How One Couple Made Their 700-Square-Foot Apartment Feel So Much Bigger

Andi Teggart and her husband Eric have lived in San Francisco for five-and-a-half years, and though they’ve only been in their current apartment for a year, you’d never guess it. The 700-square-foot space—located in the Lower Haight neighborhood—is full of eclectic details, lots of greenery, and plenty of natural light, which gives the space an approachable, lived-in feel.

Keep reading to learn about Andi’s design process, where she sources her one-of-a-kind finds, and how she manages multiple side hustles alongside her company Lucky Collective.

Name: Andi Teggart
Age: 27
Current company/job: Owner, Lucky Collective, a social media, event planning and creative shop
Education: Bachelor of Science from Ohio University; Journalism/Public Relations

What was your first job out of college and how did you land it? 
My first job out of college was at Edelman Digital, a large public relations firm, working on the digital team. At the end of my senior year of college, I was looking for jobs in the PR/social media space, and one day decided to randomly look for jobs on the West Coast. I posted on LinkedIn that I was looking for jobs in Portland and San Francisco (never having been to either) and an alum from my university/journalism program reached out to me. We hadn’t met in person, but were connected on social media, and she introduced me to her former manager at Edelman, who had just moved to SF. Her former manager, Jenna, interviewed me on the phone, along with a few other people, and eventually offered me the job as an assistant account executive on the Adobe team at Edelman (without any in-person interviews; kind of crazy thinking about it now!).

You’re originally from Ohio. What was it like making that move from the Midwest to the West Coast? 
When I was offered the job, I jumped on the opportunity and just moved! I had never been to California, let alone west of Missouri (or something like that), and I didn’t know anyone. Someone I had met virtually via blogging took me under her wing, let me live with her and her husband for a few weeks, and taught me the SF ropes. I still remember her picking me up from the airport and, probably sensing how “OMG-WHAT-AM-I-DOING” I was acting/feeling, spoke these wise and simple words: “Bravery and courage are always rewarded.” She reminded me that what I was doing—moving across the country, starting my first job out of school and a new life—was brave and when we make those brave decisions, it pays off. A few months later, some of my absolute best friends from college also got jobs in San Francisco and moved. Now, it’s like having my Ohio family of girlfriends here in SF, which feels like an amazing reward for my initial leap of bravery.

Bravery and courage are always rewarded. When we make brave decisions, it pays off.

You recently launched Lucky Collective, a social media, event planning, and creative shop that works primarily with small businesses in San Francisco. Why did you decide to take the plunge and start your own company? 
I had wanted to work for myself for a really long time and the main reason was to have more control over my work/life balance and more flexibility and freedom to work on what I want, when I want.

In addition to running your own company, you’re also contracting at Facebook working on the communications and social media team for Messenger. Talk about side hustles! What are your tricks for juggling it all?
I’m not an expert at this, but definitely swear by to-do lists and having a very organized calendar. I calendar in my workouts, drink dates with friends, everything—which is kind of crazy, but it’s the only way I can remember where I need to be and when. It also helps me to spend Sunday evening prepping for the upcoming week and planning out the schedule, deadlines, events, and so on that need to happen.

What have you learned about yourself through launching your own business? 
Oh wow, so much! I’m really extroverted and thrive off the energy and presence of others, so working for myself has taught me HOW to spend time alone and be productive doing so. It has also taught me the importance of finding a network of people around me who support me and my business, even if we don’t work alongside each other every day, like in a “regular” business setting. Thankfully, I have a few friends who are also entrepreneurs working remotely for the most part, so I try to schedule work sessions to bounce ideas off of one another, work together on projects, and just talk!

What does a regular work day look like for you? 
I usually wake up around 7 a.m. and like to start the day with coffee with my husband, Eric. If I’m not down at Facebook, I usually work at my house in the morning, taking calls and getting work done. Around noon or so, I try to fit in a lunchtime workout, usually hot yoga or pilates. In the afternoon, I like to work from coffee shops or bop around the city for various meetings, projects, or photo shoots. I often work when I’m back home before making dinner at home (or takeout Thai, because that’s also in serious weekday rotation around here!).

Everyone knows the rental market in San Francisco can be tricky. How did you and your husband find your current place? What was on your wishlist? 
Yes, the SF rental market is super competitive and housing is known for being expensive compared to other cities. We found our place a little over a year ago and we knew we would have to compromise and be realistic about what we could get within our budget. We had a few centrally located neighborhoods narrowed down and location was definitely the most important to us, closely followed by good natural light and hardwood floors. We were able to score an apartment in our budget, in a neighborhood we love, with the hardwood floors and windows we wanted, plus two walk-in closets. We had to compromise on not having a parking spot (parking spots can be more than $300 in some buildings and wasn’t even an option in our building!) or laundry in our building. We also don’t have a dishwasher, but that doesn’t seem like as big of a compromise to me, since I haven’t had one in so long.

We want our apartment to be a place where visitors feel comfortable. It’s our home, not a museum.

Let’s talk specifics about your apartment. It’s around 700 square-feet, which means you had to make the most of a small space, especially with two people living under one roof. What compromises did you have to make?
Our apartment is super small, but we’re definitely making it work. Our living room and bedroom are connected by a French door, so it has an open feel between the two rooms. Getting creative with storage has been key, along with getting rid of things every few months as they start to pile up! We would love to have more couches and seating options in our living room, but with the lack of space, we opted for poufs and stools instead that can be easily tucked away.

What was your design process like? What advice do you have for balancing the aesthetics of both you and your significant other? Have you made any design compromises? 
I would describe the design process as ongoing. When we first moved in, we didn’t have anything except a bed and some not-so-great furniture and slowly, we purchased and curated items we loved. That’s when it truly starting feeling like “home.” One thing on our mind when decorating was making sure our place always reflected us, and our home was a place where visitors felt comfortable. It’s our home, not a museum, so we always want people to be able to relax, sit wherever they want, and be themselves.

I’m always trying to freshen and brighten the space up, which usually happens by adding more plants! Thankfully, Eric isn’t super picky about home decor and design, but I did want to weave in elements that didn’t make our apartment seem “too girly.” I went with a surf theme, displaying some surf artwork and prints and recently moved his turquoise longboard from his closet to the living room! We didn’t really have to compromise too much, but if it were up to me, I would add about 10 (or 20) more plants and even more pillows!

How would you describe your personal style? 
Approachable, refined bohemian, evolving.

You have eclectic taste, with tons of little surprises around your home (the colorful matches, for example, and unique throw pillows). Where do you shop for affordable home decor and unique finds? 
I love the word eclectic so yay, thanks! In terms of affordable home decor, Target is always my go-to, plus the sale section at Anthropologie and Wayfair. I also love to find artwork and other trinkets on Etsy; that’s where the Kilim pillow covers are from. I tend to collect things from traveling to display in our apartment, plus always like to check out flea markets and garage sales (usually they are street sales here in SF because a lot of people don’t have a garage, ha!) for unique, vintage items.

To stick to a budget, I had to be okay with not having my dream apartment right away.

How did you stick to a budget for decor and furnishings? 
Finding cute items at affordable places like Target really helped! It also helped to be okay with not having my “dream apartment” right away, which is what I meant by the ongoing design process. It wasn’t doable to get every single item all at once, so we had to pick and choose based on importance and necessity and go from there.

Is there a piece in your apartment that holds special value to you? Why? 
There’s one plant, now placed on my dresser, I had for almost the entire time I’ve lived in SF, and I always say how much that plant means to me since we’ve gone through so much together. I’m kind of a crazy plant lady if you couldn’t tell! There are a lot of other personal items that mean a lot to me. There’s this photo on my nightstand of E with my sister’s puppy that always makes me really happy and reminds me of sweet memories. We have a jar of sand from the Cayman Islands from our honeymoon and the thank you sign on our gold bar cart is from the wedding. Those items aren’t anything overly fancy, but they’re meaningful to me.

What advice do you have for someone looking to branch out and start her own business? 
Bravery and courage are always rewarded. Seek inspiration from everywhere and ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Surround yourself with people—personally and professionally—who want to see you succeed.

Where do you see yourself and your company Lucky Collective five years from now? 
I have no idea what I’m even doing next week! I’ve always loved the simple quote: “Be open to whatever comes next,” and that’s something I wholeheartedly believe in and try to live by, both in work and “real life.” I would love to continue working with brands on creative campaigns, but I’d also like to pursue more opportunities where I can teach others; whether that’s teaching a college course at a local university or speaking at industry conferences. I spoke at Alt Summit a few years back and got the itch to continue sharing my experiences to help others grow and learn.

What advice would you give your 23-year-old-self? 
Read more books. Call your grandparents. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Be open to possibilities and opportunities that come your way. Say ‘yes’ more than you say no. Accept and love your body, just the way it is.

Andi Teggart is The Everygirl…

Coffee order? Iced coffee with almond milk.

Perfect weekend in San Francisco? My perfect Saturday would consist of coffee in bed, a hot yoga class, a trip to the flowers mart, brunch, afternoon reading and champagne in the park, dinner with friends, and Netflix at home. I love being able to squeeze a quick day trip to wine country in on the weekends too.

Guilty pleasure? Peanut butter pretzels and huge bouquets of peonies.

Dream purchase for your home? A big bohemian-esque rattan chair. (No room, so sad!)

If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and what would you order? Michelle Obama and probably something healthy. Hopefully we could go to Pilates or SoulCycle together though!

Product Sources

Hallway
Gallery Wall Frames, Pottery Barn
Good Vibes Art Print, Urban Outfitters
Beach Art Print, Urban Outfitters
Agate Art Print, Urban Outfitters
Woven Wall Hanging, Target

Living Room
Rug, Overstock
Gold Bar Cart, Target
Champagne Flutes, Nordstrom & Target
Coffee Table, West Elm
Console, West Elm
Side Table, Target
Fur Stools, Target (similar from West Elm or Target)
Leather Pouf, Wayfair
Mirror, IKEA
Arc Lamp, Amazon
Blanket, Pendleton
Sheepskin Throws, NuLOOM
Shelves, DIY (similar from West Elm)
Table Runner, Target
Throw Pillows, Amazon, Target, IKEA
Decanter, Vintage
Globe, Vintage
San Francisco Prints, Vintage
Magazine Holder, Urban Outfitters
Couch, Ashley Furniture

Kitchen
Marble Block, Sur La Table
Cart, Crosley
Seasonal Produce Art Print, Young America Creative
Hanging Plant Holders, Crate & Barrel, Amazon
Rug, purchased in Mexico

Bedroom
Curtains, Urban Outfitters
Brass Lamps, Target
Headboard, Wayfair
Rug, Target
Chaise, Overstock
Sunburst Mirror, Target
Foil-Pressed California Map Art Print, Minted
Palm Tree Art Print, Minted
Present Over Perfect Art Print, Lindsay Letters
Floral Art Print, Etsy
Kilim Pillows, Etsy
Moroccan Wedding Throw, Anthropologie
Dresser Knobs, Anthropologie
Big Sur Art Print, Art.com
Pink Art Print, Art.com
Side Tables, Vintage
Plant Stands, Vintage
Trunk, Vintage

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