Inside a 640 Sq.Ft. Rental Home in San Francisco Decorated With Heirloom Treasures

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Renter’s home in San Francisco

This home tour has been one year in the making. To the date. So it is indeed special and I wanted it to go up before the year ended. Please welcome yourselves as Preethe throws opens the doors to her 640 sq.ft apartment in downtown San Francisco that she shares with her husband.

Who lives here: Preethe Hemanth Natarajan with her husband

Location: San Francisco

Size: 640 sq.ft.

Design Aesthetic: Ethnic Indian with a blend of modernity

Small spaces are always a delight to explore as the mystery unravels of how people utilize every inch of real estate available.

One look at Preethe’s living room and you can safely conclude it is a collector’s paradise. She is a curator of fine things. Her design aesthetic carefully combines the best of both worlds: Indian heritage (vintage brass finds) and modern comforts.

Brass figurines of gods of all sizes occupy a position of pride in their humble living room — everywhere from the book shelf to the coffee table. She is a skilled stylist as the objects are paired thoughtfully and do not come across as over the top. For someone living away from the familiar sights and sounds of where you have grown up, being surrounded by objects that remind you of your roots daily is a grounding like no other.

Living room of an ethnic Indian home in San Francisco

Given where the couple stay, I quizzed her on the enviable collection of brass and wooden artifacts. Preethe says,” I inherited a few from my mother-in-law, late parents, and bought a few on our travels. But, guess what, many are online finds.”

Probing further,she revealed eBay and to be her most trusted online sources for buying brass artifacts. Finding something interesting, of quality and within your price on eBay is like finding a needle in a haystack. But, Preethe admits, she spends several hours before investing in a piece that is unique.

In short, Preethe’s home is a fine lesson in how to have an eye for what objects to buy, how to pair them, and not make your house look like a gallery.

Book shelf

TV unit in the living room opposite the sofa

Preethe decorates her small rental home in San Francisco decorated with vintage brass and heirloom treasures

The Ganesha, Madhubani and Radha Krishna paintings are by a dear artist friend of theirs, Geetha Pathak.


Wooden panel

Side table

Preethe also has an enviable collection of healthy plants in her tiny balcony. The envy is for how healthy the plants are, especially the money plant. I remember her sharing a tip in a conversation earlier that she repotted the money plant every six months with a fresh dose of fertilizer. And it shows how green and happy the vine is.

Hand drawn Ganesh art work

View of the balcony from the living room


Image courtesy: Preethe Hemanth Natarajan





1 Comment

  1. Francesca

    Wow, this is such a unique space, with lots to look at and take notice of. Those wooden artifacts are stunning and so well photographed. The conservatory full of flowers is lovely too.

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