We have officially been in our new Russian Hill home for two months. Our families have been to visit, we've connected with old friends, we've thrown a Housewarming Party, and we've spilled red wine on the white rug. We were very lucky to snag this apartment - it's super bright with windows in every room, a really large kitchen(with dishwasher), 1.5 baths, a formal dining room, and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It's about three times the size of our tiny apartment in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, so we were due for an upgrade. Our home is a mixture of family hand-me-downs, Scandinavian design (thank you West Elm), antique thrift shops, and pieces from our travels. I owe the quick nesting to months of Pinterest, patience, and a DIY fiancé who works from home.
The living room is home to a great piece of driftwood Daniel found as we were walking along New Brighton Beach in Santa Cruz. Admittedly, we WERE at the beach specifically to find the driftwood, and took hours to find the right piece, but now it's up and brings us great memories of our weekend of menu tasting for our upcoming wedding there in September.
My favorite piece in the bedroom is an antique lamp that came from my grandparent's house in my hometown of Oroville, a small lake town in northern California. The lamp is an orangish yellow glass with clear crystals that drop down from etched metal lining the top shade. We added the lamp to the nightstand in the bedroom. The bedroom is white and gray, very light, but I liked the pop of color, and found a great San Francisco themed illustration that we hung on the wall to tie it in. The print is from Picnic, on Polk Street in Nob Hill. I added the oil lamp we picked up in our travels through Istanbul and the Grand Bazaar to match with the bronze metal work on the lamp.
We spent a short week in Denmark and Stockholm last year for a work conference held by Daniel's Swedish-based company. I was blown away at the simplicity and chicness of the design in these countries. I fell in love with the black-white-gray palette, and the less-is-more mentality. I knew this is how I wanted to decorate our home in San Francisco. Luckily West Elm was in the middle of a Scandinavian-themed trend, so we got a lot of great pieces such as our blackened brass legged coffee table, a few monochrome pillow cases, and our mid century modern black dot statement chair. The plants are all real (Daniel doesn't believe in fake plants) and they help to add a pop of green color amidst the black and white. I also found an amazing black and white print, "The 2016 Guide to New York" by Swedish designer David Ehrenstråhle, which I'm in the middle of custom framing since there are no ready-made frames for European measurements.
Overall, your home should make you feel calm and grounded. Whether that be minimalistic and monochrome decor or bright splashes of purple and pink (or both). Years of staging New York properties taught me to steer clear of the clutter and if you don't use it or need it, toss it. Quality over quantity. Have patience to wait for the right piece, and if you're like me and try to be as cost-effective as possible, look up creative ways to DIY and get inspired. Also, sometimes there are gems to be found in unlikely places. We found a great lamp from Target that looks super chic and fits right in with other pricier pieces. Tip: white walls are always the best start. Color can be added in so many ways by accents and furnishings. Happy decorating!