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Interiors

A Restful & Collected San Francisco Space

by Lauren Chorpening Day

Some homes are simply beautiful and some are primarily personal. Homes that are organically both of those things draw me in. These spaces become more about the people – not just trends – and form a unique perspective of what home is and what it serves. For Esmé and Chris, their goals to have a low-maintenance, inspiring and soothing space have created an inviting home.

Esmé Weijun Wang, author and entrepreneur, and Chris Fleitas, guidance counselor and quiz bowl coach, bought their home in San Francisco, CA after Chris became a two-time champion on Jeopardy! and while real estate prices were still low from the recession. “We wanted a cozy, comfortable space that kept to our love of vintage things, and that we didn’t have to be too precious about. I’d received quite a bit of advice about not buying all the furniture at once, so that happened slowly — a piece here, a piece there. We had quite a bit of empty space for a while. In terms of decorations and knick-knacks, I’ve collected bits and bobs over time, so those found homes around the place rather quickly. I like nesting, and I’m not a minimalist.” The couple’s home is layered with personal artwork, thrifted items and pieces that feel like the two of them — and the pink walls in the dining room, bathroom and kitchen are a dream.

Making their home restful and inspiring were top priorities. Esmé needed a place to work and write, but she also needed a space to stay well and retreat. “I love that it’s a soft place to land. Ever since I became sick three years ago (I was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease early this year) both Chris and I have spent more time at home. Many weeks, I don’t leave the house at all unless it’s to go to the doctor or to the corner market, and so it’s really important to me that our home be comfortable.” Esmé and Chris have allowed their home to care for them, and the results are lovely. —Lauren

 

A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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"The kitchen is nicknamed 'the New Orleans room' because this is where we keep most of our New Orleans-related art. Most of them were either purchased in New Orleans, brought back from Chris’ grandparents’ home, or gifted to us by my in-laws," says Esmé. "This Wedgwood stove came with the house, and we absolutely adore it."
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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Chris and Esmé's farmhouse table, pink walls and built-in hutch make their dining room a stunner.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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"The sofa is from West Elm, while the easy chair is from a local vendor that we came across at the Alameda Flea Market. Daphne loves that easy chair," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
4/17
"We love to collect little bits and bobs for the mantel. The family crest was custom-ordered from an Etsy artist whom neither of us can still remember; I had it painted in order to reflect the nicknames we have for one another, our wedding colors, our respective states of origin, etc.," says Esmé. "The card propped up against the faux hydrangeas is from then-President Clinton to Chris’ grandparents for their 50th wedding anniversary. Apparently, this is a thing that the government did — neither Chris nor I know whether they still do it."
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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What makes their home especially lovely are the layers of found and loved items. "I like nesting, and I'm not a minimalist. I'm more the type who stops at a garage sale and brings home a bag of old junk that I assume I'll find a place for," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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"I dream of having a bathroom big enough for a claw-foot tub. Who knows if this will ever happen, though! Some day, if we save up enough to renovate, then maybe. But it's not a high priority," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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"This place was the first home we'd lived in where we actually committed to a bed frame," says Esmé. "We were always sleeping on mattresses before that, because Chris didn't want to commit to major furniture investments unless we knew we were going to stick around somewhere. So moving into this flat was our first experience with investing in furniture that wasn't 100% from IKEA or handed down from relatives and friends."
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
8/17
"Our bedroom is dominated by the queen-sized bed, which lies parallel to a bay window and a vintage sofa. The letterman jacket at left is Chris' from high school, while the dried rose taped above the bed is from a beloved grandfather's funeral," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
9/17
"I used to be a fashion blogger, and quite dedicated to seeking out sartorial gems. These three are clothes that I might wear occasionally, but are, in the meantime, decor," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
10/17
"Because of chronic illness, I end up spending a lot of time in bed. It’s useful to have the guest room double as the studio," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
11/17
Chris surprised Esmé with this secretary desk for their studio space.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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"The little altar space I have in the studio. I try to sit here and meditate in the morning," says Esmé.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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Esmé's first published novel, "The Border of Paradise," comes out next year. Her studio space is where she spends her time creating and writing.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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The clusters of beautiful pieces throughout the space make their home inspiring and whimsical.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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Chris and Esmé with their dog, Daphne.
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
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What I love most about my home is...
A Restful & Collected San Fransisco Space | Design*Sponge
17/17
Chris and Esmé's floorplan.

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Comments

  • Love the pink walls and the stove and the desk, and the altar…Lauren, you’ve described Esme and Chris’ home well, personal and simply beautiful.

  • Such a beautiful home! I love it when people decorate their house in a style that is personal to them. I really dislike it when people decorate their home like a hotel, just to impress other people! A home should feel comfortable and this house looks exactly that.

    Loving the peach tiles in the bathroom and matching floral shower curtain. So lovely!

    Emma Jayne x

  • I love the soft colors! It’s very peaceful and restful. The tile in the kitchen and bathroom is exactly like the tile in an old Victorian house I used to rent 15 years ago or so- different colors, but very similar!

  • Such a beautiful home! I love it when people decorate their house in a style that is personal to them. I really dislike it when people decorate their home like a hotel, just to impress other people! A home should feel comfortable and this house looks exactly that.

  • I really like how they have kept the original details in the house and haven’t renovated the heck out of it. It is warm and homey. I hope it does care for them and keep them well.

  • I really want to know more about the ribbon/tape systems that pop up in a few pictures. I assume they are homemade? Sadly, I can’t find anything like them online, but they look super practical.

  • “…bought their home in San Francisco, CA after Chris became a two-time champion on Jeopardy!…” That is so awesome! I adore your pink kitchen walls, and how soft the space is overall.

  • A beautifully personal home. Original. Good thoughts to you on your wellness. Congratulations on your forthcoming novel.

  • Love seeing a house that looks lived in!! So many blog features showcase homes that look suspiciously pristine.

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