unexpected guests: janet berggren.
by victoria comment

6/1/15

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

this is a very charming Russian Hill cottage (circa 1884) that perfectly captures the mood of quintessential San Francisco. belonging to janet berggren and her husband hans — who lovingly restored the 1200-square foot home to modern standards while keeping the charm of the period. having liver here for the last 8-1/2 years, they’ve furnished it with a collection of things they love: a blend of furniture and art that has been collected over the years from street finds and antique shops, as well as the famed Alameda Flea Market.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

Janet’s husband hans is from Sweden and she’s from Connecticut, so there is a touch of coastal New England combined with the practicality of Swedish design: the loft desk even pulls out into a single bed for guests! The 17-foot ceiling in the centrally located living room gives the home a bright and airy feeling, making it appear much larger than its actual size. A beautiful outdoor balcony, a rooftop deck, and a cozy backyard provide greenery and a feeling of being in the country rather than in the middle of San Francisco. It truly is a magical and historic cottage, and one that is becoming increasingly rare in a city that is being transformed by glass and steel structures. An interesting fact: their cottage was once a “house of ill repute” when it wasn’t occupied by vagrants! the cottage has gone from stained grass cloth walls, orange shag carpeting, and a 20-foot ceiling painted Golden Gate Bridge orange to what you see in these photos — a true labor of love by Hans! Let’s have a look around their eclectic san francisco home.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

What are a few things about the bay area that make you call it home?
I love the feeling of anything goes and the quirkiness of San Francisco. I love the vibrancy and uniqueness of each neighborhood in the city. We live on a wonderful block with great neighbors.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

What is the best way to get to know your neighborhood?
Walking the hills is the best way to truly experience Russian Hill. There are charming tiny stairways and lovely parks to explore.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

Any secrets about the city you think we should know about?
Jack Early Park is a perfect example of a peaceful retreat. The Vulcan Stairway and Macondray Lane are also tiny gems. When I’m feeling particularly energetic, a walk up the Filbert and Greenwich steps is a wonderful way to experience the charm and whimsy of our city. Of course, my week would not be complete without an afternoon at the Fort Mason Community Garden. I finally have a plot there after an eight-year wait! I love growing flowers to cut and bring home. It’s truly a place to rejuvenate the soul with scenic perches scattered throughout.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

are there any recent Art exhibits we should have seen (or still can):
I haven’t been there yet, but am looking forward to visiting the Whitney’s new space in New York City.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

Pick a place, any place…where would you go, and why?
Right now I’d love to go to Havana to see the architecture and experience the music and culture before the island transforms into the next “best place to visit before you die.”

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

do you have a favorite Dive Spot in the city?:
So sorry, but I haven’t been to any in San francisco. However, I have fond memories of Alabama Jack’s en route to the Florida Keys. I don’t know about the food, but watching the bikers clogging with the little old ladies was pretty entertaining.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

Have you a Favorite Posh Spot?:
For nights out, we love Bistro Aix and Greens. They’re not posh, but we always look forward to a delicious meal and excellent service.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

Favorite vintage find:
A few childhood favorite books at Alameda Flea Market and a charming cane table from the street on NYC’s Upper West Side.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

What’s currently on your turntable?
The Uppsala University Men’s Choir, Bach, Vivaldi, 60s soul, and an occasional burst of reggae.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

What talent do you wish you could master?
It’s a toss up between baking and singing.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

You’re stuck inside for 3 days all by yourself and can’t leave, what do you do to keep busy?
Clean the house and cook a few new recipes. At night, a lovely dinner, candlelight, and a good page-turner or British TV mystery. And, I would probably feel the need for some exercise, so I’d run up and down the stairs a few times to get the blood pumping.

unexpected guests home tour / sfgirlbybay

What do you most treasure?
Besides my family, I need to be surrounded by nature and things of beauty. For me, that includes flowers everywhere.

• photography by cindy loughridge for sfgirlbybay.

12 responses to “unexpected guests: janet berggren.”

  1. I like the look of the refrigerator (and the whole house). Does anybody know what brand the refrigerator is? Thanks!

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