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 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.