unexpected guests: allison serrell.
it’s been too long since my last ‘unexpected guests’ post, and as you may have seen last week — i put out a message on instagram that i’m on the hunt for new home tours (please check this posting on how to submit your space, or refer a great place you’d like to share). well, my call for tours proved most successful when allison serrell, who’s a neighbor of mine, reached out after seeing that post, and i couldn’t be more pleased! because just look at her home — so light-filled and stunning. i first meet allison when she came to my yard sale when i was seriously downsizing, and she bought up quite a bit of my furniture and artwork, so you may recognize a few of her pieces — like the white mid-century modern arm chairs that now beautifully grace her fireplace. i must admit, i was tad envious seeing how great they look in someone’s else’s space, but it’s such fun to see them getting a new life and it made me realize as i scale down again to move, how much i enjoy knowing my belongings are now well-loved by a friend. such a nice way to say goodbye to what i no longer need. but i digress — more about allison and her lovely home.
allison is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in magazines like Country Home, Sunset, and House Beautiful, and is the author of Haven: Cozy Hideways and Dream retreats, At Home in the Hudson Valley, and Nest for Two: Creating a Harmonious Home — so she clearly knows quite a bit about designing a beautiful home. she shares this renovated victorian in san francisco’s noe valley with her husband and daughter. their home is such a wonderful surprise, because it looks like a tiny victorian from the exterior and when you enter you’re greeted with this very open, sun-filled space with modern touches. their architect remodeled the back of the house, installing floor to ceiling windows so the light (and the fantastic city view) just come streaming in. the kitchen, where they love to cook, is at the center of things — situated between the living room/dining room and another family room which faces the garden. i was most inspired by their renovation, and the hope that i might be able to achieve something that retains the great bones of an older home, but gives it a completely fresh, new look like this. let’s have a peek!
What are a few things about San Francisco that make you call it home?
The quality and abundance of light make San Francisco such a warm and easy place to be. I also love the topography and landscape, especially the rugged coastline. Aside from its natural wonders, the city’s intimate neighborhood restaurants never disappoint. And my home away from home is the Rhythm and Motion dance program at ODC Dance commons, where I have been taking workout and technique classes for the past eight years.
What is the best way to get to know your neighborhood?
Walk Noe Valley’s hills and hidden staircases for eye-popping views.
Any secrets about the city you think we should know?
It’s not really a secret but the Lost Art Salon is a wonderful place to browse and buy affordable art.
What talent do you wish you could master?
What memento did you bring back from your last trip?
A metal breadbox from Labor and Wait in London.
What do you most treasure?
Being in the moment.
What bores you to death?
• all photography by cindy loughridge for sfgirlbybay.