sneak peek: erin hiemstra and chris wick

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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!

Marnie

Love the use and mix of modern and vintage pieces. I have that same simple round mirror (inherited from my grandmother)!

maker

Where oh where did that sofa and metallic side table in your living room come from??

Richard

That Feist poster is actually printed by Vahalla Studios.

Jessie

Love the crates used as shelves,and the magazines/books as a table;although I’d probably end up knocking it over!

Alex

I love it all erin! it looks stunning! where is the striped blanket on your bed from?

Stef

Love the whole place, but that leather couch.. whoa.. It’s amazing. I recognize the Feist poster from Vahalla studios too — we have a bunch of Tad Carpenter in our home.

Sandy

Very clever to turn a vintage flour sack into a floor runner! Great idea and wonderful home. Thanks for sharing!

Loora

This house is amazing !! The use of black and white combined with very soft colors is fantastic. I wish I had your taste…

Erin

Thanks all so much for the kind comments! You are correct – the poster is in fact Vahalla studios, thank you! And the couch is from Room and Board – I call it our first grown up purchase! Worth every penny I must say.

Miz. November

Erin, I am so excited to get the grand tour of your new loft! It’s amazing. Great use of space. Everything looks so well put together. And, being from NC myself, I love the Outer Banks pic in your bedroom. What a nice reminder of the excitement of meeting your love.

Iris

What an ingenious use of space. It looks homey, yet not cluttered or cramped. The antique milk crates are the perfect touch.

Phoebe

I’ve followed Erin’s blog for forever, so it only makes sense that I love her house! I love all of the furniture pieces in the living room.

arlene mark-ng

love what you’ve done to your soma loft! you’ll have to check out “quatrine” for custom furniture @ 355 hayes st & try “suchada” for a traditional thai massage @ 690 king st – i always go when i visit SF & stay @ the “inn @ the opera” (we’re in seattle).

kwal

I have the same sofa and rug set up, but I’m so curious how you get your sofa not to slide everywhere on the wood floors! Any tips or tricks?

Toby Wilcox

Beautiful…. cozy and clean…. Love it…. Glad you are settled and happy enjoying The City…Hugs to you both

Lily from Birch + Bird

What a fantastic space, Erin! I love the mix of old and new, masculine and feminine…you seem to have mastered the perfect balance! Thanks of for sharing and Bonnie’s photos are gorgeous :)

eileen

Nice place. As a lifelong SF peninsulite, I can attest that 900 sq. feet for two people isn’t considered small. For some, it’s spacious. The big bonanza is whether one has parking for a car or not.

Schmoo

Beautiful loft! I especially love this sneak peek because my husband and I have also downsized from a big house to a small SF apartment… and we have been hooked on HD Buttercup. Lots of great ideas here.

Elizabeth

Beautiful feature! I love the leather sofa and metallic side table. Such a great combo. I also love the B+W Stone Textile Stripe Throw on her bed! Thanks for sharing!

Seema

We live in the lofts on 4th and Brannan- you must be close by because our kitchen looks the same!

Erin

Thanks for sharing where the couch is from! I love it.

salina

Love your beautiful home! Where is your round coffee table from? I’ve been searching for something like that piece for a while now! Thanks.

Emily

What a beautiful home these two have created! And, Bonnie, beautiful images as always.

Beaula

Love this! Young and modern and fresh! Love the lack of clutter! There’s a few ideas I’m going to copy!

Tamar

Gorgeous! That metallic (garden?) stool next to side table in the living room is my new soulmate. Where did you get that from?

Mark

I love the idea of a Gig Poster (Feist) above the toilet. I have an old Amy Winehouse one that gets lots of compliments. Great article. This space looks amazing.

Sam

Beautiful home. I love the combination of vintage and modern with a vintage feel. Everything looks really crisp but homey. well done.

Beaula

Sorry to comment again- could you tell me the paint color in the living room?

Collier

So cute to see the little pink and red flowers on the nightstand. Those were from a Kate Spade launch back in the fall. I have several in my home, too! :)

Christine

I am such a nerd; the first thing I noticed about your bathroom was that you’re out of toilet paper! Ha! Great use of space in this place.

Anja

the bed and nightstand are just beautiful. Especially those chevron patterns on the pillows and that little bowl.

Wurst

The tick tock of the bedside wallclock would drive me crazy.

casey

this is my FAVORITE sneak peak yet. i love everything about her design style. so many fresh ideas & so absolutely perfect! thanks for sharing!!!

Elina

Love the modern yet comfy vibe and the color scheme, and would love to know where the dog bed is from.

Eric

That metallic side table looks rad next to your leather couch. Where did you find it?

Erin

Hi all – thanks so much for the kind comments – a few more sources for you! The dogbed is by Fleabag beds – I adore their fabric choices and both our lab and frenchie love the bed. The metallic stool is by Roost. I got it at the defunct Velocity Art and Design (tear!) but you can get Roost a lot of places! The coffee table was the ultimate Alameda Flea market score – travertine top for $100! I wish I knew the living room paint color – we were lucky enough that the accent wall was already painted. We picked Benjamin Moore 01 White to cover the wall that was Giants orange from end to end when we moved in!

Sophia Carter

what brand is the couch in the second photo?

eva

You have a gorgeous home. Would have loved to see a floorplan because I too live in a very small place.

Andrea

Hi there. Love your apartment. You can tell its a serene place to come home to. Was wondering where you got your 5-ft high industrial shelving from? Looking for something similar. Thanks!

Andrea

Hi there. Love your apartment. You can tell its a serene place to come home to. Was wondering where you got your 15-ft high industrial shelving from? Looking for something similar. Thanks!

shalini

A lovely home. It just relaxes you immediately. Loved the fabrics…the rugs, cushions, bed spreads.

Chris

If you’re talking about the tall shelf in the corner it’s from HD Buttercup — It’s actually about 10 feet tall.

Helen

Your bathroom is perfect in every way! Can you please tell me where you got the red wire basket? I can only seem to find silver/gray ones. Thanks!

harryden

Everything is looking so beautiful, i would say, actually i am little jealous from you that why i am not having house like you had, you have perfectly managed the house in small space. but the managing has been superb.

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Nancy

I’d love to know the manufacturer of that fabulous caramel leather sofa in the first picture. Any ideas who made it? Thanks!

joan hanson

Which trellis rug did you use in the livingroom. Have two camel colored couches and would like to change to a brighter rug in the summer but cannot figure out which one you bought. Love your decorating, clean and fresh and interesting.

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