interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: kimberly austin

by anne

today’s beautiful light filled home comes to us from photographer . she shares an upper flat of an old farm style house in potrero hill of san francisco with her husband matt, and kitty fanny. the absolutely love the location at the very top of the hill – which feels a bit like a treehouse in the way each room opens to the next – for the nice sunlight and great views. their lifestyle is simple, relaxed, and not pinned down to any particular style, reliant on good finds here and there, whether it be salvage yard or flea market finds, or french country antiques from grenouille or custom pieces made by local sf artists. click here for the rest of kimberly’s post and additional images, and here for more fabulous sneak peeks. thanks, kimberly!

[above: my dad laid this classic hexagon tile and painted our otherwise not interesting cabinets. we replaced the plastic counter tops with local recycled marble. our kitchen table was from a local pot hill restaurant  that ended up in the used section of restaurant supply.  we put a new butcher top on it. our chairs our from urban ore salvage and reupholstered by mike. leather from sh frank in sf
a tiny little print by lisa soloman on the wall.]

more restaurant supply goodies. a working kitchen. view into the living room.

french farm table and day bed from Grenouille in sf, alameda flee market chairs powder coated by west coast powder co. in ssf custom cd cabinet made by peter doolittle in sf, my feather weight sewing machine which i make all of my pillows, curtains, skirts, etc. with in the little blue box.

we stripped this classic hospital bed and typing table down to the metal. classic mcrosky mattresses still made in sf the way they always were. our chinese paintings on mirror we bought on our honey moon in shanghai. a triptych of found photos on the wall framed in old printing frames.  my antique phone i bought on lay-a-way in the haight when i first moved to sf in 1988

our dresser: one of my favorite pieces from grenouille.  a silk triptych from my contra natura series in 1998.  hand made doors of doug fir and sand blasted glass made in sebastapol.  our crystal chandelier, one of the first pieces i traded for when i moved to sf. it has moved with us to every house we’ve lived in sf.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Kimberly Austin’s sneak peek (and full-sized images) after the jump!


our little office was previously the pantry. chris faiss built our office from recycled douglas fir and brushed plexiglass. a perfect use of the tiny space. . . we took everything out of the bathroom except for the toilet. the vintage pedestal sink is from the sink factory in berkeley, the salvage yard medicine cabinet has a beautiful aged mirror, little triptych is of my grandparents  adam and edna.  old wood gathering basket from my friends in germany. they actually carried it on the plane we they came to visit.

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  • This home is magnificent, so welcoming and airy with all sorts of touches from the past. I especially like how everything is being used rather than sitting around to be looked at.

  • i appreciate the beauty of not hiding things in cabinets. your home feels lived in a welcoming. it makes me want to cook in your kitchen and sit on your sofa. i think your home is “smart.” i really like it.

  • Kimberly, are your restaurant shelves lined with anything to keep things from falling through or tipping over? I’ve got the same shelves at home but the only place I’ve found that will cut clear or frosted plastic to fit is asking way too much!

  • I love the clean fresh palette coupled with the sense of ancestry and history this home evokes. I particularly love that hospital bed. YUM!

  • Hey, I absolutely love your house, it looks so cozy and home-y ! I just have one question, doesn’t the stripped bed and table fill the room with a metallic smell? cause im thinking to do that too, but am afraid of the cold smell. Thanks!

  • Kimberly,
    I am a Bay Area location scout. I work for a handful of magazines including Better Homes @ Gardens. I am very interested in submitting your home to a couple national magazines. Let me know if you have any interest. Thanks,
    Sarah Alba
    [email protected]

  • Wow, I love the daybed and the dresser, not just the design but also the color selection. Apparently I need to get to Grenouille Furniture!

  • I love the kitchen. Your kitchen shines with personal style. Great job. Hope to see more of your home in the mags!

  • wow, thanks for all of the wonderful comments! let me answer a few questions…

    rest assured, my grandparents are wearing totally cute bathing suits.

    i use a lot of metro shelving both in my home and studio. i have not lined them as most of the objects do not fall in between the wires. i did recently put the olive oil, vinegar, etc on a small chopping board though.

    stripping metal. i have stripped many pieces down to the metal, including my 19th century press. no residual smell. i usually spray a clear coat varnish after i am finished with the jasko stage.

    i bought the french garden chairs at the flea market from the owner of saffron and genevieve in santa cruz. she may have more. the powder coat completely transformed them!

    coco from grenouille also sells at a lot of the flea markets. she always has day beds, garden chairs, bell jars….

    thanks again for your comments!


  • Wow Kim, that is awesome. Your dad did an amazing job on the tile and the cabinets! He deserves credit bigtime for that!! Everything looks beautiful!! Gorgeous decorating!

  • Ooooooo! Kim, Aren’t you just the interior design maven. Your place looks great and better yet look at all this amazing feedback-you go girl!

  • Kim – WOW! Great job with everything.
    I’m all for the light, open, fresh, clean spaces and personal treasures. It exudes a HUGE creative spirit and love of all things beautiful!

    By the way, it is possible to purchase plexiglass at Tap Plastics and sand it yourself. I have done it many times.
    Just be sure to do it outside and wear a mask.

  • I love the hospital bed, I have been trying to obtain one of these for ages, many of the models that are now available are from the 70’s/80’s and simply don’t have the style of this model, so simple, but so good!

  • Such a beautiful home and love the kitchen. So much food for thought! D * S has been fascinating for a Londoner

  • Lovely, lovely home! It reminds me a lot of Pamela Fritz, an amazing interior designer and one of the first to design homes with industrial metal furniture (like Kimberly’s) and garden antiques . She used to own a shop with Fred Testu, who now owns Grenouille and was featured in many design magazines. But now I can’t find info on her anywhere. Does anyone know what happened to her?

    Check out this link to some of her older work from a 2001 issue of Victoria magazine:

  • hello again,

    yes, tap plastic is a great source. our sliding doors in our office are from tap and chris personally sanded each one.

    i guess we were pretty lucky to find this bed, even in its painted condition. keep checking the flee markets and salvage yards. eventually one will show up.

    fritzi! yes, a dear old friend and the friend who inspired me to start my letterpress business. her work is beautiful and she is still around. i will email her your info.

  • What an amazing home with such a soul. I can see that every item is carefully picked and appreciated. Kimberly is an awesome person who, thanks to you, I am learning so much more about.

  • What a great place to display your antique bed you just purchased. Kim, I am quite sure your bed will add that “home spun” attraction of bringing the past into the present. Like a piece of hot apple pie fresh from a country kitchen.

  • I love the look you have here! We actually have the same hospital bed that is in the picture. My husband bought it 26 yrs ago for $30.00. He found it in an add for his Mother who had cancer. She passed 25 yrs ago. We have always had it set up in a room. 3 yrs ago my husband sanded it down and painted it a light grey for our sons room. It has the original springs, and the crank to lift the foot, or the head. We love our old bed and will always have it in one of our rooms. I would like to know any info on the bed. I saw it could be 1940’s? I also think I saw these beds in a Shirley Temple movie. Please let me know if you have any info? Have thought of purchasing another one to display together, I don’t know if yours would be up for sale?

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