Tour My First San Francisco Apartment

Today I’m sharing all the details on the apartment I designed for myself when I first moved to San Francisco and before I married and began sharing a home with Andrew. After my light colored bachelorette pad in Chicago, I was excited to go in a completely different direction and play with dark colors when I arrived to my new city.

I started by painting the entire living room in Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe, a gorgeous dark gray. I wanted to create the feeling of being cacooned in coziness and opted to paint all the moldings too so the walls and ceilings felt totally enveloping. It was a bold choice, but I absolutely loved it. After my overtly girly apartment in Chicago, I found the more masculine color palette in the living room very appealing. I stuck with grays and blues for most of the pieces in here and peppered it with some whites so it would retain a bit of femininity and keep thing from getting too visually heavy.

To anchor the whole space, I used a jute boucle rug from West Elm and designed up from there. The drapery is from The Shade Store and I really could not recommend them as a resource more. They made the whole process extremely easy, even sending someone over to take measurements and install them once they were ready. I will definitely be using them again.

At the time, I had been crushing hard on English roll arm sofas, so I was excited to order this one from Serena & Lily in a light gray. Opposite the sofa, I placed two handsome nailhead wingback chairs from Hayneedle (similar) and paired those with two gray and cream French ticking pillows I picked up from the Alameda flea market. And speaking of the Alameda flea, I found the ornate mirror there, too. It’s an unexpected style for the room, but that’s kind of why I liked it.

Crystal Palecek Home Tour

The wood coffee table and console from Palecek (similar) added the perfect amount of warmth to the cool room, while the black and white photography (always a favorite!) and silver accents really punctuated the space. The Jonathan Adler Havana floor lamp helped brighten up a dark corner and the West Elm globe pendant is an unimposing but very modernizing element in the room.

Palecek Petrified Wood

One of my favorite pieces in the living room was the petrified wood side table from Palecek. I do have to say, one of the perks of dating Andrew, a furniture designer (who is now my husband) was being introduced to so many beautiful products in their line. Through him, I have learned so much about product, quality, craftsmanship, and materials- all of which has most certainly elevated my design eye. I love that he and I have design to share as one of our common interests, but that we work in it from totally definite angles: Andrew through product, and me through decorating.

Crystal Palecek Design

I painted the hallway in Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White, which actually looks like a light gray/blue in person and is very beautiful. The chair is from Tamara Kay-Honey’s shop, House of Honey and sat amongst a gallery wall of various prints in West Elm frames.

For the dining room I had this idea to make a dramatic wall of mirrors, which was fun to experiment with. The mirrors, chairs, and dining table were all from Hayneedle. The gray drapery, which had a luxurious sheen was from The Shade Store, the rug was Pottery Barn Teen, and the chandelier was from HD Buttercup. I painted the space in Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray, to keep with the dark look of the living room. Overall, I had a fun time creating something totally different for myself and much more dramatic than I normally go.

Crystal Palecek Home Tour

I also did something unexpected with the bathroom. The smaller the space, the more fun you can have so I had my painter paint black and white stripes on the wall. It was an easy way to add whimsy to an otherwise generic bathroom. I added an Ikea sconce and framed a few of my favorite poems, which I placed on the wall with an oval mirror to finish off the space.

I knew right away that I wanted a pink bedroom. I had a hunch that while still unmarried it was probably the last time I’d ever get to sleep in a pink bedroom and so I wanted to get it out of my system (you can see my married home, here). It was a whimsical choice, but I’m so glad I went with it just for fun. The paint is Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground, which is a sophisticated, dusty pink. Very beautiful!

The headboard, fainting sofa, and dresser (whose hardware I spray painted brass) were all from Hayneedle and the bedding and pillows were from West Elm. Sticking to a mostly monochromatic palette of pink and cream kept this space feeling sophisticated and not overly girly, as did the brass accents- anything silver would have felt too princess-y to me. And speaking of brass, that amazing vintage candelabra over the bed was definitely the eye catcher of the room and found at House of Honey.

When I look back at this space which I designed for myself as a single gal who had just moved to San Francisco (you can read more about what led me to the city to begin with here), ironically I can’t see it without thinking about Andrew. I could have never guessed I’d meet the man I’d marry exactly 31 days after landing in my new city and that this single gal’s bachelorette pad would actually be filled with memories of him. I’m forever grateful life brought me here for too many reasons to count.

Sources: 1. Farrow & Ball Downpipe Paint (living room) | 2. West Elm Jut Rug | 3. The Shade Store Drapery | 4. Serena & Lily Sofa | 5. Hayneedle Arm Chairs (similar) | 6. French Ticking Pillows | 7. Palecek Coffee Table (similar) | 8. Jonathan Adler Floor Lamp | 9. West Elm Globe Pendant | 10. Palecek Petrified Wood Side Table | 11. Farrow & Ball Cornforth White Paint (hallway) | 12. Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray Paint (dining room) | 13. Farrow & Ball Pink Ground (bedroom) | 14. West Elm Bedding

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to tour my first home with Andrew and see my my Chicago apartment, too.

Photography: Emily Johnston