Interiorssneak peeks

A San Francisco home that knows how to celebrate color

by Amy Azzarito

One of the bright spots at the Stationery Show, each May, is the Yellow Owl Workshop booth. No matter what the rest of the show is like there is always something new and fun in the booth (like their party kits last year or their recipes cards the year before that or their stamp sets the year before that). So we ask Yellow Owl Workshop founder Christine Schmidt (check out our Biz Ladies profile of her right here)for a little peek into the Noe Valley home she shares with husband Evan Gross (who has an equally awesome job as deputy City Attorney for the city of San Francisco, specializing in affordable housing development), daughter Emmy and their two lovely pups Calvin and Clementine. This is the couple’s seventh home in their twelve years together. They’ve been in this space for three years. After so many years of moving, they don’t worry about creating a decorating theme or colorscape because as Christine said, “As renters, you never know if your next home will have, say, pink tile, like we have now.” Instead, they just make a point of collecting (or making things) that have some significance for them. And although, Christine has a studio space for Yellow Owl Workshop, she often designs at home. As a result, the house is a bit like a diary of her changing interests and obsessions. So, for example, the nautical flag in the living room was an Ebay score during the time she was working on her nautical flag greeting cards. Her current favorite piece is the s the graphite drawing in her bedroom from a needlework pattern-inspired series by Robert Otto Epstein. Thank you, Christine, Evan & Emmy! And thank you to Aubri Pick for the fantastic photos! –Amy

Image above: A modular mid-century shelving unit I scored on Craigslist, which houses all of Evan’s records and most of our books. The California Pennant pillow and Trophy lamp are from my collaboration with Schoolhouse Electric of Portland (which is sold out so no longer on their website, but it was on Design*Sponge here.) Handsome gent on the couch is a great acquisition from a rescue dog shelter in DC, Calvin S. Bones.

Image above: This is my home base for both work and life and it is never ever this clean. Here, my rubber stamped designs co-mingle with toys and stale cheerios, and I just wouldn’t have it any other way. Wood periodic table chart from Craigslist, which once hung in Redwood City High School. Danish table from a thrift store in town (can’t remember which one), chairs are one of my many prized scores from eBay, and a William Carlos Williams poem with too few letters. Yes, people, that is some southern exposure.


See more photos this San Francisco home after the jump!

Image above: When we first got married, we decided that we would try to buy at least one piece of art every year that we could enjoy together. Running a business is expensive and, five years in, this is our first piece- a painting by Paul Wackers.  I have been friends with Paul since we met the first day of art school at the Corcoran and Evan surprised me with this and I totally cried. Orchid: already dead at press time. I bought this antique nautical signal flag as, ummm, “research.” Couldn’t find its meaning so I get to lie about its symbolism when people ask me.

Image above: Evan bought a giant TV and I thought the only way to deal was to give it competition.

Image above: A tomb rubbing, an unkillable rubber plant and bench from my friend Sara’s old house on Capp Street.

Image above: Graphite drawing from Robert Otto Epstein, Hand-printed pillows and duvet I made with custom rubber stamps I made using my Carve-a stamp kit.

Image above: Our bedroom was bland and square and too tall. I painted this washy faux paneling to give it dimension. I painted the ceiling and very top of the wall with a gray to bring down the height of the ceiling a bit. Cactus print from my friends at Banquet Workshop who make the most awesome stuff. Wall anchored by a mantle from Craigslist and Ikea mirror tiles.

Image above: Thrifted chair, letterman patch pillow I designed for Schoolhouse Electric. I was drawing a lot of knots and made this
Josephine knot with giant piping from the fabric store.

Image above: I love reading cookbooks. Messy stacks of them above all my cabinets. Cast terra cotta cameras I made a few years ago when I thought I might branch out into ceramics, and then I saw the bill. Red shelf from when you could still get cool stuff at Community Thrift on Valencia.

Image above: Organizational decoupage toy chests I made for my new book “Yellow Owl’s Little Prints.”

Image above: Jenny Lind Crib from Amazon, woodland mobile from “Yellow Owl Little Prints” and remnant of a Singapore flag in an embroidery hoop that I scored at a thrift store.

Image above: Cut-out banner from “Yellow Owl Little Prints.” Mask from ebay ( a previous obsession) I want this room to grow with Emmy, so I tried to steer clear of purely “baby” stuff and made her things that will have significance and staying-power.

Image above: Lamp from my new book, map from These Are Things favorite books by my friend Lorena Siminovich of Petite Collage.

Image above: Not sure if I would have chosen this blush pink paint for the WC but now I love it. Japanese woodblock prints on washi paper above.


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