Who: David and Rebecca are dealers at the San Francisco Antique Mall in space GH45, and they also have a cool blog called Atomic Fantasy. They’re interested in joining/ creating an SF collective, so if you have any desire to do the same (or any leads on opening spaces), give ’em a holler.
What they told us about the home:
David: It’s better on the inside than the outside.
Rebecca: We live in a two bedroom flat in a four unit Victorian building. What this truly means is a long hallway with lots of rooms lining that hallway.
Where is the home located:
David: On the border of Strollerberg and Hipsterville (Noe Valley/Dolores Heights, San Francisco).
When was the home built and when they moved in:
David: Built circa 1907, directly post-earthquake. Moved in January 2007.
Why they chose this home:
David: It had parking. And malleable character.
Rebecca: David was already living here when we decided to move in together. And his place was larger than mine at that time.
What attracted you to MCM design?
David: Seems like whenever something was made in the 1950s, designers and manufacturers asked themselves “How can we make this look cooler? And let’s make it so it will last forever, while we’re at it…” Whereas the guiding question now seems to be “How can we make this cheaper?” When you touch and hold MCM things, you can feel the intention was for you to enjoy having and using them. It’s like stumbling upon artifacts from an advanced, benevolent and delightfully tasteful race of super-beings.
Rebecca: MCM design represents everything I love. Clean lines. Durability. Affordability. And best of all, it is green.
Favorite designers and biggest influences for your style?
Rebecca: We have not paid much attention to designers as much as the design themselves. If we had to pick one, Lane would be high on the list. Especially their Acclaim series. As America’s answer to Danish furniture, Lane offered modern, high quality design at an affordable price. And it continues to be affordable today.
How do you feel about reproductions?
David: The same way I feel about contemporary cover versions of classic songs.
Rebecca: History always repeats itself. Although I personally strive to buy the real thing, I am not shocked that MCM reproductions have become so popular. You cannot argue that MCM offers great design. The flattery of imitation is inevitable.
Furniture wise, what do you think is something you should invest in?
David: I’d like to invest in the actual Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair featured on the show Bewitched.
Rebecca: Something that touches you. I have never regretted buying a piece of furniture that I loved at first sight.
Where are your favorite places to shop for home décor?
David: Antique Fairs (Alameda, Sacramento), because they’re so big the chances of finding something that will make you feel like the universe is on your side is pretty high.
Rebecca: Plus you leave feeling like you got a little exercise during your search.
What are some of your best finds? From where?
Rebecca: Hands down the best find was a mint condition Franciscan Starburst creamer for $5 at Alemany Flea Market in San Francisco. I recall trying my best to keep a poker face during the transaction since I was nervous the dealer would raise his price if he noticed my excitement. I am also thrilled with a starburst mirror we purchased at Alameda Antique Faire for $20. Now hanging in our living room above a built in shelving unit, it puts a smile on my face daily.
David: I don’t really have any friends.
Rebecca: Finds, not friends.
David: I bought The Lovely Day for one dollar at Alameda. Now that’s a find.
Greatest achievement in your home? Biggest challenge?
Rebecca: I believe our greatest achievement was our front room. Over the last six months we have transformed the room from an unused dining room to a cozy sitting room with lots of character. My most favorite addition has been the Blaupunkt Arkansas console radio/bar. It adds a feeling of seriousness to an otherwise kitsch room. Our biggest challenge is that we are renters. Since moving in, I have been dying to replace two country-esque chandeliers in our apartment. I would also love to undo the 80s renovations to our once 50s bathroom. Neither of these projects will ever happen since we do not own our unit. Another challenge is that our ceilings are at least 15 feet high making painting a bit difficult without access to a very tall ladder. That, luckily, can be fixed.
David: The biggest challenge for me is trying to coordinate colors or match items in a room. It’s such a big challenge that I don’t even try. So “eclectic” would be a kind way to describe our place right now. More honest would be “makeshift storage facility for color-blind hoarder.” Embracing this is probably also our biggest achievement.
Rebecca: But this “color-blind hoarder” knows that we have two really ugly chandeliers so I imagine my biggest challenge is accepting what cannot be changed.
Future goals/ projects?
Rebecca: With the opening of our stall at the San Francisco Antique & Design Mall in December my projects lately have been dealer focused. Our hope, however, is to join a collective to expand on what we have already started.
David: We just want to enjoy and share all the MCM goodness that is in the world.
Do you have any home inspiration recommendations for our readers?
Rebecca: Don’t be afraid to refurbish. With enough patience and elbow grease you would be amazed with how easy it can be to transform an abused piece of furniture into the star item of the room. There are a lot of DIY websites and blogs out there willing to lend a hand.
David: Vintage magazines are highly inspirational. Time machines are also great for checking out actual MCM home arrangements.
Rebecca: Or just visit Midway in Sacramento if your time machine is on the blink.
Advice and last words?
Rebecca: Have fun with your MCM search. The people I have met along the way have made the quest so much more rewarding.
David: All you need is love. Is that taken?
Thanks a million to Rebecca and David for allowing us into their home with such notice. They were also nice enough to show me all the hot MCM spots of SF! You guys are awesome.