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Name: Nathalie McGrath and a very talkative cat.
Location: Potrero Hill — San Francisco, California
Type of home: Cottage
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Originally this cottage was an earthquake refugee shack, built in 1906 after the San Francisco earthquake. Over 5,600 shacks were built by the Department of Lands and Buildings of the Relief Corporation and now, only a handful remain. In the 1970s the cottage was updated, the bathroom, kitchen, and foundation were added with an artistic flare of blue tiles, stained glass, and skylights. The cottage is surrounded by a beautiful garden that feels as though you’ve stepped into a secret garden. It’s a beautiful oasis in the middle of San Francisco.
This cottage has always been a mini refuge for me. When I moved in I was feeling stressed and burned out; it became the perfect place to recharge. I intentionally designed the space to feel warm, clean, and cozy. I used bright white paint to offset the dark wood and filled the space with plants. The cottage reflects my style of natural, simple, warm, and meaningful.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: A city oasis, cozy, peaceful, and magical.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the bathroom; the windows, the free standing bathtub, and plants make it feel like I’m at a peaceful retreat. I also love the patio. Every night at 7:30 p.m. a set of market lights turn on, creating a magical feeling of being in a fairy tale. It’s almost like being in two worlds at once.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Fill it with things you love! My home is filled with random artifact. I have pillowcases from a trip to Mexico, a framed map of the city my mother grew up in, a dream catcher an old coworker made for me, a salt shaker from a friend’s wedding, and a set of wind chimes my father gave me as a birthday gift. I love sprinkling beautiful reminders of fun memories throughout my space.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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