recently the moody layered interiors of Abigail Ahern’s London apartment.

Every year my stepmom volunteers at the SF decorator’s showcase so I love going there and looking at the spaces created by local talent.

I live very close to all the Sacramento Street interior shops/showrooms such as Kendall Wilkinson, David Kensington, Sue Fisher King and March. I love checking out the newest window displays.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:

Unfortunately, not available.


    • Console table: Beach House
    • Print: 20×200
    • Frame: Shabby Chic for Target
    • Glass Sea Urchins: Summer House
    • Rug: Dash and Albert, Summer House


    • Couch: Ikea
    • Console: 18th century French antique, gifted
    • Pillows: Pottery Barn & William Sonoma Home
    • Lamp: French antique, gifted


    • Dining Table & Chairs: Alameda Flea Market
    • “Panic Now and Freak Out” Print: London, England


    • Duvet: Pottery Barn
    • Giraffe Print Coverlet & Pillows: Michael Kors
    • Graphic Pillow: Room and Board
    • Side tables: Craigslist (originally from Peru)
    • Lamps: Tuesday Morning
    • Dresser: Sunrise Interiors
    • End of Bed Seat: Beach House
    • Rug: West Elm


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Kirstyn!

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