Interiorssneak peeks

A One Bedroom Apartment that is home to a Business, a Couple and a Dog

by Amy Azzarito

Thomas and Nicole Colbert share this one bedroom apartment in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood with their little Schnauzer mix, Rufus. They also managed to squeeze in work space for Connected, their online shop featuring handmade, Fair Trade goods. They started Connected in the hopes of pointing consumers away from mass production, and towards skilled artisan craftsmanship. They believe in slow, thoughtful shopping and gifts with stories behind them. All of their products are handmade by artisans utilizing their traditional techniques as a means to develop their communities and achieve economic independence. Things here are personal. They do everything themselves and both have other full time jobs. When they first moved in to the apartment, they had not yet started their business and the size of the space seemed perfect, but now with the increasing success of  Connected, they are  now bursting at the seams but their love for San Francisco and the neighborhood has kept them here. Their home is filled with thrift finds, music gear, family pieces, products they carry and and items that have special meaning. They don’t worry too much about the style of any one piece, if they like it, they try to make it work. Thanks, Thomas and Nicole (and Rufus!) –Amy

Image above: This is the Ikea Rast dresser that we painted and put some hardware on. The woven storage baskets are items we carry. We love these and they are everywhere throughout our small flat for storage and organization which is key for us. The lamp was a vintage find and that’s my wedding dress hanging on the wall – it’s just too pretty to be put away.

Image above: The trunk was a vintage gift from my mom. I’ve been lugging it throughout my numerous moves the past 10 years in San Francisco, and all they way back from my native state, Montana. The couch was a thrift find; the rug is from West Elm; the print is from Matt Wisniewski; and the pillow is one that we carry.


See all the photos of Thomas & Nicole’s San Francisco home after the jump!

Image above: The wooden rocker was my parents. When I was little I flipped it over onto myself and knocked out a tooth, which gave me the bargaining rights to claim it over my sister. My dad put the leather seat on it and got it on a Greyhound bus out to me. I snagged the horn from my mom’s antique store, the mirror was a Craigslist find, and the chandelier is from HD Buttercup. The fireplace is one of our favorite features in the flat. Here in SF we have weather that allows for fires all year round!

Image above:  Thomas has a passion for music. If it were possible, he’d have an entire stage worth of musical gear scattered throughout. Our space is small so the only option for the guitars was to go up vertical on the walls.


Image above: The leather wing-back chair and Victrola cabinet were vintage finds. The photo is of my mom and the painting is from Creativity Explored, a great organization that provides artists with developmental disabilities the means to create, exhibit, and sell their art. I bought the pair of paintings shortly after my mom passed away from cancer as they reminded me of my bleeding heart.

Image above: We added this table to our living room for a small dining space. The kitchen transitioned to a shared office space when we started our business and we got tired of eating meals on the couch. The piano stools were a score from the Alameda Flea Market (one of our favorite monthly outings) and the rug from Anthropologie helps define the dining area.

Image above: We use an Ikea shelving unit to store our Kantha throws. It also houses a key tray, sunglasses and a pair of lamps. So many pieces of our furniture have to be multipurpose in order for us to pull off what we do in this small space.

Image above: Our expansive work space. We got this.


Image above: We layer one of our Kantha Quilts under a down comforter in the winter for extra warmth, and we  use the quilt by itself during the warmer months. We love the beautiful colors and timeless craftsmanship.


Image above: The dresser was a Craigslist find. It had all of the pulls when we got it, but I guess Thomas’ muscles are bigger than he realizes and they keep popping off. The prints are from local artist, Charmaine Olivia – we love her work and were lucky enough to have her model for one of our shoots.


Image above: This is our best friend, Rufus. He brings us more joy than we could ever express. We rescued him 5 years ago and encourage anyone thinking of getting a furry companion to consider rescuing.

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