Tour a Classic Hillside San Francisco Home That’s Packed to the Rafters with Art and Love

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studio heimat house tour san francisco
Tour a Hillside Gem in San Francisco Frank Frances

By 2020, interior designer Eva Bradley’s home was busting at the seams, and with the recent addition of a new baby the year before, she knew her family needed more breathing room. Armed with a short list of requirements—which included outdoor space—the San Francisco–based principal of interior design firm Studio Heimat stumbled upon an unassuming hillside gem in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. “It looks deceptively small from the outside, but as soon as you open the door you have a breathtaking view,” explains Bradley. “Even driving down the street—unless you know the city—you’d never expect it.”

studio heimat house tour san francisco
An open floor plan allows the kitchen and dining space to flow into the living room below, so every space on this level has unobstructed city views.Frank Frances

What the Swiss-born designer and her husband, artist Cory Bradley, found was a modest-looking 123-year-old Victorian with sweeping views of Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, and iconic Sutro Tower—and plenty of space for their two young sons and seven-year-old vizsla, Cashus, to play. Built in 1900, the four-level, five-bedroom, four-bathroom home had undergone significant interior renovations in 2013 that were in contrast to its historic facade. “I’m not necessarily a modern [design] person, but I’m from Switzerland, so I’m used to all-white walls and a somewhat sterile atmosphere,” she laughs. “So I felt comfortable with it but saw the potential. There was so much we could get out of the home by adding softer touches and layers to make the space ours.”

Bradley’s response to the stark interior architecture was to add curvilinear furnishings to soften the hard edges of space and incorporate a lot of artwork, vintage pieces, and plenty of family mementos. “I was inspired by the three steps from the kitchen going down to the living room, and I wanted to create the feeling of a sunken space,” she says.

In terms of creating that midcentury atmosphere, they were limited by the height of the steps and needed to source the right modular seating to make it work. “Once I found that the Mario Bellini sofa fit into the space, I was super excited,” she adds. The height of the tufted seating was spot-on, and it fulfilled Bradley’s vision for the family’s favorite gathering spot.

studio heimat house tour san francisco
“Before, in the old house, his studio was in the garage,” says the designer. Now Cory has a proper in-home art studio, which includes a cleat wall that serves as materials storage and display space.Frank Frances

And for the self-confessed art hoarder, 12-foot ceilings meant there was ample room to display Cory’s paintings and the work they’ve collected over the years. “It was truly a blank canvas in terms of all the available wall space, and I’m an art addict, so it gave me the opportunity to hang all the things we had stacked on the floor—one in front of the other—at our old house.” In fact, the designer’s first piece of commissioned art was acquired from her future husband when she was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “I saw the flyer [for Cory’s show] on a friend’s refrigerator and didn’t even know if I could afford to buy anything,” she recalls of the early work—a hummingbird painting—which now hangs in their kids’ playroom.

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Having a usable outdoor space was important for the young family. “It’s just outside the doors of a [lower-level] family room, and we even have a lemon tree, and put a pool out [during the summer] —it’s been a life-saver,” Bradley says. Frank Frances Studio

family room, and we even have a lemon tree, and put a pool out [during the summer] —it’s been a life-saver,” Bradley says. ' expand='' crop='original'][/image]

What’s made living in the home even more special for the Bradleys is the generously sized backyard that was an initial must-have. “It’s just outside the doors of a [lower-level] family room, and we even have a lemon tree, and put a pool out [during the summer]—it’s been a life-saver.”

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