Erin Hiemstra of lifestyle blog Apartment 34 and her husband, Chris Wick, relocated to San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood from Seattle last year. Downsizing from a 2,500 square-foot suburban home to an ultra-modern 900 square-foot urban loft has been quite the adjustment. Moving from the Seattle suburbs to the big city provided Erin and Chris the perfect opportunity to define their style together as a married couple, literally starting from scratch — only one piece of furniture from their old home was the right scale for the loft. But the loft has been the perfect blank slate for Erin to create a comfortable and friendly space with unisex appeal for the couple and their dogs to enjoy. Thanks, Erin, and special thanks to Bonnie Tsang for the wonderful photographs! — Anne
Image above: With only 900 sq. ft. to play with, every corner has to be maximized! We have this little four foot wall in our living room that would otherwise be dead space, so I hung a collection of round mirrors above a West Elm butler’s tray to reflect the light from our south-facing windows. The tray holds a few of my favorite design books, candle sticks that were wedding presents and a touch of greenery without adding the bulk of a bookshelf or cabinet. It also gets cleared and turned into our bar cart when we entertain.
Image above: The living room is a multipurpose space — it’s our TV room, our office and our dining room all in one. We tucked a glass console desk behind our couch, which provides dedicated work space that’s right in the middle of the action. The 15-ft high industrial shelving tucked into the corner was the perfect score. It holds favorite keepsakes and draws the eye skyward. While I love the dark hardwood floors, we needed to bring in soft surfaces for the dogs, which both the trellis rug from RugsUSA and the oversized dog bed do. Figuring out what to do with 20-ft. high walls also continues to be a work in progress. The prints behind our couch from local artists The GRQP represent different San Francisco neighborhoods and created the eye-catching focal point I was looking for.
More inside of Erin & Chris’ San Francisco loft after the jump . . .
Image above: With floor space at a premium, rather than getting a side table, I stacked more design books and leftover issues from an overabundant magazine collection to create a resting spot for my coffee. The throw is by Dwell Studio and the desk lamp is from HD Buttercup.
Image above: Every piece of furniture was selected with storage in mind. Luckily, HD Buttercup, an amazing San Francisco furniture store, was just around the corner from us. It’s stocked with a plethora of options including the walnut case that sits in our entryway. You’d never know it, but that’s our “coat closet” and our filing system all in one. The mirror and school house chair are both flea market finds.
Image above: When we got married two years ago, I amassed a collection of antique crates to decorate our reception hall. I turned a couple holdovers into impromptu bookshelves. Now all of my decor and fashion mags are at the ready!
Image above: When we spotted this white oak cabinet, we snagged it immediately. It’s now a pantry, bookcase and bar area all in one. All of my cookbooks and Food&Wine magazines are at arm’s length. I also love being able to look at a few favorite personal momentos, like the Polaroid “guestbook” from our wedding, while I cook.
Image above: When we walked into the apartment, the kitchen had me at hello. The gourmet Viking range, the ample marble countertops and open shelving, all bathed in gorgeous natural light, was a culinary and design dream come true. The open shelves display some of our favorite objects — one shelf for me, the other for my husband. I’ll let you guess which is which! The island has deep drawers for pots and pans; it even had an appliance garage, letting me keep the counters clear. I was thrilled when I found a vendor at the Alameda flea market selling vintage French flour sacks. I turned one into the kitchen floor runner I’d long been searching for.
Image above: An avid cook, I love living in the Bay Area — fresh ingredients from the farmers’ market are always at my fingertips.
Image above: You look down the expanse of the loft the moment you step in the front door. I wanted to put mirrors on each side of our entry to bounce light around and make the narrow space feel larger. I immediately fell in love with the 9-ft. mirror, also from HD Buttercup. The frame is reclaimed wood and is the perfect juxtaposition to the modern metal staircase.
Image above: Our West Elm storage bed was a life safer. It almost looks like it was part of the bedroom, and it provided built-in bedside tables and hidden drawer space that we desperately needed. I love changing out our bedding frequently and have been on a simple black and white kick lately. The photograph above the bed is of the Outer Banks, NC. Chris and I met at a friend’s wedding there.
Image above: The bedside tables are just large enough for essentials and keep clutter at bay! The lamps are by Jonathan Adler from Lamps Plus, and my bedside clock was another Alameda flea market find.
Image above: The bathroom was another experiment in space management, but West Elm came to my rescue yet again with their metal medicine cabinet. The Feist poster by Vahalla Studios was a special find — it was the first concert Chris and I ever went to together. And I let my girlie side out just a little with a display of nail polishes on a vintage mirrored tray, my necklace tree and a few candles.
Image above: One of the biggest adjustments to city living has been dog walks. We’re now in and out up to five times a day, so I keep a bevy of shoe options at the ready. The leather basket from HD Buttercup keeps the majority up off the floor, but I love having my Hunter Wellies available to step into for those 6am walks!