Interiorssneak peeks

An Inherited Home Reimagined in San Francisco

by Lauren Chorpening

My apartment building turned 100 this year. I love daydreaming about the people who lived in it when it was new – what they were wearing, what they were thinking, how their daily routines went. It feels like an honor to live where I do, and to protect the apartment for the people that will live in it after me. When Audrey’s grandparents passed their home onto Audrey and Karl, the space entered a new era.

Audrey Bodisco, artist and stay-at-home mother, and Karl Aguilar met while working at a small independent hardware store, called Papenhausen Hardware, in their neighborhood. When Audrey suffered a significant back injury, they started thinking more seriously about starting a family and having her stay home. Starting a family with San Francisco’s housing market seemed undoable until Audrey inherited her grandparents’ 1920s Marina-style home in their favorite neighborhood, The Parkside District. When they got everything cleared out from the house, it became more apparent that there was work to be done. The stove and refrigerator did not work, the plumbing and electrical were out of date, and dry rot had taken over the windows. Karl took two months off work to tackle the projects as much as possible.

Audrey and Karl had a blank slate after renovating rooms throughout the house, and they have decorated it simply and stunningly. “The biggest challenge was filling a whole home when we came from a one-bedroom apartment with practically no furniture. We never have had a lot of stuff. All of a sudden, the house felt very big and very empty,” Audrey says. “We slowly accumulated furniture with a lot of thought as to how it would work with our aesthetic. We try to fill our home with both beautiful and functional items, opting for handmade or secondhand whenever possible. Now that we have a child, we also want it to be child-friendly while keeping with our design philosophy.” The home’s legacy now includes Audrey and Karl’s work to beautifully update and restore it with care. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of [my] grandparents and hope to pay it forward to our own son.” –Lauren

Photography by Maria Del Rio

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Mid-century, modern, craftsman and global styles combine in Audrey and Karl's sublime living room.
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"The living room has a large bay window overlooking our street. It was a challenging room to lay out because there is not one single wall that isn’t covered in windows, doorways or a fireplace with built-in shelving on both sides. It forced me to push all the furniture to the center of the room, creating a conversational area," Audrey says.
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"The two benches in our entryway are handmade in SF. The one with the hairpin legs was made by my husband with a piece of teak wood we scored from Building Resources in the Bayview," Audrey says.
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"A massive, gas-converted fireplace with built-ins lines the far wall. Sometimes, I love it, and sometimes I just want to rip it out and put in something less fussy," Audrey says. "I try to keep it visually calm by filling it with similarly-colored ceramics and books."
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Audrey and Karl's 8-month-old son, River, has toys stored in plain sight in this basket from African Market Baskets. "It's a great company that gives back a portion of the sales to the villages that weave them. I brought this line into the hardware store and they are a pleasure to work with," Audrey says.
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The living room flows into the dining room with a large entryway. The main living space feels incredibly open for being an older home.
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Audrey and Karl's dining room was kept modern and simple with a Room&Board table and vintage Herman Miller chairs. The oversized pendant light brings the perfect amount of personality to the room.
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The credenza in the dining room was inherited from Audrey's grandparents. It used to be an old stereo. Karl rewired it with a modern sound system.
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"Our kitchen was actually two small rooms before our remodel: a working kitchen and a narrow dining area separated by a wall," Audrey says. Karl tore down the wall and created an open kitchen space.
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"The kitchen cabinets were lovingly restored from separate parts of the previous kitchen. We had to piece together the ones that were in the best shape. They were maple wood, but stained and damaged from years of wear and tear. With a lot of sanding, patching and painting, they look good as new," Audrey says.
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"When we tore down the wall separating the working half of the kitchen from the dining half, we now had wall space for the fridge, and an odd cut-out in a wall to deal with. There were no modern refrigerators that would fit into that space. We decided to make it a built-in shelving area, which helped because we had decided to opt out of upper cabinets and were lacking in storage."
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Audrey and Karl's kitchen is the best of the new, while still fitting in with the character of the home.
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The gorgeous light in the kitchen makes this the main dining area.
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"Two-flush Toto toilet is water-efficient (an important part of our remodel was to use eco-friendly options). White hex tiles were a nod to a style found in so many San Franciscan apartments from our past," Audrey says.
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Audrey and Karl's bedroom is serene with incredible light and a muted palette. The printed pillows and artwork above the couple's bed brings their personality into the space.
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"This long dresser posed a serious challenge for us to get down our tight hallway and into our room," Audrey says. "I had measured it to fit our space, but hadn’t considered getting it in there. Vintage Don Freedman weaving found for $40 on Etsy! Some people just don’t know what they are selling. I almost felt guilty buying it for that price. Almost."
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"Boob pillowcase by Gravel & Gold. Ceramic wall-hanging by Heather Levine. I’ve started a collection of her wall-hangings and now have four of them throughout our home," Audrey says.
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"I wanted the nursery to be cohesive with the rest of the house. The brown and white color palette was one way I think I achieved that. I also adhered to the idea that I didn’t want anything in his room that I wouldn’t want in any other part of the house."
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20/22
River's changing table fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the rest of the home.
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"Now that our son is born and she's at home, Audrey has been putting more time into her other passions: art and design. Karl continues to manage the hardware store, but the two of us hope to return to working together soon. We really miss the constant companionship of each other and feel we make a really good team at everything we do," Audrey and Karl say.
An Inherited Home Reimagined in San Francisco | Design*Sponge
22/22
What we love most about our home is...

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Comments

  • It’s always such a pleasure to get a peak into Audrey and Karl’s beautiful home. The pottery, plants, and textiles are a dream.

  • I love your home! What a beautiful job you have done with it. Maybe I lived there once? San Francisco has called me to her so many times and I feel like I’ve come home whenever I visit. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Audrey’s Instagram feed is a favorite – I love the images she posts of this home, it always feels so serene to me. What a treat to see the home in its entirety this morning – so lovely.

    • I’ll dig out all the paint colors this week, but I know that we used a color match of Kelly Moore’s “Swiss Coffee” for the walls in the Living Room, Dining Room, Den, and hallways.

  • Probably one of my favorite spaces you’ve featured. I love everything about it! This couple did a wonderful job curating their space!

  • Audrey, your home is one of my favorites – I follow you on Instagram and love your “morning moments” and seriously drool over everything in your home. It’s so thoughtfully put together and is minimalist while still being lively and colorful – a hard balance to accomplish! It was so lovely seeing your home photographed in full.

    • Wow, that is so sweet of you to say!
      I honestly didn’t know what I was doing when I first started decorating our home. I just let the space guide me.
      I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and glad you are too.
      And thank you for tolerating my copious photos of it on Instagram!

  • I live in an old home (over 100) here in Cleveland…finding the right white for my walls has been tricky…our woodwork is very comparable to yours…help me…white paint color on walls is???

    • It can be so challenging to work with that trim, right? I’ve been tempted to paint it white more than once!
      The front of our home (living & dining rooms) is a white paint by Kelly Moore called Swiss Coffee.
      I hope you find the right color for you and enjoy decorating your home!

  • Probably my favorite house tour ever. I struggle with incorporating my global textiles and art in my home while keeping a minimalist vibe, and this not only shows me it can be done, but has given me a million ideas.

  • Beautiful, but every san francisco native knows those shelves wouldn’t stand a chance in an earthquake! I’m born and raised in SF and we don’t store glass containers higher than head level!!

  • Gorrrrgeous! I live in a 100 year old Craftsman home in Portland with wood trim and moldings very similar to yours. I love seeing how airy and light your home is because I feel like all the wood makes our home feel so heavy. You make me want to strip mine and lighten it but that would be a huge project…..

    Also – where on earth did you get that rug?? I want one that size/design..

  • This house is one of goodies – my favorite ever I think. Peaceful, calm, beautiful light, character, the living room windows (and even the living room fireplace and shelving!)… Thank you for showing it on DS.

  • I love your home. You have captured something special with the simplicity and style of your design. Where is the bed platform from? Thanks for sharing your lovely space

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