Rob & Barb’s Loft Story

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.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Rob and Barb
Location: SoMa — San Francisco, California
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 1 — owned

For Rob and Barb, it was loft-love at first sight. After months of seeing places in their price range that made them cringe, they happened upon this light-filled gem. The only problem was the small army of other folks who felt the same way. After riding the emotional rollercoaster of a bidding war and a very slow moving bank, their offer was accepted Christmas week of 2009. By New Year’s Eve they were hosting their first party in their new home.

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

Situated on a dead end street in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, the couple enjoys the quiet by day/alive by night duality of their neighborhood. There is no shortage of new bars and restaurants (Bar Agricole anyone?) and with plenty of space still available — it has a feeling of possibility that can’t be found in more established residential parts of the city.

With east facing windows two stories high and a generous patio that extends the length of the loft, the space feels much bigger than its 1,100 square feet. While it’s open and airy, it doesn’t feel barren. Large artwork hangs high on the walls, activating the open space. Their collective time abroad and love of art and travel is evident in the unique pieces that adorn their shelves and walls. As an art director for Apple, Rob’s skilled eye is on full display, as is some of his own original artwork. Barb, a child psychologist, has a green thumb that adds a relaxing warmth to the strong, functional architecture. The fireplace, Eames rocker, and large farmhouse style dining table further contribute to the inviting atmosphere. It’s a home perfectly suited for conversations over coffee, lingering dinners, and many New Year’s Eve parties to come.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Simple. Classic. Functional.

Inspiration: Art. Graphic Design. Simplicity. Italy. Northern California.

Favorite Element: Our art collection brings so much warmth to our home. And we really love cooking and entertaining, so the kitchen table gets used the most of all the furniture.

Biggest Challenge: See the biggest embarrassment section…

What Friends Say: People are surprised by the lack of clutter. A lot of people have said that our place feels warm and modern — which apparently is an uncommon combination. Everyone loves the patio. Maybe someone appreciates one of the chairs. Lots of people ask about the art. But far and away the most common question we get is how we live without a television.

Biggest Embarrassment: We inherited some unfortunate track lighting and bathroom fixtures from the previous owner. All of it gets the job done, so, on a limited budget, it’s hard to justify updating anything. We don’t love the kitchen, and we’d love to paint the black railing white.

Proudest DIY: Neither of us is very handy, so installing a dimmer switch in the bathroom felt pretty good. But Barb’s work on all the plants, inside and out, is spectacular.

Biggest Indulgence: We’re trying to not buy disposable furniture anymore, so we tend to splurge on things that are built to last.

Best Advice: We’re not sure if this is advice, but a pet peeve of ours is when there are so many things packed into a space that you can’t see where the walls meet the floor. It always feels claustrophobic.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Bedroom and main space : we forgot brand but it was discontinued by Home Depot: Quietude

    • Overmann Chair : The Other Shop on Divisadero
    • Modular Bookshelf : Smart Furniture
    • Side Table : EQ3
    • Weird collection of food items and wood carvings on bookshelf : Gifts from friends and family

    • couch and side table : EQ3
    • coffee table : IKEA
    • Eames Rocker : DWR
    • Eames Plywood Chair : DWR
    • Candlestick : wedding gift from family in Italy
    • Toy Animals : Danese Milano
    • White Locker : IKEA

    • Table : CB2
    • Eames Side Chairs : DWR
    • Other Side Chairs : a long time ago
    • Chopping Block : IKEA
    • Dresser posing as a credenza : EQ3

    • Bed frame CB2
    • Dresser EQ3
    • Side Table Black : EQ3
    • Wooden Side Table : IKEA
    • Lamp : Artemide

    • Quovis Work Table : DWR
    • Eames Management Chair : DWR
    • Lamp : Barb’s parents’ basement

    • Inherited patio furniture and lots of planters from previous owner

    Thanks, Rob & Barb!

    Images: Jason Russell

    • HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here
    • Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
    • Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.