How To DIY A Tiny Space — For Big Results

Photographed by Maria del Rio.
R29 may be based on the East Coast, but one of our most lovely tastemakers lives across the country. Meet Angela Tafoya, our effortlessly stylish S.F. editor. While she's been sussing out the greatest in tech, dining, fashion, and beauty in the Bay Area for five years (and writing for the site for three), she and her fiancé, artist Eric Bailey, moved into their current nest in the Mission District about a year ago.
After 12 short months, and DIY aplenty, their space is airy, modern, and full of personality — which shows us there's much to learn from the aesthetes out west. (We're not the only ones who think so; the couple was recently featured in Anthology magazine, too.) Click ahead for Angela's smart home-office tricks and all the DIY details that went into this perfect palace for two.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Angela epitomizes that eclectic, Northern California style. We'll take the dress, the heels, and the gigantic tassel necklace.

West and Main dress, Cave Collective necklace, Miu Miu shoes.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Add Small Pops Of Your Favorite Color
Angela wanted to keep a soothing, neutral palette throughout the space, but still incorporate her steadfast love of prints and colors. "I found subtle ways to add shades of green (a hue I love). Whether it's a plant, a modern chair, or a pillow — slight saturation is imperative."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Source The Unexpected
The couple's coffee table is actually an old cot found at Building REsources. "Our friend even had a pre-cut, perfectly fitting glass to cover it," Angela says. "I love the length of it and like adorning it with my favorite vases and books. I'm always altering what's on top of it — it's like a game to me!"
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Keep An Eye Out For Street Finds
"This Herman Miller chair and the vintage Big Red box we found in the Mission district (granted, the chair needed a little work), while we were just casually walking around. Never stop looking! Eric definitely has the pro eye!" Want two tips for the price of one? Here, Angela's using a Carolina bike by Mosi (a Bay Area company) as an extra bit of visual interest. Notice how it fits perfectly beneath her shelves.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Mix Up Your Vases
Angela recommends always adding some random knickknacks into the mix. "Many local Goodwill stores have stellar ceramics; you just have to dig! We mixed in a few thrifty finds with our Heath Ceramics pieces for a high-low shelf situation."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Give A Little TLC
"This table was a gift from a family member and, to be honest, looked nothing like this before we worked on it. With a little love, it's now the perfect, rustic shape and color to juxtapose the modern Bertoia chairs." Lesson learned: "Don’t dismiss pieces because they don’t scream chic on the surface. Keep an eye out for interesting silhouettes."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Build Some Open Shelving
"We got creative with the lack of cabinets and installed our own shelves — while also using [them] as a platform to show off our growing dishware collection. I think it gives a fun, open-kitchen, restaurant-style feel. Or, it might just be my excuse to spend WAY too much time at Heath Ceramics."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Showcase Your Collections
A slight coffee obsessive, Angela used the open shelving to show off her mug selection. "We added this piping to the sink (BAM — a homemade paper towel holder) and the fruit basket hangs off the shelf, as well."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Notice Every Nook
"This room is standardly used as our storage and laundry room, but we created a little scene in here to make it feel more dimensional and interesting," Angela says. Mixing accessories, like a skateboard or wood stump, help make your mini vignettes pop.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Hang Meaningful Artwork
"Most of the art in my home is by local, Bay Area artists (this one in particular is by my fiancé, Eric Bailey)," Angela says. "All the pieces have such a special meaning and place in the home, and heart."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Ignore Indoor/Outdoor Rules
"Who said swings were for outdoor use only? This swing from Gravel & Gold is a great spot for some magazine reading and, when the sun hits, napping. Challenging the conventional use of items is always a DO!"
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
A vision in blue.

Tibi dress, Svelte Metals bracelets.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Keep Your Bedding Light
"Airy colors in the bedroom (or, in my case, a loft) make it feel airy and spacious. We painted the sides of the wall blue and selected a mint comforter."
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Knicknacks (a lot of them!) are the easiest way to show off your personal style.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Get Personal In The Home Office
"I used MADESQUARE, a service that lets you print Instagram images, to make my workspace more personal. I love the service because it has so many different ways to apply the photos, like the metal print which is a zoomed in Insta from a mural at Barrow Salon. Also, the photo clings, which are shots from R29 shoots. The set up was easy, too, just some wire and a few shelves — that's it!"
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Angela kicks back on the window sill with her cactus collection.

Tibi dress, Banana Republic shoes.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Go For A Unified Look In The Workspace
For her office area, Angela chose only black-and-white art, with a smattering of hot pink for emphasis.
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Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Give Greenery Center Stage
"With my Bay windows, I thought it could be cool to place [plants] on a platform display. Of course, it doesn’t need to be costly. I used wood and cinder blocks to create a utilitarian look. It’s so easy and cost-efficient."