Quantcast

Interiorssneak peeks

A Clothing Designer and Illustrator’s Industrial Loft in San Francisco

by Sabrina Smelko

For most, what you do dictates not just what’s in your bank account, but it can influence who you are and how you live. For Lily Harris, her profession did more than impact where and how she lives, it spawned a dream that she’s now seeing through in her downtime — one that follows her while she’s relaxing on her sofa, and one that finds its was into her closest relationships.

Located in sunny San Francisco, CA, this industrial live/work loft is home to Lily, her boyfriend Llew Mejia and their Cornish Rex cat, Maybe. By day, Lily designs children’s clothing for Old Navy and by night, she designs sophisticated handmade-to-order womenswear through Lily Stan Studio. Llew is a textile designer and illustrator and together, the pair is more than just a happy couple; they are a creative and collaborative force that riff off each other on the daily, making their live/work loft apartment an ideal space for work and play.

Built in the early 2000’s, the couple made this their home two years ago after a very short search. Its resemblance to a gallery space — with all-white walls and a contrasting black industrial staircase — hit the mark, despite being in a less-than-desirable neighborhood. After shipping their furniture from Minnesota (where they lived prior), it quickly became clear that while the layout worked in theory, it didn’t work so well in practice. “After a few months, we realized that the way we had set up our space was not conducive to getting quality work done, so we sold all of our furniture in order to start fresh,” Lily explains. With two main goals — function and flaunting their personalities — they kept the walls white and layered in textures too add warmth: sheepskin rugs, large wood pieces, plants, artwork, and a massive comfy sofa that Lily refers to as “a bean bag chair for adults.” Although the space is perfect for how they live now, Lily admits, “I don’t think our space will ever be finalized. We both have ever-changing interests, so I don’t see our taste in objects or books staying the same forever.”

Since moving in, a lot has changed for Lily beyond her interior belongings. After launching her first collection last year, she received attention from global brands such as Refinery 29, Urban Outfitters, and W Magazine — and the momentum hasn’t slowed since. Just recently, she launched her second collection, which is meant to be layered and added atop her pieces from the first collection. “My work is really just me making what I want to wear,” she begins, “It does not come out every season like most fashion does because I do not find myself needing a wardrobe reboot every season. I prefer to have a collection of clothing that I can wear together, that layer nicely, and that I can continue adding to.”

Despite the perks of working from home, their situation does pose some challenges. “In living and working in the same space with Llew, it becomes hard to motivate ourselves to work as much as we did before we moved in together,” she shares. “Especially when we know that we could just hang out with each other all day, watch Netflix, and eat snacks in bed… It’s an ongoing challenge to get ourselves to work as much as we did before, but we’ll get there!” They also long for a backyard and outdoor space, wish they could renovate their bathroom to work better for them (it’s currently a large wheelchair accessible space from the previous owners), and are irked that they only have one closet and no laundry. But qualms aside, Lily and Llew are thankful to be living in California and to have a generous amount of space that they can enjoy, from mornings “at the office” to TV in bed at night. –Sabrina

Photography by Ashley Batz

A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
1/17
Their main floor is mostly taken up by the couple's respective work spaces. This is Llew's. "We built this table and painted it because we wanted something that we wouldn't mind getting dirty from Llew's painting," Lily explains. "We can always paint it with another black coat if need be!" Atop the table is a collection of beloved objects (mostly Llew's) and hanging on the wall above it are two pieces of artwork from their friend, Katie Stout.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
2/17
A close-up of Llew's work table with its myriad objects, drawings and sketchbooks. A swiveling wall sconce tucks away when it's not needed and acts as a spotlight at night when Llew needs more direct light.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
3/17
More tabletop goodies. Shown are a mix of Mexican Folk art (including a ceramic "Tree of Life" sculpture from where Llew is from originally), an antique African wooden cat, and a few mid-century antiques.
4/17
The view of their main floor work space from the second floor bedroom. Llew and Lily are pictured sitting at Llew's work desk.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
5/17
To the right of the desk is their living space which houses their books, plants and a sunny sofa. "I tend to lounge here with Maybe while Llew is busy working," Lily says.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
6/17
Llew, Lily and Maybe relaxing on the couch.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
7/17
Maybe assuming her position in her favorite spot. From here she can keep watch over the whole apartment.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
8/17
Stacks on stacks of books. "I always tell myself to stop buying them because moving with books is so difficult and heavy," Lily explains, "but we keep collecting them anyways."
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
9/17
Their loft's floor plan.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
10/17
In another corner of their main floor, tucked under the staircase, is Lily's work space and sewing area. "I always hang my new drawings on the walls," she says, "The bigger ones are new and made for props in my new lookbook coming out very soon!"
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
11/17
Lily working away at her sewing table. "I love my Juki sewing machine," she says. "Next to Katie Stout's artwork, it's my next favorite thing that I own." This is the hub of Lily Stan Studio where all pieces are created, along with clothing for Llew: "He tells me what he wants, I make a pattern for him, and sew him custom pieces!"
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
12/17
Displayed on the dress form is a beautiful Pale Pink Distressed Denim Top available for purchase from Lily Stan Studio.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
13/17
On her tabletop are jars of pins, thread, and sewing paraphernalia abound.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
14/17
To the right of her station is the bar area. "Llew is really good at making drinks!" Lily shares. The trunks were inherited from her mother, which were originally her great grandfather's. "What I love about them is the hand painted monogram on the side of the large trunk."
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
15/17
The couple's loft may be small, but there's still some room for organized clutter! "The clock was my grandpa's and the collection of blankets are vintage, knit by my grandma, and from the Faribault Wool Mills in Minnesota," Lily explains. "We keep them, but we don't use them nearly as much in California." Behind them is Lily's collection of rulers for pattern drafting.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
16/17
All you'll find upstairs is Lily and Llew's bedroom. Above their bed hangs an antique rug Llew found at the Alameda Flea market. Despite it not being a big space, they still managed to flaunt their personalities where they could, such as using a yellow and purple lightbulb in their wall sconces. "We went on vacation to Palm Springs and our hotel room had one regular bulb and one red bulb and we like the nostalgia of the ambiance!" At Lily's bedside to the right is all of her jewelry, perfume, and pillow spray along with a stuffed toast toy which was a gift from Llew from Japan Town in San Francisco. "As silly as it is, it is my favorite present from him," Lily says.
A Clothing Designer and Illustrator's Industrial Work/Live Loft in San Francisco, CA
17/17
A detail shot of Lily's bedside table, which houses sentimental framed artwork: "When Llew and I first starting hanging out, he would casually draw me things that I loved and I kept all of them," she explains. "Once we were officially dating and living together, I framed them."

Suggested For You

Comments

  • I love the books everywhere. Wish my OCD could handle that haha. It works so nicely in their space though!

    -Emily coatandcoffee.com

  • Obligatory Heath Ceramics bud vase! XD I swear every apartment in SF has one! No judgment – I do too. I just love spotting them in other people’s homes.

  • this place proves two things I always say to my clients, that books are the best decorative objects and you can never get wrong when you keep it simple. Books are fascinating, they speak about the person living in the house and they suggest stories or curiosities. I am always a bit suspicious when I see houses with no books. White walls don t absorb light and you can still make the space personal -like the house above- adding textures, interesting pieces of furniture, accents of colors and … books!

  • Enjoyed the wonderful live/work space of Llew and Lily. Especially interested in learning more details (i.e.the designer) of the swiveling wall sconce above the work table and the wall sconces with the yellow and purple bulbs in the bedroom. thank you

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, 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.

x