Secret Garden: 750 Square Foot Duboce Triangle Apartment


Mamie Rheingold Duboce Triangle 750 square feet

Mamie Rheingold, a 25-year-old program manager at Google, wasn’t the first to claim dibs on a new Duboce Triangle garden apartment designed by Boor Bridges Architecture, but she was definitely the most enthusiastic. "I have a background in architecture, so I really marveled at the design," says Rheingold, who moved in six months ago. "My landlords really wanted a tenant who would appreciate it."

The 750-square-foot space, formerly a storage area for a five-unit building located near the United States Mint, was transformed into a modern one-bedroom apartment with an industrial-loft sensibility. Open communal spaces flow into each other and airy 9-foot ceilings display wooden support beams. Exposed air ducts, large windows, and folding glass doors let abundant sunshine in—conduct unbefitting a standard basement-level unit.

Rheingold’s youthful exuberance—revealed through her fondness for Japanese pop art, toy robots, gnomes, and novelty ceramic teapots—enlivens the space, while modern classics such as the Marcel Breuer Wassily Chair, clear acrylic coffee table from CB2, and tripod floor lamp add sophistication. "My décor is eclectic but not random," says Rheingold. "Everything exists harmoniously here."

1. The spotlight in Mamie Rheingold’s living room was a recent acquisition from SummerHouse in Mill Valley. She notes that the lamp’s wooden composition highlights the ceiling beams and warms up the cool textures in the space—namely the concrete floors and Carrera marble countertops in the adjacent kitchen.

2. Rheingold sourced the blue-green, fan-shaped architectural relic above her bed from the San Anselmo Country Store. "I wanted something that would float above the bed," she says, "and give the illusion of a headboard."

3. The prized piece in Rheingold’s collection of white ceramic teapots is a rare work by Peter Fluck and Roger Law that features a particularly snouty Margaret Thatcher. It was modeled off a caricature of the Iron Lady on the famous ’80s British satirical puppet show, Spitting Image.

4. The Mill Valley native suspects that the previous owner of the white leather-and-chrome Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer had no idea of its pedigree. She acquired it on Craigslist for $150. "Well, at least I think it’s a Breuer," says Rheingold, suddenly uncertain.

5. Rheingold has been collecting toys since childhood, but she began amassing toy robots in 2006, around the same time she started working at Google. "The tech industry was definitely a big influence in starting this collection," she says. "After all, I am surrounded by engineers who love robots."

6. Rheingold swooped up the antique Shaker-style dining chairs—refugees from a recent remodel of the Caprice restaurant in Tiburon—for a mere $15 each. Their worn black paint makes a rustic contrast against the stark-white display wall, featuring a collection of unusual ceramic teapots.

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