Great Tile and Gorgeous Antique Rugs Fill This Spacious San Francisco Remodel
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Name: Elaine Yu, my husband, and our toyger cat named Tiger (it’s a girl)
Location: Russian Hill — San Francisco, California
Size: 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months, owned
Our home is located in the Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco, one block away from the famous crooked street. We bought it in late 2017 when we decided to move to the West Coast from New York, and went through a five-month remodeling effort to completely transform the space into a more modern, bright space. Moving from an 800-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in New York to a 2000-square-foot space was a big change for us; we suddenly have so much more room and have different areas of the apartment for different purposes, and it has been really fun to test different things and layouts to decide the best way to utilize our space.
The feelings we were trying to create are warm and cozy, which are really what we want our home to be. Us being my husband and I, and our 6-year-old toyger cat named Tiger. My husband is an attorney and works long hours, and he loves to be able to relax and recharge at home, sometimes working out of his home office. Since I left my jobs in finance and tech, I have decided to focus on building my home decor business (currently dealing in antique/vintage rugs @saffronbloom on instagram, but we are planning on expanding into a variety of home decor products in the near future), and mostly working from home, so our home to me is more like a working/living space where I can be very productive but also able to relax. For our cat Tiger, it’s full of cozy seats where she can nap; her favorite is probably our swing chair.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite is probably our living room. One of my favorite things in our place is the fireplace–we had a brick layer redo the fireplace, and painted it in gray; we also found a piece of lumber and had our contractor polished and painted it with clear paint and used it as the mantel. On a cold night we would start a fire and it’s the coziest thing, sitting in front of the fire, sipping wine, and having good conversations or enjoying a movie together, whether it’s just my husband and I, or when we have friends over. And Tiger would be sitting on one of our laps. It’s here where we all spend time together, catching up with each other on what happens during our days.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? It’s a round-shaped brass/glass bar cart I recently found, and it fits perfectly into this space next to the fireplace. And I have a “call me old-fashioned” print right above the bar cart. Our whole place (and the complex we live in) is of a Mediterranean style, hence I painted the doors bright blue. However I also love a bit of old world glamour, which my many antique oriental rugs really brought to our space. Now this bar cart also added a bit of flair to this modern space.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern eclectic, old world flair
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? It would be the ceiling–I wish we could have 12′ ceilings.
Any advice for creating a home you love? I don’t really believe in certain set rules when it comes to decorating our homes. There is a way to combine everything you love, old or new, exotic or familiar, sophisticated or simple. The things we love will harmoniously co-exist, because they reflect who we are and the journey we have taken.