San Francisco Apartment Gets a Color-Packed Overhaul

For the past four years, Julia Walsh has been writing and editing lifestyle-based stories for national and local online editorial outlets. Her research made her eager to put some of the tips, tricks and products she covers to good use in her own home. "There's a symbiotic relationship between my decorating and the things I cover as a writer — be it San Francisco events or emerging art world talents," Julie says. "I've culled artwork from past interviewees, filled shelves with books I've reviewed and picked up linens on travel-writing trips to Europe. It was important to me that my apartment become a visual resume for what I do."

After finding a 900-square-foot apartment on San Francisco's iconic Lombard Street, Julia realized its potential to become a designer-caliber space. She looked forward to surrounding herself with some of the fantastic finds from her editorial work. The writer/editor explains, "Overall, I wanted to make my home primarily a place to unwind, work when I need to and socialize from time to time. Just add wine."

First up on her to-do list was to incorporate color. "Adding paint and fabric is the surest way to make a drab rental feel personal and vibrant," the journalist explains. "Even though I'm not paying a mortgage, I want my place to feel like I'm here to stay." In addition to surrounding herself with many of the subjects she's covered in articles, Julia was determined to turn the previously underutilized living room into a personal writing lounge. There she could work from her laptop and indulge in reading new books, many of which she reviews for work.

While turquoise dominates the walls of her writer's lounge, honeysuckle-orange was used solely as accents in Julia's entryway and in her master bedroom. Julia also opted to bring in touches of violet to accent the turquoise. A pair of upholstered chairs and matching throw pillows feature shades of violet. Of the chairs bestowed to her from her mother, "I've had my eye on my mother's amazing chairs since I was a kid, and she finally gave in and shipped them to me," says Julia. "I was never a purple person, but something about them just called to me. Now I'm a purple convert. I even wrote an article about decorating with different shades like eggplant, lilac, etc."

With the design of her colorful apartment complete, Julia is armed with a new understanding of interior design and decorating. She's got a designated room in which to focus on both reading and writing, and an entire home packed with bold hues and one-of-a-kind pieces by the same local artists she often writes about. "The biggest lesson I learned from the whole experience is that you don't have to be finished," notes the avid reader and writer. "Just continue to edit and move things around until it finally feels right. One day, when you fall in love with a large-scale painting that throws the whole thing off, just rearrange and fine-tune until you find balance again."

Above all, her favorite place in the apartment is her writing lounge. There she's reading and writing more efficiently than ever, thanks to her collection of inspiring design elements and meticulously chosen furniture. "Having such a cozy, functional and inspiring place to spend time has made me a homebody." she says. "Whether I'm working, lounging or hosting friends, I just love to be here." With a place as colorful, well-curated and packed with stories as Julia's, it's likely that the writer herself is soon to become a highly publicized subject.

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