After years of small-space living in San Francisco, designer duo — and recent newlyweds who shared their celebration in Alabama, where they hail from — Savannah and Sean Metcalf were itching for more space. “As you may or may not know,” Savannah begins, “it’s hard to find breathing room in the city.” Just as the couple’s shared passion for art and design brought them together, it’s also exactly what drew them to sign on this loft space in Oakland, CA — which happened to be the first and only apartment they toured. “We just knew it was the one!” Savannah explains, “It was undergoing a fresh kitchen and bathroom renovation, and it had the high ceilings and concrete floors that we were looking for.”
Both Sean and Savannah are creative freelancers who work from home — Sean spends his time on branding, illustration and web design projects, and Savannah is a designer for Homepolish where she specializes in interior design on commercial and residential projects — so striking a balanced, work-live atmosphere was important to them both. “We sought to create a space suitable for three main functions,” Savannah says, “we needed an inspirational and clutter-free environment for working, a comfortable space for just hanging out and relaxing as a couple, and enough space and seating to entertain all of our friends.” On top of establishing and delineating specific “rooms,” one of the first things the couple did when they took possession was establish a headphones-at-night policy. “I am so thankful for headphones,” Savannah laughs, “Noise seriously echos throughout our space and headphones have prevented an argument on many occasions if one of us is working late while the other sleeps.”
Career-related fine-tuning of their space aside, the age and history of the building — which was once a Wonderbread factory — caused some snags in their design plans. The massive, old heater in the corner was a hurdle, but painting the walls adjacent to it the same color, in this case, a stark black using Benjamin Moore’s Black Panther, solved this design dilemma. A trickier issue involves their closet and storage space, or lack thereof: “We only have one tiny closet in our entire space, and it’s located under the stairs!” Savannah says, which is only large enough to house their vacuum cleaner. The solution for this was including two credenzas on the lower level, and choosing furniture items that offer storage, such as their coffee table (which acts as a miniature linen closet).
All in all, their spacious 2-story loft took an impressive six months to put together. “I really worked hard (with some help along the way) to create a space that was a reflection of both Sean and myself,” Savannah says, which was made easier due to the fact that the couple has similar style preferences. “We made every single decision together and really put a lot of thought and heart into our home. It was probably our best team effort!” Savannah was also very fortunate to work with a few of her favorite vendors and generous sponsors: Design Within Reach, Interior Define, Bend Goods, Herman Miller, Brooklinen, Unison Home and Minted.
“We also have a pretty eclectic style,” she explains, “we love vintage pieces with some history behind them, but we also love modern design.” With the help of many hands, the couple’s space strikes a perfect balance between streamlined and contemporary, while still boasting plenty of personality. “We are so thankful to have the opportunity to live in a space like this,” Savannah says. “As designers, we only dreamed of owning beautiful furniture like ours for quite some time and we feel truly blessed… Sean and I are very happy and feel at home here, and I think that’s what counts!” To top it all off, in the spirit of sharing and gratitude, Sean and Savannah are introducing a new member to their clan on January 1st, 2016: a rescue Golden Irish puppy. What better way to extend the celebration of their new family and home than with oodles of puppy cuddles! –Sabrina