Be ready for a brand-new home decor experience
Home is my little corner of the world where I can feel 100% me. Hello! My name is Mark Rosimo (Youtube: @markrosimo), I am 27 years old, and I currently live in San Francisco, California. I love interior design! I spend a lot of time making my home a reflection of who I am and the style I want to portray. My other interests include playing tennis and volleyball. I also have a YouTube channel where I vlog about my daily life, home decor, and food. I am a first-generation Asian American, emigrating from the Philippines. I grew up around the Seattle, WA area. Although I love the Pacific Northwest and all its natural beauty, I really wanted to move to California for different opportunities and better weather. I am so lucky to have a job that I truly enjoy at CBRE. The team I am on works exclusively with Google to deliver their workspaces. I’ve learned a lot about nurturing natural engagement through art installation, state-of-the-art equipment, and good ol’ fashion wow factor! Living alone and having this apartment all to myself has allowed me full creative control over style and function. I spend time, effort, and money on this because I firmly believe that your personal space (whether just a room or a whole house) is a direct reflection of who you are and how you feel about the world around you. Nowadays, when everything is fighting for your attention and everyday life can be so unsuspectingly busy, it is important to me that I can come back to a space where I can feel calm, collected, and relaxed. It feels so great to have my little nest, my little corner of the world I can call home, and where I can feel 100% me.
I wanted to move to a neighborhood that had good public transportation, as it is the easiest way to commute to and from work… which meant I needed to be near the underground Muni on Market Street. And that is where I found myself—in South of the Market (SoMa). This neighborhood is mostly made up of young professionals ages 25-35, working in tech. There are a lot of dive bars and event venues in the area. Great nightlife with an incredible walk score for pedestrians!
The building I live in was constructed in 2014 amid the rise of nearby tech headquarters. Across the street, you'll find the Twitter HQ, as well as the Uber HQ (at the time of build). Some new additions on the block include Whole Foods and numerous restaurants and bars, one of which is in my building on the first floor. It serves some of the best pizza in the city and is accessible through the apartment complex lobby. I hear all the time that my money can stretch further elsewhere, but there is truly nothing like this city and how much there is to do out here. I’m paying a premium for this zip code, but so far, it is worth every penny.
This apartment is a one-bedroom, one-level apartment. The kitchen is immediately accessible when coming through the front door and leads into the living room, with a dining room on the left. Continuing in on the right is my bedroom, which is connected to a large walk-in closet, with an entrance to the bathroom and shower inside. I live on the top penthouse floor (17th floor) which features some unique details not found on the other floors, including polished concrete floors in lieu of hardwood, high ceilings, as well as a nook for a workstation. My particular unit also features a dining room. Living on the top floor allows for the best views in the building! I am fortunate enough to be able to afford to live here by myself and, in comparison to similar units of size and building amenities, this apartment was an incredible find. I pay $3120 in rent, including a parking spot, and monthly utilities.
My living room is an open-concept-like configuration. My favorite thing about my home is the high floor-to-ceiling windows. I feel so inspired every day looking out into the city while I’m having my coffee. My apartment has polished concrete flooring, which when paired with white walls makes the space feel very cold (think parking garage). To warm up the space, I need to include plenty of textures and warm colors. I do this with a faux fur rug on the side, and a rug that covers the entire space of the living room beneath all my furniture, so it's soft to the touch when you step on it. I'd say my space is very “earth tone” and modern. Likewise, I wouldn't call myself a minimalist, but I would say that I enjoy an airy, free-flowing style and open floor plan. Furthermore, I pay attention to the state of my apartment, I love keeping things clean, so I often mop and vacuum the day after I come back from a night out if I had friends over and even before a big trip. To me, a decluttered home is a decluttered mind.
My favorite piece of furniture in my home is most definitely the Utopia 96" Sofa from Living Spaces, a dupe of a very famous couch from Restoration Hardware called the Cloud Couch. I came across the Utopia Sofa for $995 and because I had been looking and shopping for an affordable dupe for so long, I knew this was the one. And so did many others because it has sold-out time and time again and the retail price has since risen to $1495. All the wall art and paintings hung on my walls are painted and framed by me. Each piece costs me roughly $60 in total, in materials; the majority of the cost is the wood and the blank canvas. I pull inspiration for these paintings from street artist “Retna” who has developed his own alphabet.
The greatest challenge I face when designing my home is furnishing it and making good use of the space! Fortunately for me, I love shopping for furniture and finding great deals.
Kitchen & Dining room
The galley-style kitchen itself is not much to speak of. On the other hand, I really enjoy this coffee bar I've converted into my “catch-all.” I use it to house all the things I need before I leave home, such as my keys, my wallet, and most importantly, a mirror to check my hair before I step outside the door.
I highly recommend the Stagg EKG Electric Kettle. It is so cute and so modern that it almost looks like a nice piece of art. It was a little pricey for a kettle, but I use it every day for coffee in the morning and tea at night, so the cost-per-use definitely makes it worth it!
The dining room is located inside a little nook carved into the side of the left-wing wall. I have put together a dining set complete with 4 chairs, a bench at the front, and a bar cart.
I wish I’d bought a thinner table, since the space was a little tighter than I remembered when I ordered all of my furniture. Note to self; measure twice.
The bedroom needed two things, in my opinion—a TV and the largest bed I could possibly squeeze into the space. (A queen!) I wanted the bed on the side closest to the floor-to-ceiling window. There's nothing cozier than watching the traffic and the city lights as the sun sets while I'm unwinding and getting ready for bed.
My favorite thing in my bedroom is this 3-tiered bookshelf I use as a console table under my bookshelf. I found this piece at HomeGoods and the price was heavily reduced because one of the steel frame posts was severely scratched. Coming from a construction/engineering background and now working in commercial renovation, I knew this was an easy fix. I used Scuffmaster (often used to restore elevator doors and old exterior steel gates), a heavy-duty paint that can buff out scratches. This shelf reminds me that furniture can be used in different ways from their intended purpose, and that furniture can be repaired.
When looking for pieces for your home on a budget, try looking at thrift shops or reclaimed vintage stores for some cheap finds and keep in mind that with just a little bit of determination and at almost no cost at all, anything can be repaired or restored. But just because something is a good deal, does not mean it is the right deal! Price is only half of the decision, the other half is the furniture's build quality. Will it last me a long time? Is it sturdy and well-constructed? Is it multi-functional? There are rental-friendly renovations and tweaks that can make your apartment more “you” and more “yours.” So far, I’ve changed out the lights to brighter more modern fixtures, changed the kitchen and bathroom faucets to black, and replaced all the bathroom hardware and cabinet pulls. I also painted a random black wall in my apartment white to make it feel more open and more cohesive throughout.
Some design decisions I regret are tied to all the small decor and tchotchkes I bought, such as clay vases and coffee table books. I know my style is going to change, but these pieces are not very style-interchangeable. Don't get me wrong—I love my home now. It is so calming, clean, and minimal. But I feel that I'll outgrow it soon, and I'd want something with a little more personality, although I think that comes with time, through discovering more about myself. A lot of my inspiration comes from trendy YouTubers and Pinterest posts, so my design style right now is very common and popular. I'd like to explore eccentric and colorful themes and palettes, like dark greens and bright blues or gold.
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