Design Match in Heavens: A 850 Square Foot Potrero Hill Apartment


Kelly Waters and Peter Judd Potrero Hill, 850 square feet

"Is it silly to be so sentimental over a chair or a sofa or an autographed doll?" asks intern architect Kelly Waters of the storied contemporary furniture, art, and other treasured keepsakes in the 850-square-foot flat she shares with her husband, Peter Judd, in Potrero Hill. Their classic Eames lounge, for instance, was inherited from Judd’s mother, who would while away many an afternoon upon it while pregnant with her son. The midcentury sofa was acquired from a porn distribution center in Los Angeles. And a collection of action figures from ’70s and ’80s TV shows was acquired via Judd’s addiction to eBay.

While the couple leans heavily toward modern design, they vehemently reject any form of style pigeonholing. "We abide by the don’t-put-it-in-your-place-if-you-don’t-love-it rule," says Waters, 30, who also pens the design blog, Halcyon Days ( True to that incantation, a parade of pedigreed orphans, including four vintage Eames seats, a Milo Baughman dowel bench, and a Saarinen dining chair—literally kicked to the curb by their former owners—have been adopted into the Waters-Judd flat. "Old, new, vintage, or antique," says Waters, "if we love it, we’ll take it home and make it work."

1. Kelly Waters’ employee discount at Limn furniture store enabled her to scoop up these Piero Lissoni Paper Chairs (now embellished with feltwork by SF artist Ashley Helvey). "When Peter and I started dating, he couldn’t believe I owned these chairs," says Waters. "He had come close to buying them, too."

2. In another coincidence ("Our paths must have crossed so many times before we met," muses Waters), she and husband Peter Judd each owned a classic low Eames side table before moving in together. The familiar profile of these revered utilitarian pieces makes them instantly stylish, and now they have a pair.

3. A Leah Giberson painting ( of a midcentury dwelling in Daly City’s Westlake neighborhood was a mutual anniversary present between the two newlyweds. "When we take the freeway through Daly City to Ocean Beach," says Judd, "Kelly and I always mention how much we love the houses there."

4. Judd surprised his wife last Christmas with a vintage wooden toy monkey by Kay Bojesen that she’d been coveting since her days as a student in Denmark. "She would inevitably become horrified by its steep price tag," says Judd. "I found it on eBay." The primate now decorates the bar.

5. This eclectic 1960s mushroom pottery stool, a gift from Judd’s mother, is by sculptor Stan Bitters. It’s meaningful to the couple because, says Waters, "Peter, in his younger years, apparently liked to strip naked, jump on top of it, and proclaim himself king—I’ve seen the photographic evidence."

6. "As much as I like to have nice things, I don’t like to pay thousands of dollars for them," says Waters of the red Roses rug by Nani Marquina she had previously admired from afar. "We came across this one rolled up at a warehouse sale for just a few hundred dollars. At that price, we felt like we were stealing it."

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