As editors, we’re constantly looking inside the homes of other people in an endless quest to bring you the most inspiring spaces, coolest new products, and smartest decorating tips. Today however, we’re turning the tables and giving you an exclusive first look at the San Francisco home of Rue’s very own Kelli Ryder and her artist boyfriend, Timothy Lamb. Oozing with creative talent and personal style, it’s no wonder this couple has crafted a home that’s quirky, colorful, and sophisticated all at once. From Kelli’s gift for big ideas, to Tim’s knack for bringing the details together, these two teach us a thing or two about decorating for the sexes and doing so in perfect harmony!
You’re the Associate Editor of Rue. I think a lot of readers would be interested to learn how you got where you are today. Can you walk us through your career path?
Yes- my dream job! Well, I’m originally from Boise, Idaho and started my career in e-commerce. While I wouldn’t trade my past experience for anything, I knew deep down that I was unhappy in that line of work. I’ve always enjoyed writing- and actually spent most of junior high creating these “virtual magazines” with a computer game called Teen Digital Diva. (Wild, right??) A few years back, I started a blog to help express myself creatively after long hours in a cubicle. I discovered the blogging world and was totally hooked.
When I moved to San Francisco, I didn’t know anyone but Tim! I was spending my days applying for jobs but never hearing back. I started going stir crazy, and saw that Rue was hosting a party at the Gap. Excited to finally live in a city where I could attend, I dragged Tim along. The following week, I checked Rue’s Facebook page for photos of the event. Instead, I saw a post asking for a “college intern.” I knew it was the change I craved and was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss out on. Since I was well out of college, I treated the internship as an extended interview. The rest, as they say, is history!
This is your first place with Tim. Was it difficult to agree on the direction of the design?
I wouldn’t call it difficult, but we definitely made some compromises on both ends. For example, we have a VERY different understanding of what you could categorize as feminine or girly. He really loves rustic pieces, while I tend to gravitate towards bright and airy. However as we went along, it became apparent that our styles would ultimately combine seamlessly. It helps that Tim has such great personal style! I really trust his design sense and in some cases, prefer it over my own. Tim lets me have the big ideas, and I let him fine tune the details. The result turned out better than we’d hoped!
Sounds like you make the perfect team! Decorating an apartment can be overwhelming. Did you have a plan or did it come together organically?
We did start with a plan for the living room, envisioning the gallery wall and building around it. That room came together quickly and perfectly- but then we hit a creative block. It took a few months and a LOT of rearranging before the dining room finally worked- adding the bright blue rug was my “aha moment.”
As for the bedroom, I thought it would NEVER look good. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what direction I wanted to go. I would sit on the bed with Pinterest pulled up, combing through images of these beautiful rooms- still clueless. I randomly saw an Instagram post of the West Elm geo console, and immediately realized I NEEDED it… and that I wanted the bedroom to be bright and dreamy. Seriously- one piece inspired an entire room re-do! We brought in white Peacock Alley bedding, added our kilim rug, and voila- I suddenly had the refreshing, relaxing bedroom I hadn’t been able to imagine before.
Speaking of color, we can’t help but notice the awesome turquoise wall in your living room. What’s the story behind the bold color?
We actually chose that color while having brunch one of my first Sundays in the city. On a whim, we decided that the hue would be a great pairing with all of the natural light, and hit up the hardware store on the way home. We had a turquoise wall before Tim went to work Monday morning!
We all know San Francisco is an expensive place to live. What 5 tips would you give Rue readers who are decorating on a budget?
1. Use what you have! Don’t feel like you need to rush out and buy all new furniture. Simple changes (like new throw pillows or an area rug) can make a world of difference!
2. Make it yourself! You don’t have to be a DIY guru, either. In our home, we utilized gold spray paint on a few small accents for a luxe upgrade.
3. Don’t be afraid of Ikea! It’s easy to find beautiful pieces that will complement your personal style without looking generic.
4. Paint is your best friend. Whether it’s an accent wall or an entire room, it’s an inexpensive way to make a huge impact.
5. Restyle often! We use a lot of small vignettes to build our decor. I’d say Tim probably rearranges them once every two months- and the result is always a fresh “new” home. We’re never bored with our place!
Favorite corner of your home and why?
Our bedroom! It is a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. At the end of the day, I’ll come in here with a book or magazine and totally unwind.
How has working as an editor for Rue influenced your eye for interior design?
I used to be pretty timid and hold back with both interior design as well as fashion. Editorial work has introduced me to a lot of beautiful spaces and really inspired me to push my own limits.
Tim is an artist. Did he get to pick out all the art for the home?
Yes! Art is in his blood. Professionally and personally, it’s sewn into every part of his life. I have NO desire to control that aspect of our place. However, he’s very respectful and thoughtful in choosing the pieces we display (which tend to rotate), and puts a lot of effort into finding things we’ll both love.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Evolving. There’s a lot of variation in my personal taste- I can find appreciation in so many different styles! Lately, I’ve been drawn to very bohemian spaces- we’ll see if it sticks!
You work from home. Any tips on making it work?
Working from home is a total dream but also a daily challenge!! One of the hardest things is I never really “turn off.” Some days, I’m so in the zone that I don’t change out of my pajamas, eat lunch, or leave the house. Tim will come home and I’m just typing away. Other days, I’ll end up feeling burnt out, and I’m swayed to go for a walk in the park or meet friends for lunch. I’ve had to learn to accept productivity when it comes, but not be so hard on myself if I don’t feel inspired. Accepting that it’s not logical for me to keep traditional hours has been the best thing for my work!
DINING ROOM: 1. Rug // 2. Lighting // 3. Yellow Tray // 4. R & R Print // 5. Large Painting // 6. Desk // 7. Sheepskin // 8. Fox Print // 9. Mirrored Jewelry Box // 10. Sabertooth Skull (spray painted gold)