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Woman Behind the Blog: Caitlin Flemming

We’ll follow her to Sacramento Street

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Decorating a small space can feel like going into combat (fighting color palettes, cramming furniture into tight corners).

Forget your battle scars with the brilliance of blogger and interior designer Caitlin Flemming, founder of Sacramento Street. A home decor Xena Warrior Princess, she’s skilled at turning cramped quarters into catalog-worthy works of art.

q&a!

You’ve been in SF for more than nine years. What are your favorite views in the city?
There are a handful of views that always take my breath away, even after living here for so many years. Whenever I drive home from Marin into the city, as I exit the rainbow tunnel, I love seeing the city with the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground. It reminds me of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and inspiring place.

What were your favorite discoveries of 2013? And what are you looking for in 2014?
Most of my discoveries come through traveling. In 2013, I traveled to Marrakech for work. It was an eye-opening experience — the pottery, food, architecture, and rugs, oh my, they were gorgeous. I wanted to bottle all of the inspiration and bring it home. In 2014, I’m traveling to Istanbul for pleasure; it has been at the top of my list for years. I’m fascinated by the whole idea of East meets West. I can’t wait to be on the Bosporus and see Europe and Asia at the same time. I’m counting the days until I leave.

What’s on your bucket list this year?
This is a tough one — I always make goals and [project] inspirations when a new year begins. I want to continue to travel near and far — discovering new countries and cities helps elevate my eye for design, which is something I look forward to when I travel to Istanbul. I’ve wanted to take a photography class for years. This year I’ll be setting aside time for this hobby. The most important thing for me is to keep dreaming big and taking risks. Without taking them in the past, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
We recently moved into a new apartment. Since it’s still constantly evolving, I don’t have one space that I love the most. I love each room for a different reason: my living room because it’s cozy, my dining room for the beautiful natural light we get throughout the day; my bedroom feels like an oasis; and I absolutely love my hallway, probably because it’s the most finished space.

What’s your favorite dessert in SF?
Honestly, I’m not much of a sweets girl, but at Pizzetta 211, after having a rosemary and pine nut pizza, I have to have a piece of flourless chocolate cake. It’s out of this world. Now I’m craving it!

What’s your go-to recipe?
One of our household staples is carbonara. My family has been making it since I was a little girl. We recently started adding a poached egg on top; it makes it even more delicious. It’s comforting after a long day of work.

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We want to redecorate our apartment. Map out a shopping day for us.
It would be on a Sunday, and I would start at 6:30 a.m. with a Starbucks in hand at the Alameda Flea Market. Then, after finding one-of-a-kind treasures, I’d venture over the Richmond Bridge to Summer House in Mill Valley. It’s my go-to for anything and everything. After Summer House, I’d get lunch at Rustic Bakery, pop into Calypso, and then head into the city for my last few items, Sacramento Street being the destination. I’d pick up accessories from Hudson Grace, Sue Fisher King (it has an amazing Astier collection), and March.

Fill in the blank: The best thing thats happened to me since launching Sacramento Street is _____.
Taking the leap and going out on my own. For a long time, I worked a day job (like many bloggers) and then came home to work through the night on creating content for Sacramento Street. In December 2012, I took the leap to work full-time on Sacramento Street and launched Caitlin Flemming Design. It has been one of the best decisions.

You’re a pro at designing small spaces. Give us a few tips and tricks.
Everyone has a different approach to small-space living. Here are my top four tips for keeping a small space clean, soothing, and clutter free.

1. Think monochromatic: Serene, even tones can make a room feel more spacious. For a small space, I suggest going with whites and ivories to keep it light and calm. But if you like a pop of color, I would stay in the same tones throughout the entire space.

2. Create zones. Think about what you do in the space — sleep, relax, work — and then establish a separate zone for each of those. You can evoke these “rooms” by having multiple seating areas.

3. Consider storage. Purchase items that can have multiple functions. A tufted ottoman you can use as a coffee table with a tray on top is great. Get a daybed or sofa that can double as a guest bed. Invest in pieces that can be rearranged to transform the space.

4. Make every piece count. When purchasing, remember you have only so much room in your small space, so if you’ve got too much, edit. Don’t try to fit it in.

To find out more about Flemming, go to sacramentostreet.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Sacramento Street