INSIDE THE INSTAGRAM-WORTHY HOUSE OF INTERIOR DESIGNER EVA MULLER BRADLEY
By Jen Woo, Interior Photography by John Merkl, Portraits by Thomas Kwoh | May 22, 2019
Interior design junkies who think the name Eva Muller Bradley sounds familiar likely found themselves daydreaming recently at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase where she, as cofounder of the design firm Studio Heimat, created a fantasy of a childrens' bedroom complete with whimsical floral canopies and rope swings at the foot of each bed.
Formerly a designer for interior showman Ken Fulk, Muller Bradley applied a similar sense of playfulness to her family's Edwardian home in NoPa. While you won't find swings in the bedrooms here, there are cheeky wallpapers and animal accents everywhere.
First, Muller Bradley transformed the 1,500-square-foot house into a 2,000-square-foot earthquake-safe home, where she lives with her husband, Cory Bradley—an artist whose paintings adorn the walls—their two-year old son, Brooklyn, and their fur baby, Cashus.
Because Muller Bradley and her family are constantly on the move—"As a business owner, and since I am lucky enough to do what I love, there is almost no day where I don't do some kind of work related task," she says. So it's imperative that their home be a sanctuary for relaxation but also serve as creative stimulation. "I am surrounded with beautiful design, and can find inspiration anywhere I go."
When she set to work remodeling the house, it was this theme that carried the design—that, and her love of period details. Maintaining much of the original charm of the Edwardian, she kept the existing oak floors, corbels, ceiling medallions, and staircase balustrades. "Anything I could keep by giving it new life was essential to me," she says. "It's nice being able to feel that a home has character and that you're building on to it rather than trying to change it into something it wasn't meant to be."
The flow of the two-story house wasn't conducive to a family of four, so she made a slew of updates including rearranging the kitchen into an L shape and adding more square footage. To maximize space and storage, they added a new gas insert for a slim fireplace, a hideaway for Cashus, and an entirely new lower level, excavating four feet. Within that space, there's a play and gym room, large bathroom with a steam shower and double heads, a closet, and of course, more storage.
"A home to me is the place where you should feel like you can retreat to after a long day of work; where you can relax and recharge," she says. "It's a place that wears many hats, and the decor, furniture pieces, colors, textures, and even the smell can help achieve that."
To instill a sense of airiness, clerestory windows were added along with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, light paint, and fresh upholstery. It's all about balance, melding practical necessities with beautiful flourishes. In the living room, a cozy sectional sits across from a fireplace surrounded by chic details—copper accents abound (a staple in Studio Heimat's designs), and is softened with patterned textiles and plants. That same vibe makes its way into the bedroom and kitchen with an open layout and neutral tones. This is also where you'll find her favorite piece of decor: her husband's painting of Cashus.
Other spaces, however, take on a life of their own. Fresh, bold accents mirror her personality and are seen in the patterned dog nook beneath the stairs; in the powder room swathed in floral wallpaper and coral trim; and in a pair of copper giraffes cozied up next to the fireplace in the living room. The nursery, too, is teeming with fun patterns in the toile wallpaper and curtains. A gilded rabbit lamp, bear clothing hamper, and stuffed animals piled onto clear acrylic floating shelves make good company for Brooklyn.
"We spend so much time at home, and now with a growing family, seeing my son grow up in this house, and knowing that it will be his first home that he will remember makes it so much more important to make his memories of this home positive ones. It builds who we are whether young or old, what we surround ourselves with is what shapes us, so why not make our home the best possible for ourselves."
// Studio Heimat, studioheimat.com