It’s been a minute since I had a ‘Californians at Home’ post, but we are off to an exciting start in 2022, with my fun and stylish San Franciscan friend Mary Ann Pickett as our guest. Mary Ann is a blogger who writes the very popular, Classic Casual Home which many of you know. She also is a busy designer and mom of two grown kids. She’s had a culturally rich life, living all over the world, and I am excited for her to share her pretty San Francisco hilltop apartment with you and also her style secrets and insights into California living!
Tell us about yourself, Mary Ann.
Thank you so much, Kim, for having me visit today. It’s really an honor to be here with you and your readers!
A little about me…I was born in San Bernardino, California. Both my parents and one set of grandparents were also born in southern California. I went to school in Northern California at the University of Santa Clara and spent some time in San Francisco before meeting my husband Howard in Los Angeles.
Once Howard and I were married, the career moves started. We lived in New York (our daughter was born there), Chicago, Orlando (where our son was born), Paris, Fort Lauderdale, Newport Beach, and finally back to San Francisco.
I’ve always been involved in building and designing our homes but it was in Fort Lauderdale (about twenty years ago) where my decorating business took off after helping one of my husband’s business associates with her home. My sort of “California casual” style was popular there and my client list quickly grew by word of mouth.
What elements define your interior design style?
I love to use elements that have meaning to my clients… incorporated with pretty fabrics like linen blocked prints and updated accessories like lighting. I believe that if you make small tweaks every year or so, you won’t end up with overwhelmingly dated interiors.
How has your personal decorating style been influenced by living in San Francisco.
We live in a 1920’s highrise apartment with a Beaux-Arts feel. There are views of the Bay from practically every room, so I wanted to make the interiors almost an extension of the blues outside.
The French antiques that we purchased when we lived in Paris, fit with the architecture. And personally, I feel like every seat should be comfortable.
What do you love most about your apartment? What do you love the least?
I DO love the views! From the kitchen and dining rooms, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and from the living room, you can see Alcatraz Island and the eastern portion of the Bay Bridge (especially at night when it’s lit up).
It’s fun to live in a place that tourists value so highly (I love walking my dog, Chief, and helping people with directions)and we have wonderful restaurants that are so convenient.
What I miss is having an outdoor space…even just a small garden. And a barbecue grill would be nice to have again.
What paint colors did you use in the interiors?
All the walls are Benjamin Moore White Dove and the trim is similar to Navajo White. The landlord let us paint the ugly pickled pine cabinets in our galley kitchen Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.
What is your most recent purchase for your home?
A new narrow tray to update the coffee table …can’t have too many trays!
What is your favorite piece (or pieces) in your home that have meaning to you?
We have a French demi-lune table that was in our childhood home. I asked my mom if I could paint it and she said sure.
We also have artwork from Paris and as I mentioned, some antiques like a bookcase in the dining room that stores dishes and a commode in the foyer that holds all our table linens. Storage is key in a small place!
Can you recommend a few home shops in San Francisco that you love?
Hudson Grace and shopping on Sacramento Street is fun. So is Elsie Green in Concord and Emily Joubert in Laurel Heights/SF.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
I wear clothes like my interiors…classic and casual.
Since I’m only 5’1″ tall, I like retailers with petite sizes (Anthropologie, Banana Republic, J. Crew) but I am not opposed to getting things tailored (something that I learned in Paris as most French women like a good fit).
For my daughter’s wedding last year, I found nice dresses at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. I also like comfortable shoes since I do a lot of walking in San Francisco.
Thanks for having me over, Kim! Always a pleasure to spend time with you!
Thank you Mary Ann for opening your home to us and sharing your San Francisco life with us!
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Visit Mary Ann’s blog, Classic Casual Home today, where she also is having me on as a guest!
If you enjoyed this post you may also like Californians at Home, Cindy Hattersley
Thanks so much for your patience. More Californians to come this year!
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