A Bright, Minimal-ish San Francisco Condo Has a Cute, Plant-Filled Modern Balcony

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Name: Maya Kaczorowski and roommate
Location: SoMa — San Francisco, California
Type of home: Condo
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: When I was home shopping a few years back, I was convinced I wanted a renovated Victorian—thinking that a condo would always be too generic to be “me”. But when I saw this place, the natural light and the non-boxiness just blew me away, and I had to have it. I moved in about 18 months ago, and did a “bit” of work.

First was the loft area. I destroyed the pony walls encompassing it to instead put in the glass panels, matching the slightly industrial aesthetic of the iron railings. I also got rid of very faded purple carpeting in the loft and stairs leading up to it, to replace it with much more modern whitewashed wood floors. (I wish I could live in Copenhagen, and this is the closest feel I could get to that Scandi style without literally painting the floors.)

I also redid the shower and vanity in the main bathroom. These changes feel like they let me maximize the light in the space. I’m always traveling, and living with a roommate made financial sense for this two-bedroom place. It’s been great to have peace of mind, and make sure the plants aren’t too thirsty. The best part is that it really does feel like home. I’m still trying to stop myself from buying too much more art (tall ceilings mean lots of wall space!). I know I’m settled in, because my concerns are now making sure the plants stay alive and decluttering the knickknacks I’m bound to collect.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Contemporary, asymmetric, minimal-ish.

What is your favorite room and why? The master bedroom has got to be my favorite room. It’s very large, and just gets flooded with light—from east-facing windows, a skylight, and the glass walls. Laying it out with the bed in the middle of the room seems unusual, but it let me ensure two things—that the first thing I see when I wake up is the view of Twin Peaks and the fog rolling in; and that the flow of the space doesn’t block my access to the wardrobe or desk. When I redid the floor, I had the electrician put an outlet in the middle for the bedside lamps, so there re no stray cables. The bed is my ultimate version of cozy—felt bed frame, all foam mattress, too many pillows. I just sink in and fall asleep. And it’s so quiet.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I wish there were skylights in the hallway. It’s not dark, but it would add more “wow” when you first walk in, let me get more plants, and really tie the place together. It’s the top floor, but I don’t think my building would go for it… (while you’re up there, can you add some solar panels?)

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I basically pick up a new bottle of gin or a new plant every few weeks. Most recently it’s a lavender plant, which turns out is a great gin and tonic garnish.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t be set on an ideal, and be open to finding something you might not have expected to like. And don’t overcrowd the space if you can afford not to—having space feels so luxurious.

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