A Warm SF Home with a Rock ‘n Roll Twist


Sally Clark is the Culture and Communication Lead at the innovation and design consultancy IDEO . She also moonlights as a yoga teacher, and runs her own interior styling business, SallyMcb. Her husband, Charlie, brokers commercial real estate loans by day and writes screenplays by night. When it came to decorating their Noe Valley, San Francisco home, they didn’t set out with a particular aesthetic in mind. Instead, Sally wanted to create a space that feels reflective of both of their personalities, and is a nice balance of inspiration and relaxation, filled with things they love. Interesting things happen when you mix high and low off the shelf items with meaningful heirlooms, and the result is what Sally describes as an eclectic blend of earthy sophistication with a rock ‘n roll twist. Many thanks to Sally and Charlie, and their friends Christine Hendrickson and Pontus Wahlgren for helping with the photos! –Anne

Image above: The orange Asian lacquered tables are from the Alameda flea market, the chevron throw blanket was knit by my grandmother, and the rug is from Pak Oriental Rugs in San Francisco. The Room and Board sofa folds out into the most comfy bed for guests. Willie makes several appearances throughout our house, most often on the turntable! The paint is Farrow and Ball Cornforth White. The gallery wall includes some of my own paintings, family portraits, and other fun pieces rummaged from estate sales and flea markets. I hope to grow the collection to cover the entire wall.

Image above: The bar cart was a steal from Alameda Flea Market and the paint is Farrow and Ball Down Pipe. Their paint is absolutely worth the investment!



Click for more inside Sally and Charlie’s Noe Valley home after the jump!


Image above: We love hosting and cooking for friends. My parents bought the Henredon dining table in 1975; it served many family Thanksgivings when I was growing up in Houston and I love how timeless it is. It pretty much dictates where I can live these days; some people come with pets, I come with this table. The mirror is from Stuff in San Francisco, the aubergine textile is from a trip to Argentina, and the church pew is antique.

Image above: I believe each space needs some textures of earth and a combination of the elements. It’s like bringing nature inside. The living room has sheepskin and cowhide rugs, a tree stump side table from West Elm, and a nod to water through glass and mirrors. Oh, and every room needs a little metallic fire!

Our sofa really drove the design of this room. My parents purchased it in 1970 from Erwin-Lambeth; the cut velvet flame stitch fabric from Old World Weavers is original. It is the absolute best for taking naps–it fits two comfortably. Having known it my whole life, I accepted it begrudgingly during the move from Austin to San Francisco. Only recently have I come to appreciate its beauty and style and now I never want to get rid of it. The poppy swivel chair is from Room & Board, the Wegner style bench was an Alameda flea market find, and the cowhide is from our trip to Argentina. We’re waiting for the perfect piece of art to hang over the sofa (taking suggestions!!). 

Image above: This side table is from World Market, the lamp is from Target, and the abalone shell was a gift from my mom. I love the way it mimics the flame stitch on the sofa.

Image above: This chest is another family heirloom and the lamp is from West Elm. The poster is a limited edition by artist Chris Ware, a birthday gift for Charlie, a film lover to the bone who has a big crush on this movie. The glass bowl is full of perfectly preserved sand dollars collected during a walk on Ocean Beach.


Image above: The mirror was a wedding gift from my mom and was hand beveled by a third generation Czech glass cutter in Houston. We painted the interior of the bookshelves black so the contents would pop.

Image above: I love the red ceramic bull, an Alameda flea market find. Charlie is a Taurus so it jumped out at me.

Image above: We’re both music lovers and many a weekend evening ends with a vinyl listening/dance party. The vintage lucite lamp is one of my favorite accessories in the house and is from Stuff in San Francisco. Another favorite pastime is visiting estate sales. You can learn so much about people just from the things they collect, and Charlie gets great inspiration for characters in his scripts. We bought several carousels of old slides at a recent estate sale and found this gem of a photograph in the bunch. I think the moment has a very Wes Anderson vibe to it. What’s going on in that guy’s head!? The chest belonged to Charlie’s late screenwriting mentor.

Image above: The elephant plant stand is from an estate sale and brings good luck as Charlie works on scripts in the office. The mirror is from Alameda flea market and the wallpaper is Cole and Sons.

Image above: The Baker desk and pharmacy lamp were flea market finds, the chair is from TJ Maxx, and the crewel embroidered pillow was made by my namesake, Sally. The shelving is from CB2 and holds Charlie’s various old film cameras. The paint is Farrow and Ball’s Studio Green.

Image above: We use this bonus space as a giant creativity bin to store our instruments, art supplies, and music recording equipment. My grandmother recently gave me a bunch of her old paint brushes and table easel and I feel very honored to have them. The paint is Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor.

Image above: I think we spend 80% of our time in the kitchen (perhaps a dishwasher would reduce that amount!). We love entertaining and sharing recipes with family. The neon Sosa sign was a surprise gift for Charlie from my mom and stepdad on our wedding day in Big Sur. When the sun set, the sign lit up behind the bar. The barstools are Crate and Barrel.


Image above: The oil painting at the top is of my mother. It was made for her when she won the Miss Winston-Salem pageant in 1965. I feel like she watches over those who come and go, like a mother should!

Image above: Our bedroom is tiny and feels like a real sanctuary. The rug is from Pak Oriental Rugs, the mirror from an estate sale, and the horse oil paintings and campaign chair all Alameda flea market finds. Paint is Farrow and Ball Railings. Don’t believe anyone who says small rooms shouldn’t be dark. It gives them character!

Image above: There is only one tiny closet in the bedroom but there is an odd space that sits off the bedroom which we turned into a walk-in dressing room. This vanity is from the 1940s updated with Anthropologie knobs, the rug is from Overstock.com, and the vintage pink suitcase is from Alameda flea market (it gets tons of use!). This room was the first to be fully decorated in the house––you can see where priorities lie.

Image above: We picked up the branding iron at an antique store outside of Austin. We were driving to Houston for the holidays and stopped into a tiny roadside town for lunch. Those places have the most exciting rummage opportunities at amazing prices. The curtains are IKEA and the art all randomly collected at estate sales and flea markets. As a yogi, this elephant reminds me of Ganesha, revered as the remover of obstacles and god of beginnings. I like to think he sets us on the right path for each day.

Image above:  I grew up with the antique brass bed and gave it new life with a glossy black paint job from an auto body shop. The wool blanket is a Pendleton and Dwell Studio collaboration, and the bedding is from Coyuchi. The wood art over the bed is from Argentina. I love the earthy meets glam feel of this room.



  1. boskybelle says:

    What a fun and soul filled space. I love the warmth brought in by the “textures of earth”.

  2. Anni says:

    Such a beautiful home… I love the richness of the colors.

  3. lauren says:

    the parachuter slide really is stupendous. i adore how sally goes the extra mile with her inherited pieces (the auto-body-shop paint on the bed!) and estate-sale / flea-market finds. o, for a wormhole from the lower east side to alameda!

  4. Carol cobb says:

    Thats My Gal Sal!!

  5. Maggie says:

    Daring and refined, original and accessible – a beautiful, personal home! Love it all!

  6. Rinna says:

    It’s beautiful, and wow, you work at IDEO as well, my dream innovation agency.

  7. Eva says:

    That sofa is amazing. A-ma-zing. Also love the dark walls. I love the contemporary pastel trend but oh, the moody shades are like sirens to me, seducing. Talking about a dilemma! Anyhow, I also found out that painting the bookshelves black is super if you like color. But it could also work well with contents of wood, copper and bone white of course :)
    And thanks for the heads up on F&B paint. Just what I needed!

  8. rebecca m. says:

    Your home is beautiful!

  9. Jerry Feldman says:

    I would walk into your apartment and know it was yours even if you didn’t tell me! How wonderful to have a space that so very much reflects your lives, your loves, and your heritage!

  10. firehorse jane says:

    I like how you have manage to decorate around the the dark walls here; they don’t end up making the rooms feel too heavy, as can sometimes be the case. Cute little console table, in the hallway or entry – l love the rug, light and prints that you’ve paired with it. Also love the “woods” wallpaper, which is, by now, a decor classic.

  11. Dianne Sosa says:

    This is so beautiful. You and Charlie have captured the essence of who you are together in this magnificent space you call home. I absolutely love it!

  12. Minnie and Jerry Bowden says:

    Sally McBride Clark Sosa, Absolutely fabulous!!! How exciting for you and Charlie that you build this to match your tastes and personalities. You are a genius!

  13. CeCe says:

    Thanks for sharing your home! It is so unique and you. Things I would never have thought to put together look great and fun. This describes who you are.

  14. Lindsay Jean says:

    I love their aesthetic. What a warm and loving space! I can see many happy dinner parties (and some late night dancing!) happening here.

  15. Geri says:

    Beautiful and well balanced. Love it!

  16. Jen Leonard says:

    The baaaaayest! Love you both xx

  17. Lourdes Belart says:

    The space is delightful! Just as creative. warm, colourful and beautiful as you are!

  18. Diana Clark says:

    What fun you must have had tapping into your creative juices making the SOSA abode so inviting and yet so “YOU & CHARLIE”! I never would have thought that putting all of your heirlooms together could be so beautiful. It is definitely your signature design.
    You never stop to amaze me.

  19. Lisa-Marie says:

    Literally my idea of the perfect home. Except it would be in Glasgow, Scotland.

  20. Dana says:

    That exact red elephant is in my mother’s house, and has moved from room to room since the 60s . I’ve never seen one anywhere else.
    Great home! I love all the little touches.

  21. The Room Illuminated says:

    I’m loving that wall colour!

  22. Greg says:

    Any chance I can move in?

  23. Diana Parks says:

    Looks amazing Sally and Charlie!! I like your styllllle (said in a Southern accent) xoxo Diana P.

  24. Naomi says:

    Sally, you have an amazing eye and talent. Such eclectic yet warm and inviting tastes you manage to weave together so seamlessly. Beautiful.

  25. Sarah & Naomi says:

    What an eclectic and beautifully decorated dwelling! We can’t wait to see it in 3D the next time we are in SF!

  26. Jeremy says:

    Beautiful home that two wonderful people have created. I had a an amazing time in San Fran and the highlight was staying with this great couple. They opened their home to me and it showed what kind and trusting people there are in the world. I hope to see you both again one day soon x

  27. Ahmed says:

    Wow, you’re brave, and knowledgeable, with color layering. GREAT taste throughout. Above the sofa you could have an Afghani suzani. Or a very plain and modern painting.

  28. Elizabeth W says:

    This home just has a wonderful excitement to it! It would be impossible to wake up and be in a bad mood here! Beautiful home!

  29. Daniel says:

    What I love most about your house is “The Boy with the Arab Strap”.

  30. Camille Morris says:

    I looked at the portrait of your mom, noticing the resemblance to Jackie Kennedy..I live in Winston-Salem, so was surprised by the info under the photo! Love your use of color and accessories within your home. Might I suggest a large vibrant abstract that utilizes some metallic paint, over your sofa.

  31. Sally says:

    Thank you all so much!
    And Camille – what a coincidence! W-S is my birth city and has a special place in my heart as I spent many summers and holidays there with grandparents. (And I was thinking the same on the painting.. eyes are peeled!)

  32. nice technique to design home.

  33. awsome craetivity of homes love to see this kind of homes

  34. Paula says:

    I can’t make out the name of the movie in the Chris Ware poster, and I don’t recognize it. It’s driving me craaaaaaaazy.

    What is it?

    Love the colors in your place. When I next repaint my walls I want to be as bold as you!

  35. Paula says:

    Never mind! I googled and found it.

    Now I need to watch that movie.

  36. Courtney says:

    Gorgeous! What is the paint color in your room? It’s amazingly rich.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.