Wednesday, June 4

Unexpected Guests: Kelly Niland.

I'm really quite happy today about sharing an old friend and co-worker's lovely Mission District Victorian flat. I've worked with Creative Director Kelly Niland on and off for years at various San Francisco ad agencies, and we've always had fun. I also had the unusual opportunity many years ago to do a photo shoot in her apartment for Yahoo!, where we filled her place with just a ton of cats...a shoot you don't easily forget. But what I also really remember, was how cool and creative Kelly's home was, and I'm quite sure I went home that day with more than just a little bit of inspiration. Well, that was almost six years ago, so I was thrilled when Kelly kindly consented to letting me take a fresh peek at her place and how married life had impacted the decor. It was just as a creative and inspiring a space as I remembered, but had now infused both of their tastes and belongings beautifully. Just you wait and see. Thanks again so much for having me, Kelly - I don't often get to shoot these myself, and that was one of the most fun Unexpected Guests challenges ever!

What is your idea of a perfect day in San Francisco?
Ideally, it would all unfold sans car, starting with a walk over to Sugarlump Coffee Lounge on 24th Street for a mocha, or across the street to the St. Francis Fountain for breakfast.

Next might be a stroll down Valencia Street to see what's new there, or jump on BART to the Ferry Building to pick up some cheeses, breads, and chocolates (and, okay, produce) from the market there.

Back at home, I'd spend time on a personal project. I'm the founder of the 3 Minute Pop Miracle Project, a music-sharing group of 50 friends, so there is usually something to do for that. Or, work on a photo collage book, possibly the funnest thing to do on a computer.

Then after a nap and a soak in the tub (truly making this a perfect day), I'd walk over with my husband to one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants Blue Plate, Slow Club, Beretta, or Range for dinner with friends, followed by coffee and parlor games (favorites: Taboo and Botticelli) at our house. Best day ever.

What don't you leave home without?
Camera and lipstick. You thought I was going to say lip balm, didn't you!?

What's your favorite local shop?
It's got to be the clothing boutique Lemon Twist, in Hayes Valley (Octavia near Hayes). Danette, the owner/designer, cooks up super-fun stuff that looks great on everybody. And the prices aren't bad.

Who are your favorite artist/designers? And why?
Anyone who has a vision and a hunger to keep retooling it. Gerhard Richter, the Eames, the Coen Brothers, Picasso, Avedon, Paul Rand...

Who do you admire and why?
My mom. She was the single-most unconditionally loving person I'll ever know. And not just to her family, to everyone around her.

What souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
A pair of orange leather mule slippers with white top-stitching from the market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Scrumptious.

What's your favorite film for set design?
How about TV? That set from the show Mad Men moved me. Clean, well-composed shapes and colors. And great lighting. Doesn't look super-comfortable, but lovely to look at. (Editor's note: I am so with you here, girl! I love those sets.)

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
My oldest friend, Jeanne-Marie, in Chicago. And it wouldn't be tea, it would be wine. We hold regular catch-up wine chats over the phone, which is almost as good.

What would you eat for your last supper?
I guess I'd have to go out the way I came in, with my first food love being deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. My husband calls it casserole. Whatever it is, I think it might help prepare me for the great beyond...

What is your most treasured belonging?
A box of letters from my mom.

What is your favorite piece of furnishing in your home?
That's a tie between our groovy set of white leather B&B Italia dining chairs and my husband's inherited 60's-Scandinavian cherry-red egg-shaped swivel chair.

What is your greatest indulgence?
Dessert after every meal. And sometimes, dessert after dessert.

What is your idea of living hell?
Endless Junior High.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
You mean, besides the great triumvirate (sfgirlbybay, design*sponge, and
Etsy)? Wardrobe Remix; the Beholder; Stuff White People Like; The Sartorialist; I'll flip you. Flip you for real. Bastard of Art and Commerce.


katherine said...

absolutely gorgeous home!

la.mi said...

love the post. love the home. is it a victorian flat?

Anonymous said...

I love the cat plate on the wall.

megan said...

i love the "unexpected guests" feature on this site -- i'm a fairly new reader, but your blog is one of my very favorites (and it's a goal of mine to live in san francisco for at least a year of my life). :) keep up the great work! xx.

Spots said...

Yay! Thanks for the link! We are now BFF. I love you. Call me...

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

i adore that slate-colored wall with the large matted photographs. so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I love that low bookshelf under those gorgeous windows. Could you share the name of the blue paint used in the kitchen and throughout on the trim?

SimplyGrove said...

Great interview as always!! Such a lovely home!!

rebecca said...

I like your photographic juxtapositions.

Wexfordgirl said...

Very beautiful and inspiring. This was one of my absolute favorite Unexpected Guests. She seems very cool too. I want to be her friend!

Jo in NZ said...

Loving these ~ and know I'm not gonna have seen the homes any place else..
thanks Victoria!

sfgirlbybay said...

la.mi. - yes good point - i corrected the post. kelly's flat is a Victorian.

i am so glad you are liking the post - kelly's home is amazing and i had a blast shooting it. she even gave me wine!

spots - are we BFF's now too>?

annie - funny you should say that, as i told kelly all about you, too!

i believe kelly will be checking in to answer the rest of y'all's questions. :)

Katie said...

i loooove the brown/apple/paris/type print in the study. May i ask where it is from?

Kelly Niland said...

Answers to your questions... Revealed!

First, thanks for the lovely compliments, nice people. And thanks to the beguiling Victoria for the fun afternoon.

1. Color of paint: I'm sorry, I don't remember the name or brand of that color, since I bought it ~10 years ago. But I'd describe it as greenish-blue with some gray in it. I bought it at Cliff's Hardware in the Castro. Hope that helps somewhat...

2. Beth Spots: Yes please.

3. Annie W: Let's get V to introduce us!

Thanks all,

scott yeskel said...

like the blu-dot 8 box

Sandra Evertson said...

Always a Chic treat visiting here!
Sandra Evertson

Joanna Goddard said...

lovely! that framed photo of people kissing is so sweet.

Kelly Niland said...

Thanks! That's our wedding photo.

St�phanie said...

Hello, I really love this house! So beautiful... And there is the Eames chair I always wanted!!
Have a great day !!!
I want the sun to come back in Paris!!!!!!!!!!

mermer said...

I love that apple print too. can I also ask where it's from? thanks!!

Janet said...

The fuzzy ottoman is awesome. Where did you get it?

kerry doyle said...

I'm so jealous! What a cool place! And it looks that way naturally. Not like "Hey, I'm cool. Everyone check me out".

Kelly Niland said...

More answers!

The poster was a gift from a friend at Apple--it's from the Telluride film festival they'd sponsored.

Fuzzy ottoman is from Limn in SF, in their section upstairs. Wasn't too expensive. It comes in a cube too, as well as other colors. Pets love it, and it's also a great place for people to perch at parties and stuff.

Thanks again for the lovely compliments! You're all invited over for tea. Or, wine.

Dawn Marie said...

I would love to come for wine. Lots and lots of wine. This home is beautiful. I can honestly say I would move in and not change a thing. Well, except the wedding photos. That would just be weird to leave them up if I was living there. But everything else.....keeping it all. I really love the comfortable home feeling you get.

jennifer in sf said...

Great apartment. It's basically what I hope my place looks like one day. I really love...everything!

C-Rett said...

Oooooo succulents again!

Anonymous said...

questions for Kelly N:

the orange plate with woman's face and arrow-- where could a person get one of those?

the dress in the shadow box-- yours? so cute, and v inspiring. (My mom's got a pair of plaid baby shoes [mine] that I think I should display similarly.)

the cutting board in kitchen-- Joseph Joseph?

the bluebird above doorway-- I have one, too! if we positioned them face-to -face, it would be a noisy treat.

-- Kelly W in Mill Valley

kelly niland said...

Hi Kelly W:

Orange plate is by Andrew Dewitt, as are most of the ceramics around my house. Ask him to make you one. He usually does more 'serious' stuff but also has a kooky side that comes out.

Dress in shadow box: I love that too. Was a birthday present from my little sister. So sweet.

Cutting board: I think what you're referring to is a set of cork-backed placemats, a gift from my other sister, so I'm not sure who designed 'em.

Bluebird: a gift from a friend (you've found all the gifts!), who's got the whole collection. Since the birds are motion-sensing, it's fun to have them 'on' during parties, eh?

Cheers, Kelly

Anonymous said...

hey there, where did you get the cat plate from? I love it!