People of Belarte - Sonny Kearns

In the heart of San Francisco, amongst the iconic Victorian houses that gave San Francisco the title “Paris of the West”, is a piece of reborn history and also the home of Sonny Kearns and his partner Zack. Originally from East London, Sonny decided five years ago to relocate to the US and pursue a career in technology where his talents were employed by giants such as Apple and Google. 

The couple were looking for the perfect home and came across a hidden gem that is a Victorian masterpiece steeped in over a century of history. Their home has survived the storms of time and stood its ground despite two major earthquakes. The original details are still intact with crown moldings so carefully crafted that it's unlike any home the couple had ever seen before and immediately fell in love.



As they set out to renovate their newfound treasure, they discovered the rich tangle of stories woven into its walls. This house had been more than just a home. This house has been an important part of the LGBTQ+ movement in San Francisco, and the previous owners were pioneers in promoting the rights of many in the US. Many great LGBTQ+ advocates and politicians such as Harvey Milk, George Moscone and Dianne Feinstein fought tirelessly for equality and acceptance in the parlor that is currently the couple's bedroom. For Sonny and Zack, it felt natural for them to take it to the next chapter and honor the history of those who dared to dream of a better tomorrow. 



Home is more than just a place to lay their heads. It's a sanctuary worth investing in, to have a beautiful place to make memories and be inspired by. From the cozy nook by the window where their English bulldog sleeps away lazy afternoons to his biggest source of inspiration, the bedroom which is adorned with Vintage Landscape. A wallpaper that surrounds him with forest and transports him to another world is where he wants to end and start his day. 



As Sonny and his partner open the doors to their home and welcome friends and family, they can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that they are comparing the wall mural to galleries they have visited all over the world and appreciating all the details that come with it. The wall murals in their home play a crucial role in creating the desired atmosphere. It is the perfect backdrop to a room and an expression of his passion for art and design. So when their friends and family leave their home, they leave not only with memories of a pleasant evening together, but also with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and creativity found in everyday life. And for Sonny and his partner, there is no greater pleasure than sharing their home and all its glory with those they love most.



Sonny's journey through interior design began with a passionate embrace of modernism where clean lines and minimalist aesthetics held dominance over his creative vision. His quest for simplicity and functionality was inspired by Scandinavian design. That still holds true, but he now likes to mix many styles in one space to tell a story about design over time. Now their home is a mix of Mid Century Modern, Scandinavian with Victorian and French antiques mixed in. However, one thing that has never changed is the idea of challenging oneself with design, bringing rooms together with unexpected objects to create curiosity and interest.



Among the significant objects that adorn their home, two pieces had a special place in their hearts. An 18th century Italian folding chair, a timeless masterpiece that became his first antique purchase and an important milestone in his journey of following his passion for design and mixing different styles and eras. The other significant item is a Japanese vase filled with orchids, reminding them of the beauty of nature and the simplicity of finding joy in the little things in life. 

So while Sonny and his partner continued to renovate and transform their home into a living art exhibition with different wall murals, they knew that they weren't just building a beautiful house. They are also creating a place where their story can live on and where their dreams can flourish. A home filled with love, beauty and purpose.