an artist’s peaceful retreat.

eclectic madrid artist's apartment / sfgirlbybay

the peaceful, creamy color palette of this stunning light-filled apartment in madrid is what grabbed my eye first. it’s a carefully curated and eclectic mismatched mix of pastel and pattern, including some very unique geometric pattern tiled floors in each and every room. featured on nuevo estilo, it’s the 1940’s home of spanish abstract photographer itziar guzman, her husband and four children. in many ways it’s got a traditionally classic vibe, but itziar’s own artwork and the interesting mix of furniture and pattern makes it feel a bit more playful and light. and the bedroom — well, please just never wake me up from all this dreaminess. for the full tour, visit nuevo estilo.

light-filled madrid apartment with inspiring decor / sfgirlbybay

madrid apartment with pastel kitchen decor / sfgirlbybay

patterned floor tile in madrid apartment / sfgirlbybay

pastel paint and neutral bedding in madrid bedroom / sfgirlbybay

pastel paint and patterned tile in madrid bedroom / sfgirlbybay

white bathroom decor inspiration / sfgirlbybay

madrid apartment with narrow outdoor space / sfgirlbybay

• photography courtesy of nuevo estilo.

QuickBooks Connect 2016 – a reader discount.

sfgirlbybay home office / sfgirlbybay

i started writing sfgirlbybay over a decade ago. i know. i can hardly believe it myself! what started as an attempt to get my San Francisco abode featured by Apartment Therapy, blossomed into a creative outlet for all of my passions and interests, and eventually, thanks to each and every one of you, became my full-time job.

and while writing this blog truly is my dream job, it often involves a lot more “adulting” than one might imagine (think: endless emails, lots of invoicing and following up with clients for payment, tracking receipts for work-related expenses, etc.) and it’s this not-so-fun stuff that actually keeps the proverbial lights on here at sfgirlbybay. don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing else i’d rather be doing, but at times i really struggle to keep everything organized. so in an attempt to make my life a little easier, i recently signed up with Quickbooks. there’s also the upcoming Quickbooks Connect 2016 conference in San Jose, and if I were still in san francisco i’d go in a heartbeat. more about that (and a reader discount) in a sec.

sfgirlbybay quickbooks reader discount / sfgirlbybay

victoria smith of sfqirlbybay's home office / sfgirlbybay

i’m currently teaching myself how to use the Quickbooks platform to track all of my receipts, invoicing and payments in a more efficient and accurate way on a daily basis — you can download a free 30-day trial here. because let’s face it, being self-employed is hard enough. it can be pretty isolating since hanging out with colleagues isn’t built into your day-to-day routine like it is at an office, and you have to put extra effort into finding people to run ideas by, learn from (and sometimes just commiserate with!) through networking, meetups, etc. luckily, i am surrounded by a community of bloggers, entrepreneurs and talented friends who support and inspire me and when i’m in need of assistance, i’m not afraid to look to them or seek out tools like Quickbooks for help.

sfgirlbybay home office accessories and homewares / sfgirlbybay

after signing up, Quickbooks asked me to partner with them to share their upcoming event, QuickBooks Connect 2016. if you’re a blogger like me or creative freelancer of any kind, you may be interested in checking it out. the event was created to help people like us learn, be inspired, and connect with one another. it’s being held at the San Jose Convention Center on Oct. 25th and 26th and this year’s lineup of speakers includes entrepreneur and actress Eva Longoria, and Alli Webb (of Dry Bar fame), along with breakout sessions and workshops specially tailored for small businesses and the self-employed.

so if you’re looking to share your craft, get inspired, discover new products that will make your life easier, and know that you’re not in this alone, register for this year’s QuickBooks Connect. if for nothing else, sometimes it’s just nice to take a break from your work and be reminded of why you decided to branch out on your own and do what you do! Be sure to use this reader discount code: QBCBLOG to receive 50% off of registration for a 2-day pass, if you decide to attend!

quickbooks connect 2016 / sfgirlbybayvictoria smith's home office decor / sfgirlbybayart on walls in sfgirlbybay home office / sfgirlbybayvictoria smith working in her home office / sfgirlbybayhome office of victoria smith of sfgirlbybay / sfgirlbybay

• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Intuit and all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep sfgirlbybay going with fresh content every day.


let there be light! a giveaway from katy skelton.

katy skelton lighting giveaway. / sfgirlbybay

jones single sconce — available in Black, Off-White and White.

you may have seen katy skelton’s modern homeware designs on the blog before, she’s a furniture designer based in Savannah, Georgia that designs and sells beautiful american-made homeware products with social responsibility in mind — products that come from socially sustainable and responsible sources. and now katy skelton has a beautiful brand new lighting collection to share, and to celebrate we’re giving away one winner’s choice of lighting — the winner can choose from (1) Jones Double Sconce; (2) Jones Single Sconces; or (2) Linear Lights in the size & color of their choice!

katy skelton lighting. / sfgirlbybay

Linear Lights — a sleek and modern sconce that does not need to be hardwired.

to enter to win your choice of (1) Jones Double Sconce, (2) Jones Single Sconces or (2) Linear Lights in the size of your choosing, simply:

• follow katy skelton on instagram.

• comment here on the blog confirming you followed instagram by wednesday, october 26th at midnight pst.

• yay! this giveaway is worldwide so anyone can enter to win one of the lighting preferences above of your choice.

• as always, please be sure to leave a way to contact you via twitter, facebook, your blog or email.

• we’ll announce the randomly selected winner the week of october 31st on katy skelton’s facebook account and also my twitter, so be sure to follow along.

katy skelton lighting: a giveaway. / sfgirlbybay

Jones Double Sconce — available in Black, Off-White and White.

katy skelton wall sconce. / sfgirlbybay

Linear Lights.

katy skelton lighting on dark blue wall. / sfgirlbybay

Jones Double Sconce (above + below) that can be hung horizontally or vertically.

wall lighting by katy skelton. / sfgirlbybaywall scones by katy skelton. / sfgirlbybay

katy skelton lighting giveaway. / sfgirlbybay

Linear Lights.



on trend: jewel tones.

dark plum velvet sofa in white living room / sfgirlbybay

nicole franzen photography.

as i mentioned last friday, the seasons are a-changing. and plum, purple, mauve, lavender — whatever you prefer to call it, i’m seeing these pretty jewel tones popping up everywhere. from fall fashions to fainting sofas, purple would appear to be very en vogue. shades of pale purple, eggplant and mauve paired with soft hues of gray, and a sneaky hint of amber gold they make a very soothing, and yet bold and dramatic statement for the autumn season. wanna get the look — simply swap out your current throws, pillow cushions or even an area rug with this trending color palette and you are good to go.

light plum living room walls and blue sofa / sfgirlbybay

elle decor.

plum decor inspiration / sfgirlbybay

clockwise, l to r: elli popp wallpaper; chris court photography; painting by kenny harris; inside out magazine; remodelista; american gypsy; design*sponge; bo bedre.

jewel toned bedding / sfgirlbybay

rue magazine.

lavender walls in bedroom / sfgirlbybay

light locations.

colorful bedroom decor / sfgirlbybay

rebecca atwood’s living with pattern book.

floral wallpaper and jewel toned footstool / sfgirlbybay


jewel toned bedroom decor / sfgirlbybay

light locations.

lavender velvet sofa / sfgirlbybay

apartment therapy.

jewel toned room decor / sfgirlbybay

architectural digest espana.

plum sofa with tufting / sfgirlbybay


out of sight, out of mind.


frederic ducout.

i’ve come to think that maybe it’s less about becoming a neat freak, and more about finding aesthetically pleasing places to hide our stuff. these black armoires and display cabinets are the perfect way to stash extra trinkets in unsuspecting places. the same places you stow your christmas wrapping paper, and out-of-season shoes can be one in the same as your home’s most eye-catching piece of new or vintage furniture.




my scandinavian home.


house and leisure


turbulences deco.


so soft sunday.






my domaine.


still inspiration via elle decor.