October 20, 2009

Renter's Renovation

The fabulous blog, A Cup of Jo posted on Grant K. Gibson's renovation of his San Francisco apartment. I loved it because it's gorgeous and uses a bunch of budget friendly details. Of course I had to go the New York Times article and get the rest of the pics to share!Grant offered to renovate his apartment in exchange for 2 months free rent ($3000). Yay for such a great idea and a friendly landlord. The biggest drawback to renting is not being able to make changes to your apartment. It's great that the landlord was willing to essentially contribute to the project. Other budget friendly updates: the architectural drawings behind Grant are torn from an old book and mounted in $20 frames. The apartment is on the third floor of this Presidio Heights building. Before the renovation, "it was like a circus in there" but those west facing bay windows convinced Grant that it was worth the effort. Grant gave the apartment a new color palette by staining the floors and painting in a neutral colors. You know how I feel about dark floors off of white - LOVE LOVE LOVE!He splurged on the hollow banquette beneath the bay window allowing extra storage and seating. The Bamboo roman shades are from Target!
It's a Williams Sonoma Home couch but pillows in a Fortuny fabric "add an extra element of luxury." Mirrors on the back of the cabinet create more depth in the space.
The old portraits, some of which were purchased from a local flea market give the space an element of sophistication.
The Turkish rug and crocodile tray table were hand-me-downs from a client - I'm jealous!
Believe it or not, the bed is from Pottery Barn Teen, but he altered it by attaching a headboard. "If I buy something at a retail store, I try to think of how I can make it even more comfortable, more functional, more beautiful." So that's why I still subscribe to Pottery barn kids and teen catalogs!Such bold use of color is rather unconventional for Grant, but he likes the cozy, den-like feeling that this blue creates.
The bathroom was tiled with 99 cent tiles. Grant has an aversion to traditional toilet paper holders, so he purchased this trophy on Ebay to do the job here; what a fun accessory it is!
"I've created a space that I just love," Grant says, "When I do find the right place to buy, I'll want to do all of the same things I did here." I love it too! and when I find the right place to buy I also want to do a lot of the same things, although I'm sure I'll add a few girly elements!
Photo Credits: Paul DeSilva for The New York Times


  1. I love his bow tie! I want Tom to wear large bow ties all the time, I got him one last Christmas that he loves but has trouble tying correctly. Make a post about the proper way to tie a bow tie :)

  2. Isn't it the best renovation? I admire him for putting all that work into a rental!