A Moody, Masculine Small-Space Apartment in San Francisco

05 Jan

A Moody, Masculine Small-Space Apartment in San Francisco

When designer Jay Jeffers set out to create his second home, he knew exactly what he wanted. He and his husband, Michael Purdy—the director of Jeffers’s eponymous design company—own an airy weekend home in California’s St. Helena wine region, and they wanted their city abode, in San Francisco’s up-and-coming Hayes Valley neighborhood, to be the complete opposite. “St. Helena is our bright, indoor-outdoor home,” explains Jeffers. “It’s where we have dinner parties and entertain. This is more our cocoon.” The only similarity: Jeffers allowed the apartment’s surroundings to inform his design, as he did with the ranch-style vacation home. “We wanted something very urban, with a completely different feel than St. Helena,” he says. “I wanted it to be dark and sexy. It’s not flooded with light; there’s certainly no indoor-outdoor living. I wanted the juxtaposition between the two, so when I’m in the city, I really feel like I’m in the city, and vice versa.” To achieve this, Jeffers used a dramatic palette, combining dark wood, luxe upholstery, and textural curtains in the 850-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment. The home’s undisputed centerpiece is a hand-painted mural that connects the living room and bedroom and injects the space with colorful life. Click ahead for a virtual tour of the diminutive but inspiring home.

 

Jeffers reclines on the living room sofa, which is by Milo Baughman. "We had about 50% of the furniture already, so there wasn’t too much questioning," says the designer of outfitting the apartment. "I have my obsessions; when I see things and need them, I get them."
Photo: Matthew Millman
Jeffers reclines on the living room sofa, which is by Milo Baughman. “We had about 50% of the furniture already, so there wasn’t too much questioning,” says the designer of outfitting the apartment. “I have my obsessions; when I see things and need them, I get them.”
 
“It was white with hardwood floors—basically a white box," says Jeffers of the space when they moved in. He peppered the apartment with artwork and decor collected over the years or offered in his San Francisco shop.
Photo: Matthew Millman
“It was white with hardwood floors—basically a white box,” says Jeffers of the space when they moved in. He peppered the apartment with artwork and decor collected over the years or offered in his San Francisco shop.
 
Artwork flanks most walls, including in the living room, where they form a gallery wall that distracts from the television. “I do a lot of work with clients trying to establish collections, so often when I’m helping them, I find things for myself," Jeffers says. "There are things from auction, from galleries, from everywhere.
Photo: Matthew Millman
Artwork flanks most walls, including in the living room, where they form a gallery wall that distracts from the television. “I do a lot of work with clients trying to establish collections, so often when I’m helping them, I find things for myself,” Jeffers says. “There are things from auction, from galleries, from everywhere.
 
 
One wall in the living room is covered in a mural by Area Environments, a Minneapolis-based studio that creates bespoke large-scale wall coverings. "We provided the elevations that show where the window cutouts are and worked with them to place it," explains Jeffers.
Photo: Matthew Millman
One wall in the living room is covered in a mural by Area Environments, a Minneapolis-based studio that creates bespoke large-scale wall coverings. “We provided the elevations that show where the window cutouts are and worked with them to place it,” explains Jeffers.
 
The artwork extends into the apartment's bedroom. "I wanted the mural to be a junction between the two," Jeffers says. "It gives some great color in the darkness of the cocoon."
Photo: Matthew Millman
The artwork extends into the apartment’s bedroom. “I wanted the mural to be a junction between the two,” Jeffers says. “It gives some great color in the darkness of the cocoon.”
 
The bedroom features a carpet by Stark. "I've been obsessed with these rugs for a while," Jeffers says. "I've used them in other colors, but clients are reluctant to use those dark hues, so I used them for myself."
Photo: Matthew Millman
The bedroom features a carpet by Stark. “I’ve been obsessed with these rugs for a while,” Jeffers says. “I’ve used them in other colors, but clients are reluctant to use those dark hues, so I used them for myself.”
 
 
 
"My husband and I realized that we really like portraits, so now we have a collection," Jeffers says. This large-scale painting hangs in the bedroom.
Photo: Matthew Millman
“My husband and I realized that we really like portraits, so now we have a collection,” Jeffers says. This large-scale painting hangs in the bedroom.
 
A room that was originally meant as a dressing area now functions as a bar. Jeffers removed the closet doors and replaced them with curtains, adding to the soft, luxe feel established by the hair-on-hide rug (of Jeffers's own design, inspired by a Victor Vasarely painting) and upholstered chairs. A painting by New York artist Forrest Williams graces one wall.
Photo: Matthew Millman
A room that was originally meant as a dressing area now functions as a bar. Jeffers removed the closet doors and replaced them with curtains, adding to the soft, luxe feel established by the hair-on-hide rug (of Jeffers’s own design, inspired by a Victor Vasarely painting) and upholstered chairs. A painting by New York artist Forrest Williams graces one wall.
 
The bar area. "We don't entertain the same way here as we do at our country home, where we do big dinner parties," Jeffers says. "We have people over for cocktails and then go out to one of the many restaurants in the area."
Photo: Matthew Millman
The bar area. “We don’t entertain the same way here as we do at our country home, where we do big dinner parties,” Jeffers says. “We have people over for cocktails and then go out to one of the many restaurants in the area.”
  
The kitchen features the only white surfaces in the apartment. "When you get back to the kitchen, it's a little darker, so I thought this was a good place to have a lighter effect,” explains Jeffers.
Photo: Matthew Millman
The kitchen features the only white surfaces in the apartment. “When you get back to the kitchen, it’s a little darker, so I thought this was a good place to have a lighter effect,” explains Jeffers.
 
The home's entry, looking into the living room.
Matthew Millman
The home’s entry, looking into the living room.
 
The open kitchen invites hosting, though Jeffers and Purdy usually eschew cooking for exploring the surrounding city. “It's a great, bustling neighborhood that’s been growing up with new restaurants and shops," says Jeffers of the area.
Photo: Matthew Millman
The open kitchen invites hosting, though Jeffers and Purdy usually eschew cooking for exploring the surrounding city. “It’s a great, bustling neighborhood that’s been growing up with new restaurants and shops,” says Jeffers of the area.
 
 
A dramatic bath echoes the apartment's contrasting color scheme.
Photo: Matthew Millman
A dramatic bath echoes the apartment’s contrasting color scheme.