House Tour: A Colorful 400 Square Foot Studio Apartment | Apartment Therapy

Name: Adrianne Hawthorne Location: Lower Pacific Heights, San Francisco Size: 400 square feet Years Lived In: Renting 1.5 Adrianne’s studio apartment, perched high up in a Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, is an oasis of color and unique details. The thoughtfulness of each item placed in her home isn’t surprising; Adrianne works as a visual designer by trade!

Source: House Tour: A Colorful 400 Square Foot Studio Apartment | Apartment Therapy

From Chicago, Adrianne originally planned to rent a one-bedroom apartment upon moving to San Francisco but quickly decided that a studio would be the way to go. With a smaller space, she wasn’t worried about having enough stuff to fill it up. Instead, she was able to focus on only bringing in items that brought her joy. Between the bright, airy light from the window next to her bed to her sweet cats cuddled up when we visited, we can confirm: this sweet studio in the heart of the city is simply delightful.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Polished, textured, bold and quirky. I love simple, clean lines that are softened by pattern and texture.

Inspiration: Color. I’m a visual designer by trade and I always browse color palettes when I have a creative block — it usually gets me back on track. I took the same approach with my studio. The first thing I did when I moved here was create a mood board with color swatches, which I referenced throughout the decorating process. I’m also inspired by Emily Henderson, Anthropologie, Free People, The Brick House blog, The Jungalow blog, and Apartment Therapy (which is the reason I rented a studio in the first place — I was so inspired by the Small Cool spaces I saw!)

Favorite Element: A vintage Martini & Rossi vermouth bottle from what I think is the 1950s. To anyone who doesn’t know the story, the bottle looks like trash on display. Which it is, but it’s memorable trash, since I salvaged it from my great-grandmother’s original home in Campagna, Italy last summer. My sister and I were able to track down her home and go inside. This bottle was on the ground so I took it and I’m glad I did — it makes me feel a connection to my ancestors and my Italian heritage.

Biggest Challenge: The kitchen. It’s dark and has black countertops paired with maple colored wood. I wasn’t sure how to work with it when I moved in but decided to brighten it in any way that I could. I started by covering the dark tile floor with a bold, striped runner. I added lots of framed prints in white or gold frames, plants in white pots and white linens. Even though the black counters still aren’t my fave, the space feels brighter than it did when I first moved in.

What Friends Say: Friends comment on the detailed “nooks” that I’ve built in nearly every corner of the studio. They are impressed that I was able to inject so many deeply personal items into my decor.

Biggest Embarrassment: I have a few prints where the framing is slightly off (things like the mat is half an inch too large…) and I haven’t gotten around to fixing them. Also, I eyeballed my gallery wall and sometimes I notice the imperfections…but it depends on the day.

Proudest DIY: The pipe shelf in the living room area. I built it with my dad and back then, it was twice the size. Part of the shelf was damaged during my move to California, so I reconfigured the pipes and created a smaller version that fits perfectly into my new space.

Biggest Indulgence: Custom Joybird sofa. When I downsized to a studio from a one bedroom, I knew I’d want a comfy sofa to sleep on if I had guests. Not only is it comfortable, but it turned out exactly like I imagined. Choosing the swatch was the hardest part — I went back and forth between neutrals and bolds for at least a week. I finally settled on Bentley Daisy (textured yellow) because it was somewhere between super-bold and a safe-neutral. Plus, yellow has been my favorite color since kindergarten so I figured I couldn’t go wrong!

Best Advice: Only keep the things that give you joy. I got this from Marie Kondo’s famous book on tidying, but man did it help me downsize when I moved here from Chicago. I followed this advice and because of it, I come home every day to a place that calms me, inspires me and makes me happy – my own personal sanctuary.

Dream Sources: Vintage flea markets, Restoration Hardware, Design Within Reach, and Edgewater Antique Mall in Chicago





  • Bar Stools – Amazon
  • Pink and gold tray – souvenir from Austria
  • Wood vase – handmade by my great-grandfather
  • “A” Marquee
  • Macrame Plant Holder – Wild Feather in San Francisco
  • “Flesh Out” briefcase from a collaborative art piece I did with Franchec Crespo in 2013 – Shown at Typeforce in Chicago
  • Pink Saddle Shoes – Famous Footwear circa 1991
  • Gold Record Stand – an original from my mom’s apartment back in the day
  • Calisa Block Print rug – Urban Outfitters


  • Quilt in Cream – Target
  • Vintage Kilim Throw –
  • Nyvoll Bedframe in gray wood – IKEA
  • Gold Vintage plant stand – Etsy
  • DIY Terrarium – Juicy Kits
  • Trones Storage Cabinet aka nightstand – IKEA
  • Curtains and hardware in both rooms – IKEA
  • Vintage Red Dresser – Vintage Ground in Chicago
  • MCM “Bulbous” Ceramic Lamp – Seek Vintage in Noble Square, Chicago
  • Quartz gold clock with glass dome – inherited from my grandfather
  • Vintage Lucite Purse in green – gift from my aunt


  • Chimp Pope original art print – JessianPress on Etsy
  • Threshold Mirrored Etched Accent Table – old Target find
  • Shower Curtain – Target
  • Metal Cat print – Dirty Lola on Etsy



Smart Design & Storage Solutions for Studio Apartments | Apartment Therapy

Aside from getting a glimpse at how other readers make a home, one of the best things about Apartment Therapy House Tours is exploring the myriad small space living solutions. Renting a small space—particularly a studio—often presents obstacles: perhaps there is an unsightly feature that can’t be removed or a seemingly inevitable storage issue (we’ve all been there). These house tours not only solve some of the common dilemmas that accompany studio living, but also maintain the warm, cozy vibe that makes our House Tours so special.

Source: Smart Design & Storage Solutions for Studio Apartments | Apartment Therapy

HOME ENVY | Filbert Street Gem drops below $10MM

Price of LEED Platinum House on Russian Hill Tumbles $1.75 Million – Curbed SF

The allure of platinum is not quite so strong as initially supposed, as this designer house on Russian Hill opts for a huge discount after two months.

Source: Price of LEED Platinum House on Russian Hill Tumbles $1.75 Million – Curbed SF

The house at 1209 Filbert Street is four stories, four bedrooms, five and a half baths, over 5,600 square feet, and sits right in the middle of choice Russian Hill, two blocks from the Lombard Street curves.

It even carries a LEED Platinum designation for the likes of its rainwater harvest tank, drip irrigation, solar system, and Forest Stewardship Council approved wood. The only way this place would be more primed for top dollar is if it was made of real platinum.

But despite all that, it looks like $11.25 million was simply too ambitious of an asking price. The circa 2011 house by developer Troon Pacific went on the market for that remarkable sum in May, but yesterday knocked off $1.75 million.

Heart stopping photos beyond the link. Click through at your own risk.

We’ve never done work inside, but they only built the place a few years ago. When the walls start cracking, we hope they call us.

Idea Generator : Leather Cabinet Pull DIY Tutorial

Leather Cabinet Pull DIY Tutorial | Apartment Therapy

An easy way to dress up any kitchen is to switch out the dated drawer and cabinet pulls. With so many options out there it can be hard to narrow down the search (and it can be easy to spend much more than initially planned). But have you ever thought of making them yourself? Sarah did just that! After painting her rental’s super basic kitchen cabinets a dark moody color (Behr’s Submarine Grey) she installed her DIY leather pulls and took her bland stock kitchen to a whole new level.

Source: Leather Cabinet Pull DIY Tutorial | Apartment Therapy

Idea Generator : Storing Your Gear In Your Apartment

Bikes & Skis & Surfboards, Oh My: Ingenious Ways to Store Gear in a Small Space | Apartment Therapy

Fitting big hobbies—the type that require a board, a helmet, and maybe even a wetsuit—into a teeny-tiny home can be a tall order. Your best bets for storing this space-hogging gear are to work them into your decor plan or place them in often-overlooked spots (aka hide them in plain sight). Here are nine ways to stash sports gear, without cramping your style.

Source: Bikes & Skis & Surfboards, Oh My: Ingenious Ways to Store Gear in a Small Space | Apartment Therapy

Idea Generator : Bathroom Upgrades Your Landlord Won’t Hate

Fast Fixes: Small, Landlord Friendly Upgrades For the Bathroom — Renters Solutions | via Apartment Therapy

When we moved into our apartment, the bathroom was the first thing I wanted to upgrade. In an attempt to satisfy the urge to remodel the entire room, I decided to start with several low cost, low time investment upgrades.

Source: Fast Fixes: Small, Landlord Friendly Upgrades For the Bathroom — Renters Solutions | Apartment Therapy

“5 Things I Never Did to a Rental But Probably Should Have”

“5 Things I Never Did to a Rental But Probably Should Have” — Renters Solutions | Apartment Therapy

Quite often when we talk about the upgrades you can make to a rental apartment or home, I am the first to look at the list and balk, saying to myself that none of it is worth the effort. When the time comes to actually move out of your home, no one really wants any additional work, but with a little extra organization and coordination, I’ve come to realize that I could have had the home I wanted, instead of the home I was trying make feel like me without big impact ideas.

Source: 5 Things I Never Did to a Rental But Probably Should Have — Renters Solutions | Apartment Therapy

AT Idea Generator : DIY Entryway Organizer

From Apartment Therapy:

As renters, we take what we can get, and what we often get are miniscule (or non-existent) entryways and a lack of built-in storage. This multi-faceted organizer has a variety of ways to hang your stuff — coats, bags, and umbrellas — so they are at your fingertips as you head out the door, and stay tidy when you come back in. As a neat bonus, it also has a magnetized area for keys. You can learn how to make one yourself, right after the jump!

Source: DIY Entryway Organizer | Apartment Therapy