Victoria Smith describes herself as a "hopeful photographer, design junkie and bonafide flea market queen". Her gorgeous BoMo apartment in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, is a great reflection of everything she loves.
Three years ago, she has started writing her blog sfgirlbybay
, where she shares her beautiful photos together with new product reviews, shopping tips, and lifestyle stories.
Pretty quickly, Victoria’s blog and etsy shop, where she sells her famous poster "keep calm carry on", became busy enough and she was able to quit her job and focus on blogging and writing.
I'm very happy to introduce you to Victoria from sfgirlbybay
and her gorgeous home.
It's not easy to find a great rental. Please tell us about your "first meeting" with your house to be
I found this building on craigslist.com, but used to live downstairs in a very cute, but very dark apartment. The people who lived upstairs were moving back to Paris, so just for fun, I had a look at the apartment. It was so full of light, with a little terrace, that I knew I had to live here.
The biggest home design challenge you faced
has a huge stained glass window, which wasn't really my style. Much too Gothic and Victorian for my taste, and really not my colors. But I had no choice, I felt, other to embrace it. So I filled the room with lots of white furnishings and beddings, and used the stained glass as a 'headboard' of sorts, picking up the greens and yellows in the glass in accents here and there - like in throw pillows.
Your favorite style and colors
Well, I really like white. Lots of it - white makes a great backdrop and it's fresh and clean. I like the Scandinavian feel of it. And, you can change out accessories and artwork easily to change up the decor quite affordably and easily. Most of my major pieces of furniture are white, like my sofa, desk, and dining room
A spot in your house that makes you very happy/proud
I really like my terrace. I grow tomatoes (or at least, I'm trying!), fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and lots of lavender. I love having a garden to work on, albeit a small one, and I love that I can use my little crops when cooking.
Your precious accessory/furniture/art
I love my dining room table
. My mother gave it to me and she's had it forever. It's an 18th century French farm table, with long drawers, to store baguettes! I also love my collection of vintage portraits - they are like a family to me, and I love their quirkiness!
Your next house project
I'm seeking out a vintage mid-century modern ottoman, or bench to place in from of the faux fireplace
I added in my bedroom. It's a work in progress in there. I found the mantel at a salvage yard and added it to the bedroom to add a bit of warmth (not real warmth, of course, just the look).
5 things that houzz readers need to know about your blog
1. I like to encourage independent artists and share their work.
2. I also like to encourage affordable and unique design. I think everyone's home should reflect
their own personalities, not some cookie-cutter catalog look.
3. I try to bring my own personality
to the table - I'm a bit silly sometimes, and irreverent, but that's just who I am. Hopefully I write from my own voice, and share design that I believe it and really matters to me.
4. I love photography, and have been begun to focus more and more on it. I hope the readers enjoy that inspiration, too.
5. I post about 3-4 fresh posts a day. Not too much, and hopefully not too little. I keep the posts to a minimum because if you're like me, you don't have a ton of time to read a lot of blogs, and I try to make it visually stimulating.
Best tip for making a rental feel like home
I think the best way to make any place more personal, even a rental, is to really decorate from your heart, and share your unique stamp and personality in your decor. I am probably an awful renter, because I usually paint even if I'm not officially supposed to, because I am so obsessive about making my home feel like I want it to. So, I've been known to repaint a wall back to white before I moved out, or risked forgoing a rental deposit! This is horrid advice, but if I am living somewhere for a very long time, I think the risk of a lost or a reduced deposit just amortizes itself by the pleasure I get from having the design of my place look as I envisioned it. It's just worth it to me. And so far, most landlords have been happy with what I've done the place and not penalized me!
Last but not least: as a houzz friend, you get to choose a giveaway
gift to one of the lucky readers that will share their thoughts about your
house and interview.
I adore these vintage inspired tea towels
from dottie angel's etsy shop.
I just find them fresh, and fun, and I am a huge fan of dottie angel!!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful home Victoria!
For your chance to win a set of two vintage inspired tea towels, selected by Victoria, comment on this interview by Sunday, August 9th at 5pm EST.