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Joe's Own Design Decisions




San Francisco, California



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

This is the first home that I have owned rather than rented which allows me to make design decisions that won't be undone by a landlord or roommates. I invested in new hardwood floors (dark brown hardwood with raised grain) to contrast with stark white walls. Although the space is open, the layout provides enough structure to create distinct functional zones (cooking, eating, entertaining, working, sleeping). The large windows allow for a grand view of the sky and cityscape. Although I have only two windows in the entire condo, the southwest exposure provides generous natural light and heat from the sun (Rarely do I need to turn on the heat).

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Reduce. Reduce. Reduce! With the small size of my place, everything has to be chosen carefully for function, scale and aesthetics. I had to give up a lot of furniture, art, objects, books, etc. that were collected over the years. I am learning through trial and error what works and what doesn't. (Hint: Shop at stores with forgiving return policies.) With an unspectacular ceiling height of 8.5 feet, I chose low furniture in the living area to create the illusion of more vertical space. Although I like and respect the idea of multi-functional space and multi-purpose furniture, I chose to create clearly defined functional areas that would not require moving things based on usage needs. (No combination dining table/desk and no murphy bed!).

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (46)

Great job, Joe!

posted by Ed Votary of the Muses on April 29, 2011 at 2:48pm
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I would love to see photos of the sleeping area.

posted by mellowhome on April 18, 2011 at 10:50pm
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GREAT! Really really nice job Joe.

posted by DB Modern on April 18, 2011 at 8:17am
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I really like the brown/grey/blue/white color scheme

posted by Nina79 on April 18, 2011 at 9:02am
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I really like this, with the exception of the yellow shade lamp; I find it distracting. I also wish you would have included a shot of the view. Either way you get my vote.

posted by see on April 18, 2011 at 9:32am
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posted by msmezzo on April 18, 2011 at 9:33am
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Nice and clean. Love the coffee table. Adding to favorites. Good luck!

posted by robertspeg on April 18, 2011 at 10:47am
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Love the couch. Where is it from?

posted by BessCake on April 18, 2011 at 10:55am
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Love your space! Got my vote for the Tiny category. Where did you get that floating wall unit for the TV? It's such a simple and clean design, yet this is the first one that I've seen done perfectly this way.

posted by D2 pad on April 18, 2011 at 10:56am
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This is Tiny! The floating credenza is indeed perfect. However it does make the low open shelves look dark and messy.

posted by Allegra M on April 18, 2011 at 11:21am
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posted by JulianneMay on April 18, 2011 at 11:24am
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The layout is great! Looks much bigger. Your dining table is really gorgeous.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 18, 2011 at 5:40pm
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I love the floating tv unit/credenza! Nice colors and that sofa...where did you get it? It's great. Also love the work area...compact and stylish. Love it!

posted by Tracy333 on April 18, 2011 at 11:58am
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love the marble kitchen table

posted by lorrinm on April 18, 2011 at 11:59am
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Basically you have done a perfect job. You have everything you need and it all looks good.

I also love the floating stand for the tv and adore the Saarinen table and chairs. They are perfection.

posted by House Voyeur on April 18, 2011 at 12:45pm
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This place is awesome! Really nice job. It feels much bigger than 500 sq feet... Joe has excellent taste and the furniture he chose really shines. Looks like a great place to live and have a lot of fun times!

posted by BrooklynRob on April 18, 2011 at 12:57pm
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Very sleek. I love the desk.

posted by Cate G on April 18, 2011 at 1:27pm
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Kitchen pic please!

posted by Ofelia on April 18, 2011 at 1:46pm
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terrific layout!

posted by Pamela L on April 18, 2011 at 1:58pm
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Hand of applause!
Very clever choices!

posted by Ana Carolina on April 18, 2011 at 3:00pm
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The sofa is Canyon by Niels Bendsten

posted by wordupnic on April 18, 2011 at 3:52pm
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I agree both with those who admire the layout and how you are using it, and with those who feel it needs a little more. If there were fruit in the bowl on the table, flowers in the empty vases, keys and mobile phone and wallet in the green glass bowl on the bookcase, I would feel more comfortable, and the space more alive. When you have friends over, does their energy transform the space in a good way for you, or not?

posted by helanother on April 18, 2011 at 5:02pm
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The marble table is gorgeous. (And I agree with helanother: a bit more personalization would go a long way.)

posted by Juliet___ on April 18, 2011 at 5:36pm
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Beautiful place. I'd kill for that dining table.

posted by little one on April 18, 2011 at 6:06pm
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Love it

posted by eise0100 on April 18, 2011 at 6:30pm
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posted by raddlesnack on April 18, 2011 at 7:55pm
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Really nice place! Would have liked to see more, like kitchen, bedroom, bathroom...

posted by modernist1 on April 18, 2011 at 8:13pm
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I love the layout too - it seems like it works really well for defining *all* the areas but leaving everything open.

posted by emmelemm on April 18, 2011 at 8:14pm
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Where is the flower print above the sofa from?

posted by jennifer p. on April 18, 2011 at 8:27pm
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Oooh, more neutrals and clear spaces. The envy pours from my veins! And that table is absolutely amazing!

posted by Shadlyn on April 18, 2011 at 8:43pm
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The veins on the marble table you have is spectacular. The blue gray chairs are cute too...would have never thought they'd match! The couch is gorgeous too. Love your furnishings! Cooler lamps and rug here or there would be nice... but I guess after investing on those floors, you wanna see it alot more :)

posted by mattNmags on April 18, 2011 at 9:10pm
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fek the rugs. bare wood. nice.

posted by ok on April 18, 2011 at 9:38pm
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posted by _kristinb on April 18, 2011 at 9:31pm
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Thanks everyone! I will attempt to address everyone's questions and comments here:

As someone already mentioned, the sofa is Niels Bendsten's "Canyon". It is modular so you buy individual pieces and configure them however you want. If in San Francisco, Propeller in Hayes Valley has one similar to mine on display in the store.

Floating credenza is made by Blue Dot. It's actually two separate units. I purchased it at Zinc Details in San Francisco. I'm considering getting a custom piece of glass (colored glass or black mirror?) to cover the top so that it appears seamless.

The coffee table (three nesting tables) was purchased at Design Within Reach. It's probably the cheapest piece of furniture that they sell. (The Saarinen dining table nearly broke the bank.)

Desk/Shelf Wall Unit was purchased at Room and Board.

I agree with many of the comments about the space needing some warmth and personal touches. I have been trying to keep it minimalist to avoid clutter but I can see that it also appears a bit sterile in photos. I have been looking at rugs for the living room and I am considering a neutral colored wool shag rug from CB2. I welcome your ideas.

I debated the orange lamp shade since it is so bright compared to the mostly neutral colors but decided to keep it since it creates a warm light at night that makes for a cozy reading corner. There are other pops of orange in the living room to tie it together.

The flower print above the sofa is piece of Marimekko fabric that I stretched over a artist's canvas. The Crate and Barrel Outlet in Berkeley, CA has a huge supply of discontinued Marimekko fabric. I got this for something like $6 per yard.

posted by Soma Joe on April 18, 2011 at 9:40pm
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Nicely done! Love your choices, especially that beautiful marble table. Very stylish first owned home!

posted by RMF325 on April 18, 2011 at 9:56pm
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Love your space! The marble table is amazing, and the bedroom tucked away perfectly. Would love if you could share where you got your sofa from

posted by Eatsbydesign on April 18, 2011 at 10:34pm
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Beautifully defined areas, and I really love your workstation. Dining area, however, could use some art to warm it up a bit (two blank walls there, and with white table, white lamp and neutral chairs it all looks a bit anemic), and I would encourage a carpet or a throw blanket or something :)

posted by fleo on April 18, 2011 at 11:02pm
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My vote for your nicely and neatly arrangement, but not my cup of tea...

posted by csmoura on April 19, 2011 at 8:33am
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Similar to other commenters, I think that you've done a wonderful job using the space, choosing interesting pieces, varying textures, keeping to a calming palate. However, I think you could loosen up a bit and add touches of WOW -- art work? accent pieces? a fabulous rug? I am still going to fav your place because what you have so far is really well executed.

posted by citipearl on April 19, 2011 at 9:44am
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Incredible space. I love everything about this space. The bedroom, the table and chairs, the mini office. Seems like a relaxing, clean place. Fantastic!

posted by sweethomesweet on April 19, 2011 at 2:34pm
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I love the art panel above the sofa, is it fabric or artist? Thanks, I love it all!

posted by Halo Hill on April 20, 2011 at 3:24pm
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Thanks. Wall art over sofa is Marimekko fabric.

posted by Soma Joe on April 20, 2011 at 4:02pm
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Awesome. Love the floating media station and dining set.

posted by wally14 on April 21, 2011 at 5:35pm
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Beautiful & well thought out!

posted by annejsf on April 21, 2011 at 11:24pm
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I would like to see the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom.

You just put photos of the room, but I like your style.

posted by suzie__lee on April 28, 2011 at 4:27pm
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I particularly like the mirror next to the window in the lounge as it has multiple effects of doubling the light and creates a sense of space too. Heaps of great ideas for my flat, thanks Joe!

posted by Bruce127 on June 7, 2011 at 6:57am
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