unexpected guests: allison serrell.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

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.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

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!

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

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.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay
unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

What is the best way to get to know your neighborhood?
Walk Noe Valley’s hills and hidden staircases for eye-popping views.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

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.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

What talent do you wish you could master?
Ice skating.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

What memento did you bring back from your last trip?
A metal breadbox from Labor and Wait in London.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

Favorite Dive Spot?
I love dives. Some of my faves are Red’s Java Hut, The Rite Spot, and The Hard Knox Cafe.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

Favorite Fancy Spot?
Local Mission Eatery, Locanda, and 20 Spot are among our go-to date night restaurants. Al’s Place on Valencia is a great new discovery.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

Favorite vintage find?
Sadly I don’t have a great eye for vintage but I did score a beautiful Paul Mccobb coffee table on Ebay from the 40’s that I still love years later.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

What’s currently on your turntable/ipod etc.?
It’s always an eclectic mix. Right now we are listening to Thievery Corporation, Everything But the Girl, and King Sunny Ade.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

What do you most treasure?
Being in the moment.

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests: allison serrell / sfgirlbybay

What bores you to death?
Conformity.

• all photography by cindy loughridge for sfgirlbybay.



Comments
25 Responses to “unexpected guests: allison serrell.”
  1. maggie says:

    I love everything about this! The child’s room is adorable. I also love how light filled it all is.

    maggie
    http://www.shopean.etsy.com

  2. sunny says:

    I love it all but especially the office area – or is it a bedroom? It’s the same size as a room just off my living room with the same high ceilings and tall window. If I can turn it into a workspace half as cute as this one, I’ll be happy. Gorgeous.

  3. mel says:

    That’s such a nice story! I’d find it comforting to see my preloved being used and with such style. Alison has a great flare for understated chic. A lovely home!

  4. Aileen says:

    Wow, I am in LOVE with this house! So many beautiful details. I especially love the color-coded bookshelves flanking her fireplace and the patio (those chairs! I want them…)

  5. Hannah says:

    I love the bookshelf and how the books are presented with colour, great post and amazing photography.
    Hannah x
    hannahcatherin.wordpress.com

  6. Sarah says:

    I am really in love with this bright clean color palette! The white on white is so elegant and really opens up the space. Bringing pops of color in through art and decor is brilliant! LOVE!!! https://champagnekaleidoscope.com

  7. JB says:

    Hi– please share information about the gorgeous painting above the tufted sofa/McCobb table. Love it! Thanks.

  8. Nicola Fanstone says:

    What a beautiful space! The kids room is so cute, love the pin board filled with artwork!

  9. Oh wow, I am loving this space! So bright and airy with pops of things that make me want to do a double take. I love the way she styled those former chairs of yours, too! And that giant window in the bedroom? Superb! I’m also amazed at how little she seems to own in terms of clutter. I feel like my place is full of so much random stuff. This was definitely inspiration to downsize! BRB while I pin this entire post! ;)

    xo Melyssa
    The Nectar Collective

  10. ALFR says:

    Would love a source for the master bedroom coverlet and the pink throw pillow on the white chair. Thanks.

  11. Victoria says:

    Just lovely. Who is that beautiful painting (the one above the desk with the pink chair) by?

  12. That cream colored tufted sofa is just dreamy. And I’m ready to snatch that pink chair! This is one of my favorite house tours. Thank you!

  13. What a gorgeous home! I love the color coordinated books.

  14. Carla says:

    Wow I love this place and some great tips too!

  15. Beautiful! So much light, simplicity and class.
    Thank you for the interview of Allison, she has an amazing taste.

  16. Anne says:

    What a beautiful, bright space! Any chance you know where she got the lamp shade on the small white lamp (9th photo down)? I have that same lamp, but need a shade and that one looks perfect. Thank you!

  17. elizabeth says:

    hello,

    does anyone have any information about the painting in 13, 16. 17. 18 down from the top?

    thanks!!

  18. Jocelyn says:

    Do you by chance know where the grey couch is from? Thanks

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