Touches of Color Help this San Francisco Home Sing

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Lately I’ve been digging spaces decorated with hues that aren’t in-your-face, but aren’t totally passive either. Go all-in on white, and your home can feel stark and lifeless. Bring in too much color, and your abode can start to feel campy and cramped. It’s a finicky balance to achieve, but Leslie Santarina and her husband Kris have clearly found it. Their San Francisco, CA apartment’s subtle shifts from grey, to white, to brown and green all make for a colorful — yet calming — home.

These color choices weren’t an accident. The 500-square-foot space is on the smaller side, so Leslie, the Founder of Spotted SF, knew incorporating bold and brazen tones would only make the home feel cluttered and even smaller than it is. You’ll notice the living area feels open and airy, thanks to another less-is-more touch. She’s kept the windows free from curtains, making her quaint home feel larger. While light is in excess throughout the Victorian apartment, storage isn’t all that plentiful. Have no fear, Kris is here! Working as an IT Manager has given him an extensive knowledge of all things digital. His ability to streamline routers and cords and keep unsightly necessities hidden away in the home’s cabinetry has done wonders for keeping the tiny home organized.

Not all of Leslie and Kris’ belongings can be stored away, though, nor would they want them to be. Displaying the many vases and vessels they’ve collected on worldly travels is the couple’s way of adding their personal touch to the apartment. In order to decorate, but not overwhelm the space, the pair only sets out collectibles that are in similar color families. The result is an easy-on-the-eyes and layered look they love.

With all of life’s must-haves cleanly displayed or out of sight, the family has been able to focus on the fun part of their home: entertaining! The apartment’s smaller size and open floor plan actually makes it perfect for hosting dinner parties and get-togethers. The kitchen’s adjacency to the living room keeps everyone in one spot, conversing without interruption. Plus, serving food and drinks is easy when it’s a mere five steps from the sofa to the countertop. I’d happily pop over for a dinner party in this pretty space. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Leslie Santarina

  1. swati says:

    That ceramics collection! Beautiful!

  2. Tristan says:

    Such a cute apartment! Can I ask where the coffee table was sourced?

    1. Leslie says:

      Thanks! It was one of the found objects at Anthropologie. You can buy almost all the furnishings and fixtures that are used for display.

  3. Clare says:

    Like a good San Franciscan, I feel obliged to make some kind of vaguely ominous comment about the danger of having objets d’art on a shelf above the bed. Please tell there’s at least a little museum putty holding them in place ;)

    Also: an impressive collection of Heath bud vases! Those things are pretty addictive, but I’m holding it at one for as long as possible.

    1. Leslie says:

      Hahaha!! I have display putty on order as we speak. We haven’t had an earthquake in a long while, but I’m getting ready just in case. And yes, LOVE everything Heath.

  4. The light in that unit is amazing, what a cute space!

  5. fnbahasbo says:

    inspiring! love the light and green you bring inside the house

  6. Amira says:

    Beautiful, Leslie! :) <3

    1. Leslie says:

      Thanks sweet Amira! Your pillow is everything!! Hope to see you again soon.

  7. Ainee Beland says:

    Your home is lovely and thank you for sharing. San Francisco is ideal place to live; fortune you are.

    1. Leslie says:

      It’s a wonderful place to live. I dream of other places, but SF is one I love coming home to. And thank you!

  8. Chloë says:

    Great place, its lovely and has a lot of personality.
    Love, Chloë


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