Victoria describes her design blog, sfgirlbybay, as “Bohemian Modern Style.” What does that mean exactly? “It's not cookie-cutter, like something that you might order from a catalog. It's modern, but not cold. I think it says eclectic – a mix of old and new, with no design rules.” No rules? Sounds right up our alley:
SCOUT: sfgirlbybay is crazy popular. Was it hard getting everything off the ground at first?
VICTORIA: I started in June 2006, as just a hobby at first – it was never meant to be my 'job', or I probably would have thought of a more appropriate name. I've always had a love of photography and interior design, as well as writing, and the blog seemed to encompass everything I was passionate about. I initially started it as a way to post photographs of my interiors in the hopes of being featured on one of Apartment Therapy’s home tours, and fortunately I was selected. Their blog post on my home tour directed traffic to my blog, and one thing lead to another. Over time, the blog grew a loyal readership and eventually became my full time job.
SCOUT: One of the aspects of your blog readers like so much are shots of your own home. How often do you re-decorate and re-arrange?
VICTORIA: I get bored, and re-arrange a lot! I recently swapped the living room for the dining room. I am so immersed in design, and constantly looking around the web for beautiful interiors, so when I see something that inspires me, I want to change it up all over again. It's an on-going process and one that I really enjoy. My home is constantly evolving, and I like that. I find something unique at the flea market, bring it home and reinvent a room around it.
SCOUT: You have some impressive accolades! When you started sfgirlbybay, did you ever think you’d be featured in publications like Sunset and Elle Decor?
VICTORIA: No way. I was shocked when magazines starting approaching me to share my home. I am just doing what I love to do, and it's both inspiring and surprising to me to actually have readers.
SCOUT: What is it about design that you find so fascinating?
VICTORIA: I think design is an extension of my personality. It's the place I feel most comfortable and feeds my creativity. Some people paint, or make beautiful clothes, I decorate to fulfill myself. I love collecting unique vintage pieces from lots of different genres and eras and mixing them all up to create an eclectic space that reflects my style. And I love sharing my home with friends, and the readers.
SCOUT: For someone looking to spruce up their living space on a limited budget, what would you say are the most important pieces/design elements he or she can incorporate?
VICTORIA: I think if you can spring for a well-made, comfortable sofa that's a good starting place. Then, just add what you love. If you decorate using elements that really mean something to you, or make you feel happy when you see them, you'll build a room that you want to spend time in. I bought a white sofa with slip-covers, and it works as kind of a canvas to build around. I can change up the throws, and pillows and add vintage pieces to the room and create a whole new look. Almost seasonal, when my mood changes.
SCOUT: What shops do you hit up for design inspiration?
VICTORIA: I love The Curiosity Shoppe and Perch for unique home accessories; Nest and Erica Tanov both have beautiful linens and quilts. Big Daddy’s is an amazing, and huge showroom full of vintage finds. The General Store is great, too.
SCOUT: Which local designers/crafters/artists’ do you find yourself drooling over on a regular basis?
VICTORIA: I love the felted rugs from Peace Industry - so beautifully made. Prairie Collective is just that - a small art collective that includes amazing floral arrangements by Studio Choo, jewelry from Magpie & Rye, and a mix of vintage finds from Cloak & Cabinet Society. I'm a big fan of The Beholder, which is a San Francisco-based online art gallery curated by Suzanne Shade.
SCOUT: What’s your secret spot for design gems? We promise not to tell anyone... (just all our Mobsters)
VICTORIA: I get almost all of my vintage furniture from the Alameda Flea Market. It's held the 1st Sunday of the month, and it's massive (wear comfy shoes). I don't think you necessarily have to arrive at the crack of dawn...I sometimes go later and find great bargains because vendors don't want to pack their inventory back up.
SCOUT: What’s been your favorite Scoutmob deal so far (and why)?
VICTORIA: 50% off at Samovar Tea Lounge was pretty great. I love it when there's a Scoutmob deal for someplace I frequent any way. And I love it there!
SCOUT: We’ve got sfgirlbybay bookmarked, but where else can we find you?
VICTORIA: I sell some of my photography on Etsy, you can follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook.