When I was young…


I dug up these photos of my old San Francisco studio yesterday and couldn’t help but smile.  It was all a bit over the top, but I had just turned twenty and had nothing to lose.  I snapped these blurry photos literally seconds before packing up to move to Manhattan—a little something to remember it by.  Much to my landlord’s dismay I had the Prussian blue shade matched from a Miles Redd apartment published in Elle Decor.  In the hall I opted for a pale grey, the kitchen an avocado green, and the ridiculously teeny bathroom went coral pink.  I painted the large door (a former murphy bed) a glossy black to serve as a headboard.  The chairs were swiped from my grandmother and I reupholstered the seats in a leopard print Ralph Lauren sheet.  I loved the mix—the coffee table textile found at a market in Bosnia, seersucker sheets with ruffles, vintage carnary yellow Hermès scarves.  The carved Le Penseur on my bookcase was an estate sale find and once belonged to Pulitzer Prize winning historian Will Durant.  There are things that looking back now make me cringe—the curtains are too short, throw pillows rather than euros on the bed, etc, but I still adore it.  Such fun memories…  Below, before and after shots.









(all horribly sloppy images snapped by the Neo-Traditionalist)

20 comments on “When I was young…

  1. Keenan

    Kate – I’ve just started reading your blog and I love it! I love your clever quotations and photo combos that perfectly echo the mood of the words, and I LOVE your SF studio – very great style for just a 20 year old! I’ve just moved to DC myself and really enjoyed your DC list of places to go…will have to check them all out. Thanks for such great posts – I am looking forward to reading your blog!

  2. the NEO-traditionalist Post author

    Keenan— Aren’t you too sweet?! I’m so jealous of your recent move to DC. Hopefully I’ll be joining you in June! It’s truly a spectacular city. If you haven’t yet been, be sure to check out the Renwick Gallery. A very DC-savvy Neo-Trad reader recommended it to me and it was my favorite museum of all! Hope your new year is off to great start! XX Kate

    Rikshaw — Thank you dahhhling.

  3. Brandi

    This was seriously your place?? How did you ever bare to leave it? It’s just GORGEOUS. Oh, I wish I could make those letters bigger. I am seriously completely floored by how fantastically pretty it is. I just love it all. Especially that shade of blue. Especially. I so wish I could paint this apartment I’m in now, but alas, the owner insists we keep everything beige. Everything. I was only able to convince her to let me paint my bedroom.

  4. AbbieBabble

    I was just thinking about MY first apartment, which was in San Francisco, too! Yours was much more stylish.
    p.s. Being over-the-top is what being twenty is all about.

  5. cathi

    I think your place looked fabulous…especially at the age of 20…I lived in a house with 6 people in SF in my early twenties and it definitely didn’t look like yours…:) Happy New Year, Kate! xxoo

  6. the NEO-traditionalist Post author

    Colleen — Thanks for stopping by! It was fun to put the place together, I’m glad you like what I made of it : )

    Brandi — Awwwwww, gee thanks! I was obsessed with the blue shade as well. I took the Elle Decor to the paint store with me and had professional help finding just the right shade. It actually has a lot of yellow in it. I believe it was Benjamin Moore “Malibu” something…? Anyway, at least you get to paint your bedroom, that’s a start! What color did you choose?? I can’t paint a thing in my current apartment, so tragic. We’re out of here in 5 months though and I’ll surely go paint crazy in our next place wherever it may be!

    Abbie — I love that you lived in SF too. Didn’t you just love it? I miss it so. I lived downtown by my office on Maiden Lane, but loved to walk from my apartment up over Nob Hill down to Polk to Union, Chestnut and eventually the water. Sigh…those were the days : )

    Cathi — 6 People in a house? Now that sounds fun! My apartment was fun, but it did get lonely at times. I would have loved your situation. Thanks for stopping in and I hope your New Year is off to great start! XXX Kate

  7. Haydee

    I love it! Especially the blue walls. The entire studio looks like it was “lived” in and happy. So creative and cozy too:)

  8. SBLP

    This place was amazing…It knocked any other 20 year old apartment outta the water, including the fact that your window was right over Bush St…

  9. Lauren

    Maybe it’s because I am 20 now, but I absolutely adore your studio. And to live in San Francisco would be absolutely heavenly! Just about my favorite city of all time. PS I read your blog daily. I envy your posh style and eloquent words. Happy 2010, Kate!

  10. the NEO-traditionalist Post author

    Lauren — I’m so touched! Thank you for your kind words and for reading! So glad to hear I have a San Franciscan stopping in. I hope I’ve succeeded in inspiring you to do something to your apartment—20 years old, the world is your oyster! Happy new year!!
    XXX Kate

  11. the NEO-traditionalist Post author

    Peak of Chic — I can’t even begin to tell you how flattered I am you stopped by! Thank you for your kind words. I am HUGE fan of your blog—it has taught me so very much about the history of design. You’re truly an inspiration and your encouragement means a great deal.
    XXX Kate

  12. Beverly

    I love Ralph Lauren’s leopard bedding. I refuse to part with my leopard comforter. I just can’t let go of it. Great job with the seats. Very good idea, especially for a young 20 something.

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