(Photography by Gillian Walsworth)

Inside the Instagram-Worthy Castro Home of a Designer, His Partner & Their Excellent Cat

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A modern-luxe Castro home with glorious panoramic views.

The San Francisco home of interior designer Leo Cesareo and marketing expert Daniel Sasson has not only sweeping views, but a markedly handsome modern interior that's perhaps even more lustworthy. (Also, bonus points for the cutest and cuddliest cat, Minou).


Needless to say, their space was put together with intention and a strategic understanding of interior layout as well as planning. Cesareo explains that while an open concept is great for a view like theirs, there needs to be clear markers of where the living room ends and the kitchen or dining room begins. Applying his day-to-day experience in covering needs, vision and budget, he and Sasson set up a few Pinterest boards to explore ideas, and then jumped right in. To create the illusion of separated spaces, the two positioned their sectional sofa to face away from the rest of the room and placed a pendant over the dining table...simple tricks of the trade.

"At my core, I'm a problem solver, that's a lot of what design is about to me," says Cesareo.

Dubbed "scandi-fornia" by Sasson, their style blends his Scandinavian background and Swedish sensibilities with their shared "Cali love of all things bright and light." These elements can be seen in the custom furnishings, lighting and materials, with a mix of modern and vintage pieces interspersed with succulents and native plants.

"We went the extra mile with our living room rug and had it custom made by my favorite rug vendor, Mark Nelson Designs. It took months to get it right, but it's quite the statement piece and really pulls the room together. It's also incredibly soft underfoot and we think it was worth the splurge!"

Cesareo's professional vision for clean lines and minimalist aesthetic thoroughly translates in the decor with "just the right amount of clutter" and a "less is more" aesthetic; which makes sense as he started out in set design for film at the Rhode Island School of Design. The only difference between the two, he says, is that in his chosen industry he works with the finest materials versus just what looks good on screen.

"Things have to be able to last a lot longer and be functional, but the psychology is the same. You're building a world that reflects your character-client's unique point of view...It can be a bit of a mind game, that's the fun part!"

Building the couple's own home was a process to get it exactly as they wanted it, but they started with essentials and then filled in the rest, purposefully creating an environment that's relaxed and playful.

"We love to entertain and throw parties or get-togethers. Our apartment is meant to feel lived in and comfortable, yet put together. I think that is reflected in how we live our lives day to day."

Mornings at their household consist of a quick workout followed by sun-drenched breakfast in the dining room. Cesareo will watch the news "until he can't take it anymore" and then head into the office where his days are split between emails, site visits, presentations and design.

"Back at home, Daniel and I like to unwind with a good foreign film or a trashy TV show. There is no in-between, highbrow/ lowbrow is how we run things in this home."

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