Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Tour: Chulamama's San Francisco Digs

There's a new mom at school.  She goes by Noelle, and we hit it off from the get-go. We both love to joke around, ride our bikes around town together, and gab about fashion and decor. Noelle's also a DIY girl like me. When she told me how she ripped all the wallpaper off her recently purchased home in a matter of weeks, I knew we'd become fast friends.  Our first play date together was to Scrap.  She's my kinda girl!

She and her business partner Heather run a store called Chulamama-- "cool mom" in Spanish. They sell maternity clothes, baby clothes and baby gifts for the modern family and stylish pregnant women. The physical store is just North of Boston in Danvers, MA.  

Noelle is on the left and her biz partner Heather is on the right

And this is Chulamama!
Chulamama was a hit right out of the gate, winning "Best of Boston" the first year they opened!  

Today Noelle finally invited me to her new San Francisco home. We had an ongoing joke about not allowing me inside until her fabulous new Dwell rugs arrive. FedEx came today and so did I. Of course I knew to bring my camera!  Our kids played together in the backyard while Noelle and I oohed and awed over the new rugs and all of the projects she did around the house in just three months.

Noelle and her husband Ben and their two adorable kids, Jake and Jude, live in a 1920s three-story home by the beach with mid-century modern decor. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was this fabulous old movie projector flanked by two gorgeous Kenneth Wingard table lamps on a beautiful modular case called "3 wide" by Nurserworks.  All I could think was, "This chula mama has been holding out on me!  Forget the Dwell rugs.  There's so much more to see!"

Instead of centering the area rug with the entryhall she casts it to the side creating a cozy seating area. 

The rug is Avalisa and the chair is Herman Miller and the coffee table Offi. Noelle won the photo at an auction and is by a local Boston photographer

When you walk upstairs to the main living area you are greeted by the fun and dramatic dining room. 

And there's the rug we've all been waiting for!

The warm and inviting wood table is one-of-a-kind, sold by In Home Furnishings.  Noelle's hubby, Ben, sanded the top down to lighten it up and left the legs dark. The hip and totally kid-proof orange chairs are from Herman Miller. And the rug Noelle and I have been waiting for is right at home under the table. And yes, it is to die for! The stunning wall of mirrors on the wall is from Kenneth Wingard. Noelle's finishing touch here is the bright orange door to the kitchen. How fun is that!

View in hallway toward living room and you see the hint of stairs which lead up toward the bedrooms

Noelle's avocado green leather sectional from Arhaus reminds me of my morning kale shake! It's such a refreshing change from the expected living room furnishings. It's super comfy to sit on and provides a lot of seating without encroaching too much on this fantastically large room.  What a great piece.

Blu Dot Blockoid Vegan Leather Ottoman accompanies the sectional
With a stunning view out the window of the Pacific ocean, Noelle created a comfy little nook in this corner of the room.  The coveted Eames chair and ottoman sets the stage for luxurious comfort and sophisticated style.  Noelle loves to sit here with her lap top and work on her web site while gazing out the window at the surf. Who wouldn't?! This is one of my favorite vignettes in Noelle's beautiful home.  And how about that amazing yellow lamp!  

Noelle found this yellow lamp at Kenneth Wingard (It is the same lamp featured in Rachel Zoe's house!) Of course Noelle wanted two but they were sold out and something went wrong with production so that was going to be it.  At least she got this one!

Ben is taking guitar lessons.  I love having musical instruments in the home.  Even better if someone is playing them!  
Look at that face.  The owl is from Kenneth Wingard

I love this vignette too!  Noelle creates perfect symmetry with this wall, even down to  the pillows in the floor baskets.  So pretty.
The sleek cabinet shown above, under the TV, is an original by Ben!  Noelle fell in love with a similar piece but of course it cost a fortune and was out of stock.  Ben took one look at Noelle's coveted piece and said he could whip one up in no time!  What a hubby!

Ben made this lovely cabinet out of pine and used a no-VOC water based stain on the wood, which he rubbed on by hand.  The white pieces you see are actually metal. Ben knew just who to call to create these custom aluminum sheets that he had bent just right so they would slide into the grooves of the cabinet.  And they do slide smoothely.  I tested them myself!  Ben acid etched the aluminum and sprayed on a white paint.  Of course he finished off the piece with reclaimed oak for the legs. 

Ben's dad was a master carpenter.  Clearly, Ben's carpentry skills are in his genes, but really, who's husband does this kind of stuff anymore?  Not too many husbands in the city that's for sure!

Love these chairs from Herman Miller.  The pillow is from Gina Triplette.

Noelle's twist on an old "came-with-the-house" fixture
Instead of investing in the costly purchase and installation of 6 new wall sconces Noelle cleverly worked with what she had been given.  She removed the shades and other adornment that didn't mesh with her look and popped in stylish Edison bulbs.  Such an inspirational approach to re-thinking what she already has. They're perfect and uniquely her own! She's so talented! I just love when something old gets a new life!

Noelle took the same approach to the kitchen as she did with the light fixtures-- doing the best with what she's been given.  She painted the top cabinets white and the bottom a buttery yellow.  She definitely capitalizes on the "less is more" notion in the kitchen.  Everything she has in this room has something to offer.

She takes everyday staples like gold fish and straws for the kids and displays them in canning jars.  I noticed it right away and love it!

She popped in simple new cabinet pulls and brought in punches of red with her Le Creuset cookware.

Noelle likes the look of magnetic spices so she created her own!  She purchased these tin cans from Specialty Bottles, placed magnets on the back and spice stickers on the front she made with a label maker.

There's the orange door again...and her Boston Marathon Bib framed.  It adds a fun pop of interest.  This is another great vignette!

...Let's go upstairs. 

Even the guest room is smothered in style.  The bed with pull out trundle is Argington.  The antique dresser is from In Home Furnishings.  I love the over-sized shade on that fat little table lamp from Kenneth Wingard and the fur ball rug.

The beautiful blue painting is something Noelle painted in 5 minutes to add some color!
Jake and Jude's funky and fun bedroom is painted with Behr Paint Ultra "Moss Print."  I love the clean lines of the metal bunk bed and those bright blue comforters are so fun!

Duro Hanley Full-over-Full Bunkbed with West Elm Organic Sheets & Ralph Lauren Aqua Sheet Blankets

Even the lucky kids in this home get to enjoy a stylish "3 Wide" modular case by Nurseryworks in their hip bedroom.  Chula kiddos!
For some reason, with all the hip, clean lined decor in this kid's room, the kid's clutter on the floor doesn't seem so bad! Hmmm....
Ben made this awesome surf board to decorate their room.  
Noelle and Ben's master suite is so calming and pretty.  I love the purple and gray colors.  But as you can see below, Noelle is far from matchy-matchy.  She also brings bright pops of yellow into this room and it works beautifully, adding some sunshine to this soothing room. When you live close to the beach in San Francisco, it's not all sunshine!

The master bedroom has views of the Pacific.  The gorgeous chair by the window is where Noelle and Ben enjoy those views.

The 1960s vintage desk is the perfect size with so much character.  The fab yellow chair is Vitra T-Vac  

And, there's the Dwell rug again.  When Noelle finds a piece she loves, she goes all in.  She often buys two or sometimes three or even four of what she loves and sprinkles it throughout the house.  

Noelle is passionate in all that she does and it shows through in her beautiful San Francisco home.  They've only been in this house for three months and it looks amazing.  Knowing Noelle, there will be many more changes to come.  I'll keep you posted!

Thanks Noelle (and Dwell) for letting us inside your fabulous family home!


  1. Wow -- this house is uber cool. I love her bold and dramatic design choices. To use another Spanish word, Noelle has cajones.

  2. OMG!!! i am in love with this home..everything is just perfect, this house honestly belongs in a catalog..GO NOELLE!!! :-) and i am head over heels in love with the "3 wide" by Nurserworks and the Kenneth Wingard yellow lamp :-)

  3. The place is absolutely amazing - it takes a real artist to put these colors, patterns and textures together and make it really work. Well done!

  4. I am LOVING all the colors you used!!! You did such a great job making a chic comfortable home thats still kid friendly.... **LOVE**

  5. amazing, noelle. the dwell rugs, the dining room chairs... love it (even the striped straws!). so great.

    and jenna, your house looks pretty amazing too--i want to see more!

  6. Beautiful! I want to see it in person. I love that you pick such wonderful pieces that even when you moved they look like they were bought for this new space. So glad you went with the orange Herman Millers! Perfect!

  7. Thanks for all the comments ladies! Noelle has been talking about Christmas decor for weeks now. I can't wait to see what she does for the holidays! Bridget, you can check out my whole house here: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20521206,00.html Cheers!