A Victorian-Era Rental in San Fran Mixes Target With Vintage Finds

Photos by Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

Blocks away from the famous Victorian- and Edwardian-style Painted Ladies houses in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood, a 100-year-old apartment still boasting original architectural details got a modern update by Field Theory Design. Headed by the studio's founder, Bay Area native Leah Harmatz, the goal of the redesign was to balance the century-old details with modern furnishings for the ideal present-day abode.

Since the client is renting the two-bedroom apartment, a complete overhaul was out of the question. Instead, the design team incorporated existing fixtures and finishings into their own design. The team also curated elements from the client's own extensive collections of textiles and art — many from her travels abroad. "We kept the color palette neutral, and grouped collections of similar items together. We also brought in some more modern furniture to balance the vintage finishes," Harmatz said.

living room
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credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl adds dimension to a living room clad in white wood panels. Colors are mixed in with natural elements.

living room
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

A mix of past and present create a timeless appeal to the home's new design. Classic midcentury modern pieces (like the Eames lounger) are mixed with vintage elements (the chandelier, original to the apartment design) and new furnishings.

living room
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

The home's fireplace becomes a backdrop for a cozy reading spot.

living room
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

A classic built-in unit shows off the client's own accessories and books. The chair and plant stand are vintage.

living room
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

The client, who's a travel junkie, wanted to incorporate items from her trips into the design. Even new pieces, like the Junction low dresser from CB2 made from mango wood and clad with bleached acacia wood, bring a worldly charm to the apartment.

dining room
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

In the dining room, there's also a nice balance of new-meets-old. Vintage chairs surround the modern table from Blu Dot. The bench is handcrafted.

bedroom
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

CB2's Dondra bed is outfitted in bedding that the client sourced from her travels. The quirky angles of the home could make furniture positioning and storage tricky, but luckily, the team found a leaning bookcase that's the perfect size for this odd, angled wall.

bedroom
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

They scored the side table at an estate sale and topped it with a Target lamp.

home office
credit: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish

An office chair, vintage Eames for Herman Miller, was found on Chairish and paired with a new desk from West Elm. A vintage file cabinet was found at the nearby Alameda Point Antiques Fair.


Kate Santos

Kate Santos

After interning at Dwell magazine in San Francisco, Kate began writing about arts, design and culture for other national publications. She is based in Los Angeles and San Francisco.