sneak peek: paul at branch home

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today i’m thrilled to share a sneak peek into the home of paul donald, president and co-founder of branch home. before he was with branch, paul spent 12 years in graphic design and magazine publishing (he worked on some of my favorites like wired and sunset). though he grew up in small-town iowa, paul now lives in san francisco and calls this beautiful apartment home. paul’s descriptions follow below but you can click here for full-size versions of paul’s home shot by photographer rob brodman. there are several photos below the fold so be sure to click “read more” below or click here for the full post.

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Living room 1 (first photo at the top): My friend Josh Singer designed and built the wall unit to match the vintage Danish modern dining set and coffee table. The projector (under the clock) is for the monthly documentary film club I host, called Cinéma Vérité.

Bedroom closeup (directly above): The table is vintage, the lamp from Ikea. The artwork to the upper right is by my friend Rodger Stevens, the framed pieces in the center are originals of vintage illustrations from Sunset magazine (where I was the Creative Director before I started Branch). The felt rocks on the table are available at Branch.

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Hallway: This chest of drawers is one of my favorite pieces of furniture: it’s from an old hardware store, and its many drawers are perfect for organizing and hiding away all of a home’s little necessities. The numbers are printed on metal, and are from an old gas station.

The artwork above the chest of drawers is by, from left to right, Adam McCauley, Carrie Leeb (sorry that’s so hard to see), and Terry Hoff.

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Bedroom: The bed was designed and built by my friend Roy Mars. The rug is made from recycled paper with a rubberized backing. The chair and absurdly large ottoman (which I love) is by Frighetto. The Modular Pillow (on the chair) is by Galya Rosenfeld, and is available at Branch.

The artwork at right is by my friend Michael Bartalos, who also created the artwork for the new greeting card we sell at Branch.

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Bathroom detail: These vintage letters are visible from the shower.

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Kitchen closeup (fridge): Mini magnets turn my freezer door into an easy-to-change gallery of found ephemera from my vast collection. The glass pieces atop the fridge are by Esque, and are available at Branch.

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Living room 2: One thing I used to do in my spare time is design and build lamps. The small one to the left of the black cabinet is one such project; it’s made from an old test-tube stand. I also collect vintage packaging, as seen inside the black cabinet.

The sculpture atop the black cabinet is by my friend Adam McCauley; the painting at right is by Hiroshi Kimura.

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Entry hallway, just inside front door: I’ve always been drawn to quirky old found objects, and my home is full of them. The piece at left is part of a discarded sign I picked up off the street in New York when I used to live there. I liked it so well that I brought it along when I moved to San Francisco.

And while you can’t read it from this angle, the old letters on the lower right spell the word “FOCUS”, which serves as a reminder each time I leave my apartment.

The building I live in is a pretty typical San Francisco apartment building. There are lots of old details (fold-down ironing board, a Murphy bed, etc.). I particularly like the old intercom system (on the far wall). It no longer works, but it still looks great.

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Kitchen closeup (shelves): The lamp shown is another of my creations; it’s made from an old 35mm slide tray. The test tubes in the rack (on the third shelf) contain soil from each of the five boroughs of New York, which I collected before moving away from the city.

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Kitchen: My kitchen has lots of storage, which I love. The traffic arrows at right are a future lamp project.

  1. Love the, chest of drawers. Perfect combination of color, age and uniqueness. My first thought….I will make that!

  2. I think this is such a great example of how you can have contempoary mid-Century modern mixed with vintage design. The lamps and lighting fixtures are incredible!

    Thank you,

    Scott

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