unexpected guests: allison serrell.
by victoria comment

2/18/15

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.

25 responses to “unexpected guests: allison serrell.”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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…)

  4. 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

  5. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *