500 Books and 200 Prints Fill a Lovely San Francisco Victorian Flat

published Aug 31, 2020

500 Books and 200 Prints Fill a Lovely San Francisco Victorian Flat

published Aug 31, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this tour
Home Type
Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California
Eclectic, Organic Modern, Scandinavian
Square feet
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Name: James Tucker of The Aesthetic Union and housemate, Torryne Choate of Birch SF
Location: Hayes Valley — San Francisco, California
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years, renting

What has 500 books, 200 prints, and gorgeous architecture all over? The shared rental apartment of letterpress printer James Tucker of The Aesthetic Union and florist Torryne Choate, who owns Birch. It’s a flat in an 1890 San Francisco Victorian house, and the light pouring in from the ample windows is magical. The rich building details—arches, molding, and more—are icing on a cake. And of course, between James, Torryne, and their creative endeavors, the home’s real magic is in all the art and floral arrangements that permeate the space. Below, James describes his enchanting home:

Credit: Peter Prato

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern vintage wabi-sabi

Inspiration: Looking at photos of other artists’ houses of the past.

Favorite Element: I love this house because of the high ceilings and moldings. Filling it with pieces of me makes me feel like I’m part of a larger history of this house. I love waking up to it all.

Credit: Peter Prato

Biggest Challenge: The house is from the 1890s and remodeled in the 1970s, so there are some upkeep and modernization things we would like to do.

Proudest DIY: The whole house is a DIY when you are living on an artist’s budget. For example, I use reclaimed fruit boxes for bookshelves in my room and Torryne makes a lot of ceramics we use for dishware.

Credit: Peter Prato

Biggest Indulgence: Hand-printed and bound art book of “Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski from Prototype Press.

Best Advice: Invest in a couple of items that are an investment, but you’ll use them a lot and keep them around more than something cheap. Not only that, you’re supporting an economy of fairly paid craftspeople and maybe even your local community.

Credit: Peter Prato

What’s your best home secret? I’m still trying to learn all the secrets myself. Shop at farmers markets during the final hour and get cheaper produce. Buy art from local artists. Clean with fragrance-free products.


Credit: Peter Prato


  • Paint and colors —  Dunn Edwards, “Cottage White” and “Cavernous”
Credit: Peter Prato


Credit: Peter Prato


Credit: Peter Prato


  • Table — Antique French Country Table
  • Benches — Handmade
  • Chairs: — Vintage Danish Folke Palsson J77
  • Ceramics — Torryne Choate 
Credit: Peter Prato


Credit: Peter Prato


Credit: Peter Prato


Credit: Peter Prato


Thanks James and Torryne!

Share Your Style: