Thayer’s Modern Beachy Apartment

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Name: Thayer Allyson Gowdy and Scott Paterson
Location: Bernal Hill, San Francisco, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years; Owned

Photographer Thayer Gowdy’s carefree style comes together with a mix of clean-lined Danish designs, eclectic accessories, and pieces sourced from her travels around the world.

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→ Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2014

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

The result is collected without feeling too busy, and modern without losing its sense of warmth. Personal touches abound, like the art she has collected from many of her friends, and records casually stacked on the shelf. These treasured items and more make the space feel lived in, in the best possible way.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern and simple while still being beachy and cozy.

Inspiration: Danish modern, northern California, the beach, the woods, and Scandinavian homes in Sweden and Finland.

Favorite Element: My amazing new window and black facade, designed by architect Craig Steely. (He also did the office and entry.)

Biggest Challenge: Only having one bathroom.

What Friends Say: They love how modern but cozy it is.

Biggest Embarrassment: I did not check the outlets when the contractors finished, and now only one works in the guest bedroom!

Proudest DIY: I painted the front door Magenta.

Biggest Indulgence: The giant front window.

Best Advice: Save up for three times the cost for all renovations. It’s not just a saying.

Dream Sources: Apartamento, Dwell, Toast travels blog, Cabin Porn blog.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Resources of Note:


  • Interior: Benjamin Moore, Ultra White in Semi Gloss
  • Benjamin Moore: Satin Black
  • Benjamin Moore: Gypsy Pink


  • Steel railing by Phil Tiffen, designed by architect Craig Steely ( He also designed the office and entry)
  • Ipe wood on stairs, in black bamboo


  • Bookcase: yard sale in Calistoga
  • Antler candleholders: antique store in Boise, Idaha
  • Collection of black, white and green ceramics from all over the US on Thayer travels for jobs. I collect them as I see them, along with ocean paintings!
  • Vintage furniture: purchased in Palm Springs
  • Coffee table: DWR knock off purchased online
  • Print above fireplace: photographed by me, from Fire Island, NY
  • Sheepskin: Ikea
  • Cat Teepees: Urban Outfitters
  • Sofa: Palm Springs, a score for $100!
  • Wicker Chairs in front window: brought with boyfriend when he moved in


  • Photos: taken by friends Rennie Solis, Doug Adesko, and Emily Nathan
  • Itaglio print: by Karen Schaupeter and other artwork, collected by boyfriend Scott Paterson (designer at IDEO) on his travels to Japan and China.
  • Wicker vintage table: STUFF in San Francisco
  • Sheepskins on benches: Ikea


  • Heath tile backsplash
  • Existing cabinets
  • Island table: Restaurant Supply


  • Tiles: Heath
  • Tub and mirrored cabinet: local bernal bathroom fixture and plumbing store on Cortland Street
  • Sideboard: antique store in Palm springs


  • Vintage Furniture: Palm Springs
  • Dresser: Paul McCobb
  • Bedframe: Blue dot
  • Blanket: Pendleton
  • Acrylic side tables: Stuff in SF
  • Ocean paintings: antique stores in Palm Springs
  • Lamps: Lytegem by Lightolier


  • Desk:STUFF
  • Dresser and Bed: Ikea
  • Ocean Painting: Palm Springs thrift
  • Chair: Panton
  • Night Table: a Pendleton footstool from Mohawk General Store in Pasadena.


  • Desk: Blu Dot Strut table
  • Red Dresser: STUFF
  • White Sideboard: yard sale
  • Stained glass feather in window: made by Thayer’s father in Vermont
(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Thanks, Thayer!

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