A 400-Square-Foot San Fran Studio Has the Cutest Checkered Floor

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(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

Name: Allison Sparkuhl and a cat, Veda
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Just about three years ago, my cat, Veda, and I lugged our stuff to San Francisco from NYC. After 12 years in one city, you don’t realize how much you accumulate! I used the opportunity to purge and really “KonMari” my life into things around me that truly made me happy.

(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

My style is eccentric and indecisive—I fluctuate between wanting minimalist mid-century, to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. I basically live by the rule, “before you leave the house, take one thing off”—except instead of leaving, it’s bringing things in.

(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

When I moved from a railroad apartment in Greenpoint, I swore I would never live in a space that wasn’t flooded with natural light—so bright that I didn’t need to turn on the lights until it was well after dark outside. So I made my “non-negotiables” list on the plane over: Blinding natural light (preferably Westward), bathtub, top floor, laundry in building, elevator, and last but not least, CHARM. I’d say I hit the nail on the head with this studio, with the added bonus of a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

What is your favorite room and why? While there aren’t many options in a studio, I’d have to say the living room at sunset. You’d think it was summer in the middle of December with the amount of light and heat that comes through the giant windows that act as built-in art.

(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Adding an extra room!

(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My bathroom came with basically zero storage, minus the medicine cabinet. I’ve spent many (poorly-measured) hours testing various IKEA shelf/bin combos, which has finally evolved into a happy place.

(Image credit: Allison Sparkuhl)

Any advice for creating a home you love? Patience! Every other space I’ve lived in I’ve rushed into “filling” it. I knew when I moved that I wanted this space to reflect things that I truly loved and appreciated, and so I let them come to me. A vintage rug inherited from a friend, a pharmacy lamp found at Goodwill, trinkets from Mexico and Italy, cultural memories of New York, Alameda Flea finds. I absolutely love almost everything in my apartment, even the bric-a-brac I’ve stashed away and find on a rainy day. And my cat, of course.

Thanks, Allison!

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