Tours

An Antique & Heirloom Filled Alameda Home

Nestled between a whimsical sunflower filled front yard and a home where it’s not unusual to find two curious pups peeking over the fence, is Katie and Carlos’ picketed early 20th century bungalow. Situated in the picturesque, Bay Area island suburb of Alameda, their place fits perfectly amidst a sea of other quaint homes and grand Victorians. Katie’s mentioning of her Mexican folk art and Frida Kahlo collections, and the fact that she lived in Alameda is what tipped me off that that her place might be adorable. And as soon as I walked through the patio, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed!

For a town situated between the larger cities of Oakland and San Francisco, Alameda has some serious small town charm. Every 1st Sunday of the month I find myself driving through town to scavenge the Alameda Antique Faire, I’m hit with those “Pleasantville” warm and fuzzies (but in full color).

Katie’s street is lined with trees, as are most there, with a coffee shop, boutique, and selection of other businesses just down the way. Nearby, you’ll find Alameda’s downtown district, complete with a 1930s-built movie palace (if you’re lost, the giant vertical neon sign will guide you) and several restaurants and stores. I arrived in town a bit earlier than planned and she pointed me in the direction of the lagoon nearby and the best areas to ogle Victorians.

Katie, Carlos, and their old pup YumYum have rented this house for years, and have filled it with vintage and antiques, nostalgic pieces, and a few travel mementos. The charm begins in their front yard where, equipped with a bright neon green patio set, barbecue, and collection of potted succulents, the porch feels ready for summer and gives you a glimpse into the organized and collected style of the house.

Furnished with an eclectic mix of vintage pieces, including an antique chair and console as you enter, an old coffee table in perfect contrast to the floral rug beneath it, and several groupings of figurines and vases, Katie’s place is just how you’d imagine the home of a former art history major and auction house vet to appear.

The bust in the entryway is one of Katie’s favorite pieces. I had to share it, along with the scratched door moulding (YumYum’s doing. Sorry Katie!). I love the vignettes throughout the house, and how she’s even managed to make this YumYum themed corner look chic!

Katie and Carlos both have family keepsakes and old photos displayed throughout the house, like a steering wheel that belongs to Katie’s dad on the living room console. La Virgen de Guadalupe and Frida Kahlo make a few appearances in the form of candles and prints as well, alluding to Carlos’ Mexican heritage and Katie’s appreciation for Mexican art.

Part of this home’s charm, and one of my favorite aspects of it, is its architecture. Several cabinets in the kitchen open to reveal antiquated “technology” built into the walls, i.e. a fold-up ironing board (ok, this would technically work now), and a pantry originally used as a fridge with a separate shelf to place ice.

A framed Frida Kahlo looms over the kitchen, while bright oil cloth provides a canvas for colorful glass and kitchenware.

I’ve always been a sucker for clawfoot bath tubs, and to my delight, Katie’s bathroom is equipped with one!

The bedroom is just as cozy and collected as the rest of the house, with a small loveseat nestled perfectly in the corner and artwork all around.

Tours

Design Inspiration From the Alice & Olivia Shop

For someone who loves textiles, it’s ironic I’m not more in love with fashion. Don’t get me wrong–I do love vintage pieces and thrifting for clothes, and a good embroidered blouse–but I like my fabrics on furniture and the design of a rug more. So when I walked into Alice & Olivia, a peppy designer boutique on Fillmore St. here in the city with my roommate, I was the one ogling the furniture while the others ogled the merchandise (and I will admit, it IS adorable stuff). I’d been before, but I had my camera with me this time and decided to capture the Mid-Century velour pieces and to-die-for shelving used as props and sitting areas.

The Alice & Olivia boutique is an amalgamation of Mid-Century and 70s pieces, chic modern style, and pop art inspired clothing. Brown velour chairs are situated throughout the store while heels, hats, and purses style vintage silver and brass etageres–a Mod paradise. Oh, and there’s lots of reflective stuff, like a gorgeous gold trunk and mirrored wall that give it a funky, lavish feel. Definitely a fun place to check out for furniture, or fashion–whichever you’re into.

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Assuming this portrait is of the designer–this piece is totally in cahoots with the black vinyl bench and zebra hide below.

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Of course, my favorite pieces are the sofa and armchairs.

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I forgot to snap photos of the dressing rooms, but they’re covered in vibrant wallpaper.

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I’m sure this is the dressing room of Mod dreams for some. No, I’m not into this style, but I can’t get over the shelves and chairs, and look at the maze on that upholstery!

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MCM brass etageres–the prep in me wants a pair for my bedroom displaying my favorite pieces.

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And a shot of my roommate, a die-hard fan of Alice & Olivia.

Are you an Alice & Olivia fan?

Tours

Casa Artelexia in North Park, San Diego

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“Love yourself.”

It’s something I learned to do, at least in part, during the months I worked for Casa Artelexia in San Diego, before my life-changing move to San Francisco. As I mentioned in a social media post after touring the new shop, I found so much of my confidence here and I learned to love my Mexican heritage, and I became even more enamored by Mexican folk art. I had had a sad few months trying to find work after I got back from college, was living at home, and was struggling internally with a long term relationship. I had remembered loving the shop and walked in to ask for work when Elexia, the talented woman who owned the store, offered me an internship. I was her first employee, and after a month of writing blog posts, a newsletter, and web copy, she hired me.

Working at Casa Artelexia was one of my favorite experiences. Her shop in Little Italy is filled with antiques, folk and modern art, textiles, and oddities unique to Mexico, and when I was working there, a large art gallery. Every week at Artelexia brought with it a new art show and a frenzy of shop admirers both Mexican and not, and I had the freedom to run her blog, craft and create, and simply enjoy time with visitors. When the time came to leave, Elexia supported my decision and even tried to help me find work in San Francisco. She’d also lived there.

Nearly three years later I keep in touch with Elexia, and her family and friends on occasion, and finally visited her brand new second shop in the North Park area of San Diego. I was completely amazed by the shop and the bohemian modern route she took with this addition to her business. I wanted to share it on my blog because I feel as though this is what The Tufted strives to be: authentic, inspired by vintage, bohemian, and respectful to all cultures.

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This fantastic paper flower wall, like the one in the main shop in Little Italy, was designed and created by Tania Fischer. You can find her DIY tutorial to craft these yourself on her website. Artelexia has also hosted paper flower workshops and a myriad of others including adult wine and craft nights, coiled basketry (which I had the pleasure of teaching!), Nichos, pinatas, felt ornaments, papel picado, and so many more.

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Casa Artelexia is a shoppable gallery of Mexican and bohemian folk art, much of it from southern Mexico in places like Oaxaca and Chiapas. The shop features whimsical pieces like painted Talavera pottery, traditional and modern textiles, artwork buy local artisans, and Mid-Century Modern furniture upholstered in Mexican and South American textiles (these are some of my favorites obviously). You can also pick up unique greeting and post cards and have your gift wrapped at the counter with confetti and papel picado.

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When I visited Elexia this past Christmas, she had a vignette set up for the occasion with a mix of modern and vintage finds and craft accessories.

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Every so often Elexia has the office of the new store open. The space is filled with art and items from her own collection that she’s displayed beautifully on vintage shelves and furniture.

Have you visited San Diego recently? Check out Casa Artelexia in North Park and Little Italy, and stop in for beautiful Mexican folk art, crafting, and great people!

 

Tours

An Eclectic and Artful Home in the Haight

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted BlogI met Jamai at the Storeenvy “pop-up” shop in downtown during my search for jobs and creative folks when I first moved to San Francisco. If you’ve ever wandered through the city and noticed a green T-Rex terrorizing the Golden Gate Bridge (on a t-shirt), it’s Jamai’s artwork, sold through his clothing brand Animal Instincts.

Jamai recently finished a series of gorgeous wine and coffee painted Victorian homes (seen above resting in the hallway), which I saw in person when I photographed he and his wife Meredith’s place in the Haight. The two (and pooch, Bandit!) live in their own apartment, with all of the eclecticism and Victorian style you’d expect a San Francisco home to have. Their collection of artwork (much of it his own work), mis-matched furniture, and various knick-knacks adorn every nook and cranny of this fantastic home and truly make it a cozy, personalized space.
An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

The sofa in the living room is was what I remembered most about the apartment, and its contrasting color explosion that includes a bevy of patterned and retro needlepoint cushions, a serape, and a crochet zig-zag blanket.

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted BlogJamai works out of two areas of the house: a small closet-like room in the hallway (where he keeps his merchandise for shows ) and the living room. And as home goods seem to be my obsession, I was delighted to find a few Victorian house pillows from his new series, like the one above looking quite appropriate and lovely on his vintage tufted chair

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

The eclecticism of the apartment flows into each room, including the kitchen where intricate illustrations and bright, ethereal paintings pop against its yellow walls, and a string of dainty craspedia and dried flower filled bulbs hang above the table. I didn’t realize until later, but a series of enlarged Loteria cards–a popular Mexican bingo game–hang above one doorway, no doubt belonging to Meredith, who spent time teaching English in Mexico years ago.

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

The hallway of the house is its own miniature gallery, with books and framed prints in a corner and canvases hanging along the walls. Jamai’s “office” can be found there as well, with piles of his Animal Instincts t-shirts and unfinished Victorian pillows.

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted BlogThe lavender walls of the bedroom and its subtle gray duvet and disheveled pillows make it a peaceful space. I love how its gallery wall mixes various framed pieces, including a beautiful silver mirror, handmade jewelry display (assuming it’s handmade!), and an expressionistic watercolor.

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

An Eclectic Abode in the Haight on The Tufted Blog

I’m currently redoing my own backyard, so I loved seeing Meredith and Jamai’s well kept patio and the bulb string lights hung across. The space is well kept and looks like the perfect spot for small gatherings and nice weather. It definitely tops off their apartment.

Thank you Meredith and Jamai for letting me photograph your home!

Tours

Gorgeous and Green

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

I had a grand shopping adventure a few days ago while waiting to meet Max in Oakland. My East Bay travels took my from Telegraph and College Avenues in Berkeley to the lower area of College Ave. in Rockridge. I love Berkeley and explore whenever I can, usually in areas around campus. This time I visited the awesome and very vintage thrift store Mars Mercantile and bought myself a floral 90’s skirt that I fell in love with (and who knew the decade I grew up in is considered vintage now? I’m not even hitting 30 yet!). The rest was exploring other fun stores like  Daiso, the Japanese “Container Store-meets-Dollar Tree” market, and walking around the UC Berkeley campus.

Usually I stumble upon things by simply driving through them, or just getting lost-which happens frequently. This time I got lost on College Avenue, a street that lay in my memory from a night I’d driven by and ogled the adorable stores. I recalled a few shops that I knew had moved there from the city, namely Jeremy’s (a shop that sells Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie overstock for way cheap!) that were on College and visited those first. I also discovered Gorgeous and Green, which functions as an eco-friendly garden shop, gift store, and florist:

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted BlogWhat resonated with me about this store was its commitment to sustainability and locally sourcing the items and plants they sell. My design schooling was based upon these principles so I love to see businesses that promote them. Gorgeous and Green carries a slew of unique handmade pieces from designers in the area, like candles, greeting cards, jewelry, bags, and vintage items. The whimsical space is also filled with colorful potted plants and mini succulents, and evidence of its “floristry” throughout (i.e. a lovely flower filled clawfoot bathtub to the left of the front desk). Basically, the shop is like an Anthropologie of garden stores.

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted BlogThe llamas tipped me off to what a wonderful shop this place is and the beautiful crafts and artwork they sell. I would have bought this whole display including its vintage suitcase, and I can only hope to one day fill my future San Francisco clawfoot bathtub with vibrant flowers.

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted Blog

Gorgeous and Green on the Tufted BlogGorgeous and Green proudly displays their sustainability mission statement on a chalkboard for all to see…while simultaneously teaching customers some of the principles of eco-friendliness in a business. The florists there were also quite friendly and kindly allowed me to photograph their store, so thank you guys and gals!

Tours

A Cozy Climbers’ Studio in the Panhandle

DSC_0314bAlessia and I met during orientation when we first transferred to college, and since then she’s been one of my best friends. Alessia and Tobias were best friends too, until one day they were more and he ventured to New York and she whisked herself away to join him.

A few years later the couple share a small studio in the Panhandle area of San Francisco, as well as dreams of climbing and a potential future corgi (Am I right guys?). The space is a eclectic mix of things new and things old from their homes in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, and they have transformed it into a colorful and cozy retreat.

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DSC_0309bAlessia and Tobias’s apartment is filled with trinkets, photos, and found objects (lots and lots of mugs and some vintage Pyrex to name a few), and is more like a curated exhibit of their lives, travels, and things they’ve created.

Oh, and did I mention Alessia is an awesome artist (check out her website)!? Her paintings and drawings line the walls of the main room, and other areas of the house–some inspired by nature, some by dreams and random encounters (a rooster on a trash can in New York–true story).

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DSC_0317bOne of the things I love about this apartment is how well the furniture works with their personal keepsakes and how its charm is all in the details. Alessia and Tobias added a small blue love seat as a solution to a lack of sitting space, and it goes perfectly with her rug from home, their crochet pouf, and chevron duvet. Alessia’s quilted blanket is draped over their bed and lends extra coziness to the room, and a collection of bright floor pillows and a homemade fish that Tobias’s mom sewed him sit along the bench of their bay windows.

Also, if you look around the room, their love of climbing and the outdoors is displayed everywhere.  Somehow their gear adds to the colorful mix, with a rainbow of cams hanging over their bedroom door, a bicycle stored in the corner, and a Mexican blanket that, no doubt, would be perfect for a beach or hiking adventure.

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DSC_0319bThank you Alessia and Tobias for letting me photograph your place!