Chris & Jenna's Collection in the Castro

Chris & Jenna's Collection in the Castro

Jul 19, 2012


Name: Jenna & Chris
Location: Castro - San Francisco, California
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented

From the moment you enter Jenna and Chris' charming apartment in the Castro, it becomes quite apparent that this clever couple has elevated the practice of collecting into an art form in and of itself. Their collection is comprised of not only artwork, but carefully selected everyday objects and furnishings procured from artists, galleries, secondhand resources, and the streets of San Francisco.

The smart use of positive and negative space echoes that of a well-edited gallery, and like a gallery every piece has a story. A faux Eames chair (bought from an animal rights activist family who went out of their way to buy the iconic piece in vinyl) mingles with an original drawing gifted from the artist after Chris admired it in his sketchbook. A cheeky illustration purchased at the Public Barber Salon in the Tenderloin lives along side a cheerful yellow fondue pot the couple found on the sidewalk.

It's clear that Jenna and Chris see potential everywhere they look. They've managed to take something that most renters face — wall colors that they didn't choose and can't change — and turned it into a brilliant canvas for their colorful belongings. The effect is a space that is optimistic, playful and original.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Simple but with lots of character. Chris has a keen eye for picking unusual items that would otherwise look like junk, but in context of the rest of our house look like little gems. We both have a more modern taste, but don't like anything too stark.

Favorite Element: Real fireplace as the center of the space.

Biggest Challenge: Storage

What Friends Say: "I love what you've done with the place," tongue firmly placed in cheek.

Biggest Embarrassment: My closet and sometimes the bathroom. Being that it's kind of old, you can scrub that bathroom with all your might, and it'll still look kind of dingy. As great as the rug is, it sheds like a golden retriever, and you're likely to take home part of the rug as a souvenir.

Proudest DIY: Doorstop made of bowling ball.

Biggest Indulgence: Artwork and framing.

Best Advice: Don't buy too many things you won't actually use. It's better to buy second hand items that are quality, than to buy new things just for the sake of newness. If you see a good deal on something of quality, it's better to buy it and try it, because if you decide it's not a good fit, quality items always hold their value.

Dream Sources: MoMA for art and a Frank Lloyd Wright garage sale :)

Resources of Note:

eBay, Craigslist, DWR, Zinc Details, Etsy, The Other Shop, Alameda Flea Market,, Flora Grubb,, Back to the Picture and anywhere else we wander into and fall in love with.

Ideally our walls would be white, but if you like the paint colors pictured they're listed below.

    • Apt walls: Flat acrylic "Wise owl" (LRV-51)
    • Apt ceiling: Flat acrylic "Glazed Ginger" ((KM4001-1)
    • Trim, doors and baseboards: Semi-glass oil "Vanilla Bean" (Q7-36P)
    • Bathroom/kitchen walls: Semi-gloss oil "Polenta" (KM3523-1)
    • Bathroom/kitchen ceiling: Semi-gloss oil "Buttered Up" KM3545-1


    • Stop Sign Table, Craigslist
    • "Ass Kicking Is On My Mind," Dave Eggers, Electric Works Gallery, SF
    • "You make your own luck in this world," gift from artist David Wright
    • "Gurt Dog," leaving present from Browns Design, artist Paul Davis


    • Couch Ikea via Craigslist
    • Blanket, Glacier National Park Pendleton Woolen Mills
    • Faux Eames Chair via Craigslist
    • Dog pillow, "Wilson"
    • Rug, CB2
    • Acrylic peak-a-boo stacking tables, CB2
    • Ikea Docksta TV stand, Craiglist
    • Standing globe, Goodwill
    • Max Bill Poster via eBay
    • Alexander Girard Canvas, Urban Outfitters
    • Calder poster via eBay


    • Ikea Gidea dining table, via Craigslist
    • DWR Eames Eiffel chairs, Craigslist
    • White Burke chairs, Craigslist
    • Faux Arc lamp, estate sale
    • Sagaform candle holders, DeYoung Giftshop
    • "London's Kerning" Print,
    • "Get Lost" Print, Douglas Wilson, Keep Calm Gallery
    • British Isles Type Map,
    • San Francisco Type Map, Ork Posters via The Curiosity Shoppe


    • Faux Saarinen table, Craigslist
    • Original 1950's Bertoia Black Chairs, Craigslist
    • Red Ikea bookshelves, bought from a friend
    • Discontinued white Ikea coffee table
    • Corona Sofa, Craigslist
    • Ikea Couch cushions
    • Vintage rug, Craigslist
    • Skateboard deck by Jeff Canham, purchased at Collective Good "Plywood for Good" fundraiser
    • Circle Print, Artist unknown via The Other Shop
    • Rob Ryan Print, via It's Nice That
    • Shusaku Arakawa Exhibition Poster, eBay
    • Graphic Thought Facility Exhibition Poster, gift from designers
    • Molecule Model, Etsy
    • Bowling ball doorstop, formally owned by a one "Wally", found in a box on Folsom Street


    • Wooden Stools, Craiglist
    • Eames Stool, eBay, Shell and Legs bought separately
    • Heath Bowls and serving platter, Heath Factory Sausalito
    • The National Poster, Jason Munn
    • Mr. T Bag Illustration, Justin Hager
    • California Raisin Arizona Illustration, Justin Hager
    • Blue Sadler Tea Pot,
    • Tray by Maria Dahlgren from
    • Yellow Fondue Pot, found on street
    • Colored Knife set, Ikea
    • Tivoli Orange Kettle
    • Little Chef Figurine, origin unknown
    • Heath red espresso cups, Heath Factory Sausalito
    • "Sandwich Defender" and "What You Leave I Eat" hand-drawn plates from JimBobArt on Etsy


    • CB2 White Alpine Bed, Craigslist
    • Ikea Red Corner Shelf
    • Wood figurine, artist Mark Giglio
    • Delorean Drawing, Chris Wilson original
    • Illuminated Beer Sign, via The Other Shop
    • White lamp/side table, via The Other Shop
    • Work Hard and Be Nice to People Print, Anthony Burrill
    • Vintage sign letter "C," Craigslist
    • Electric Keyboard, Grandmother's
    • Constantine's Poster by Jason Munn
    • Penguin Print, Josh Brill
    • Photo of Grandparents, 1920's Fancy Dress Party for Indy 500 in 1950's
    • Built in, curation of many random items (if you have specific questions, just let us know)


    • Ikea white drawer cabinet
    • What to do if bitten by a man dog or poisonous reptile Print, Alameda Flea Market
    • "Tyler" photo by Michael O'Neal
    • White candle holders, gift from friend


    • Helvetica Poster, Experimental Jetset
    • Ikea red cabinet
    • Heath serving bowl

Thanks, Jenna & Chris!

(Images: Bess Friday)

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