Apartment Therapy: Inside Briana Kranz’s Boho Lake Merritt Apartment

Apartment Therapy: Inside Briana Kranz’s Boho Lake Merritt Apartment

Briana Kranz in her Lake Merritt home, photography by Anthony Rogers

Briana Kranz in her Lake Merritt home, photography by Anthony Rogers

A block away from the lake and a walk from the farmer’s markets, Briana Kranz’s cute boho apartment speaks leaps and bounds to her whimsical design aesthetic and personal brand.

I would describe my space as airy and bright; a big reason I fell in love with the apartment was because of it’s natural light and character.

I love earth tones and small pops of color, which I’ve tried to emulate in the space. Reminders of the outdoors and nature are a vital component in making my home feel relaxed as well as a positive and healthy space, which is extremely important for me since my living space doubles as my studio.

Four years ago, this apartment was the very first unit I looked at in Oakland - and I was instantly in love once I saw the natural lighting, the balcony and the hardwood floors. I was quite uneasy about moving away from San Francisco, but at the time it was the only option - and has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. I remember exiting the freeway and being amazed at what a wonderful neighborhood it was and that somehow, I had no idea Lake Merritt existed - it was a life-changing discovery for me.

The apartment and space is something that my husband and I have created together. Most large furniture we have built ourselves (he did most of the heavy lifting, of course). The coffee table I built with wood from old wine barrels I discovered at the Alameda Flea Market; the entertainment center, the bench on the balcony, the trellis, the wine-glass display and the large work desk are only a few of the pieces that Shane created from scratch. Our chartreuse chair by the window was found on the street when I lived in the Presidio and for some reason has remained a favorite piece of mine… Many other elements in our apartment (the colorful toucan, the vintage blanket on the couch, the large lithograph by Paul Jenkins on the gallery wall) have all been found at flea markets. Shane’s textural ceramic work and sculptures are also a large part of our aesthetic. Much of our own work is scattered around the apartment - little bits of our personalities. 

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I am first and foremost a fashion illustrator; my desktop is essentially my blank canvas, whether I am working on something digitally or with my hands, using actual paints and inks. It’s important for my desk space to be white, clean and clear so I can let my creativity flow. That being said, there are little reminders of what makes me happy for those momentary breaks or small ruts in my creativity. This tends to reflect in my workspace when I teach as well; clean table except for the essentials and a notebook or two that has some sort of inspiration whether it be an image, a fun textile or something that stimulates my creativity and mood.

I have a corner of my desk with miscellaneous stones, rocks and things found in nature or gifted to me. The natural colors actually are often found in my work - sort of like a permanent color palette, oddly enough. They are an example of the small reminders of the outdoors, people who mean the world to me, or of the memories created when they were found.

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Shane is a master gardener and has really turned that space into something beautiful. On colder evenings though - that darn chartreuse chair has been a nice place for me to take a deep breath and unwind - cat-in-lap and, more often then not, a glass of wine.

// —as told to Bob Cut Mag. Follow Briana’s illustrations here and here.

* Originally published Sept. 1st 2016.


Conducted by the Bob Cut Editors, photography by Anthony Rogers, written by Briana Kranz — Meet more inspiring Bay Area folk here.

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