A First-Time-Living-Solo San Franciscan Found the Perfect Small, Soothing Home

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Name: Carra Manahan
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

A couple years ago, I decided to get my own apartment in San Francisco. I’d lived in the Marina since moving to the city and couldn’t part with it. The neighborhood’s beautiful and charming; there’s truly something special about being able to see the Golden Gate Bridge from it.

Since it was my first time living alone, I really wanted to furnish and decorate the apartment to my liking. I’m a big fan of wood trims and accents, so mid-century modern was a perfect fit. I also knew I wanted a more minimal look that was more gender neutral than my room at my previous apartment.

For decor, I’m a huge traveler, and began collecting pieces from different countries. I love having small things around my apartment that remind me of trips I’ve taken. I’m also big on plants. I have over 40 in my apartment and I love how they look in any spot—from a shelf to a tabletop, they add color and vibrancy, plus look great with all the wood.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Mid-century modern meets boho.

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my bedroom; it’s my sanctuary. It’s the biggest room in my apartment and gets the best light during the day. Whether I’m hanging out with friends on the couch or reading a book near my window, I just love how soothing and homey it is.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I’d make the kitchen area bigger and add a dining room. I’m a big fan of cooking and entertaining so I’d love to have an island and a huge dining table to comfortably accommodate dinner parties. I do have to admit that I don’t let the space deter me from hosting, though.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My fiddle leaf fig tree. Plants do wonders to corners of a room. I bought it at Flora Grubb Gardens, my favorite plant spot in San Francisco. All my friends make fun of me since it’s impossible for me to go there and not buy anything.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Start with a few furniture pieces and design from there. It’s natural to want to buy everything at once, but I encourage you to take your time. Also, leverage Pinterest for inspiration; it gave me tons of ideas that I ended up putting my own twist on.

Thanks, Carra!

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