Trevor Pirman and Sue Thomas, who are tying the knot next month on the fifth anniversary of the day they met, have some advice for other couples who are building their first home together.
“Take your time and shop around — and don’t buy anything on a whim,” says Pirman, a systems engineer. “Think about the room overall when you’re buying something.”
“We’re transitioning from the post-college years where you buy something for the short-term,” adds Thomas, who works in finance and commercial real estate. “Now we’re looking for things we’re going to hold on to for a really long time.”
The couple live in an airy two-bedroom house — built in the historic St. Francis Wood neighborhood near West Portal in 1922 — that was previously inhabited by artist and orthopedic surgeon Arthur Hatwig, who lived there most of his life.
Pirman moved into the house with roommates six years ago when Hatwig wanted a caretaker for the home and its heirlooms; Pirman’s family later inherited it. Thomas moved in six months ago, and ever since, the couple have been making the home their own.
“No more couches off of Craigslist,” Pirman says, laughing.
The home still has many of its beautiful original architectural details, such as exquisite tiling around the front door, detailed ironwork railings on the stairway, substantial wooden doors and an elaborate limestone fireplace in the living room.
The couple has mixed modern pieces with paintings collected by Hatwig (he was a member of the Bohemian Club) and artwork they’ve picked up, such as an iron sculpture by artist Jin Feng. Persian rugs underfoot add texture and color to a palette of mostly neutrals.
“We’re lucky that we have a really similar aesthetic; we both like clean lines,” Thomas says.
Perhaps no room better shows off their style than their bedroom, where a platform bed sits under a sweeping Asian-inspired floral print. Textured wallpaper adds another level of warmth.
Both Thomas and Pirman appreciate the level of space they’re blessed with, which includes a large kitchen and dining room, a lush green backyard and a garage that houses their motorcycles (a Honda for him, a Suzuki for her).
“People told us we wouldn’t know how to use all the space, but we really use every room,” Thomas says.
No two homes in St. Francis Wood are the same. “It’s such a unique neighborhood, and I love that it’s in The City but not,” Pirman says. “The other day, I looked up and saw a hawk with a 3-foot wingspan. Where else in The City are you going to see that?”
Trevor Pirman and Sue Thomas
Design aesthetic: Modern lines mixed with classic architecture
Design highlights: Neutral palette with splashes of color, Asian influences and artwork, Persian rugs for color and texture, 1920s architectural details
Favorite room: The bedroom. “It’s just so comfortable,” Thomas says. “We’re really all about comfort.”
Design inspirations: “I like to go over to other people’s houses to see what they’re doing,” Pirman says. “Movies are also a great way to see the latest and greatest of what’s out there. For whatever reason, the characters who aren’t working always seem to have the best places.”
Favorite furniture sources: Room and Board, West Elm
Favorite gallery: Kimura Gallery on Ocean Street. “You almost wouldn’t know it’s there,” Pirman says. “The owner has a lot of Asian artwork.”