A 375-Square-Foot San Francisco Studio Is Old-World Style Mixed With Modern

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Name: Lauren
Location: Nob Hill — San Francisco, California
Size: 375 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Moving from the Carolinas to San Francisco last year, I knew it was going to be a big change, so I wanted to be able to bring some comforts of home with me. After a fairly traumatic weekend of apartment hunting (hello most expensive city in the country), I found this place right in Nob Hill that was just the right size to fit all my favorite things, plus it had a balcony! It’s just me here, and it’s my first time living in a true studio, but I feel like I was able to define separate spaces with rugs and a curtain divider while maintaining a certain cohesiveness throughout the apartment.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Old-world mixed with modern elements

What is your favorite room and why? Should be an easy question given it’s basically one room, but my favorite “room” is actually my balcony. It gets plenty of sun when the fog burns off; it has great views of the city and the beautiful frieze of the building across the street; and you can hear the bells of the cable cars running one street over—all together, it just feels very San Francisco.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would magic myself a bit more space. I never seem to have enough room for all my books, art, and shoes (I can’t part with any of them–they all spark joy).

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Like a lot of millennials, I grew up on “Harry Potter,” and the character I most identified with was, of course, Hermione Granger. Like her, I love to read, but also I love the books themselves. My (totally realistic) dream is to one day have space for a library, but until then, I’ll keep looking for new ways to store my ever increasing book collection.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Fill it with what and whom you love! My place is full of things that I’ve picked up along the way—a hand-carved mirror from an antique shop in my hometown, a linocut print from a trip with a friend, a painting by a friend’s mother. I love being surrounded by these things, but it’s so much more important to create a home that’s welcoming and livable, rather than a museum where guests feel like they can’t sit down and stay awhile.