An Oakland Home Filled With Travel Mementos

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Emily Nathan and her husband, Jake, moved into this Oakland, California home eight years ago. Emily is a photographer and Jake is an artist, so the couple’s home is filled with color (they have a pink Pantone-inspired wall!), unique finds and art. They both love modern with a little bit of baroque touches mixed in. Emily has traveled the world as a photographer and the couple’s home is filled with her travel finds (she even shipped chairs from Argentina). Their house is truly a reflection of who they are and where they have been. Emily says that it’s a bit of a living monument to their interests and travel. And just recently, Emily founded a new lifestyle travel magazine, Tiny Atlas Quarterly.  They have had three online editions of the magazine and the next issue is out online in April, but they are also printing their first Tiny Atlas Annual in April. If you’re looking for a travel magazine, this one is pretty awesome. Every time I click on over to their site, I find myself lost in travel photos!  Thanks, Emily and Jake! And a big thank you to Melissa Kaseman for the lovely photos! –Amy

Image above:  The teapot is from my friend David Cole who is a metals professor at CCA. He gave it to me for my 21st birthday and we still use it every day. It’s made by Simplex in England. The salt and pepper containers are from Kyoto from a personal shoot I did years ago. The huge framed image is actually for sale on Tiny Atlas shopify site! It was shot at hotel  Le Banane, in St. Bart’s while on assignment a long time ago.  Frames here and throughout the house by Smith Anderson North and PKirkeby Fine Art and Framing  (Peter and Stephen are brothers, both have outstanding framing and art handling businesses and Stephen also has a lovely gallery in Marin, Peter is in SF). Flowers are from Arjan on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, a beautiful local flower shop near my house. The containers are from our wedding in Kauai (old- 10 years already!) that we brought when our friend/planner, Alison of suggested we bring containers to our destination wedding. These were from Crate and Barrel outlet in Berkeley.  The dish towel from Atomic Garden (dangerously good home store in Rockridge.)

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Image above: Our fireplace is a little strange. It used to be coal and then the bricks were added for fire. The bricks need repair so we just painted the whole thing until we decide to break it apart and fix it. The blue table in the corner is from Ikea kids. The pink chair bought in Rockridge from Form Vintage Modern (now gone). The owner now has this store instead. The ball candelabra from a gorgeous local store. The wood burning painters are by Jake Huffman (my husband).  The red collage is by our friend Rob Reger, the founder of Emily the Strange. The stars are from our friend Aimee for our son from a great garden, curio and kids shop in San Francisco. The are also tons of little paintings from travels, the palette is from Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda’s house in Chile, the one on the fireplace is from Sardinia.

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Image above: The handmade letterpress notebooks are from Tiny Atlas kickstarter (made by Thea Kavamore from Kavamore press, designed by Liz Mullally) but also for sale on our site next week. The illustration is made by Olivia Joffrey, our illustrator from TAQ Jenner story. The green pen is from unionmade/mill in mill valley.

See more of this Oakland home after the jump!

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Image above: The vintage sofa is from my parents. The blanket is from Atomic Garden. The felt rug and pillow from Peace Industry in San Francisco.  (I met the owner of Peace Industry, Melina, through a shoot I did of her and her shop  for Sunset magazine a long time ago.) The desk from vintage shop in oakland. The plant and green container are both from Flora Grubb. The big image is mine shot on assignment in the Dominican Republic while staying at Hotel Catalina a lovely family run hotel in the north. The modernica chair is from Joe from Bay Home Consignment and the rolly cart is from West Elm.

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Image above: Jake’s large painting with the antlers. The antler pillow is from my sister who lives in Germany.  Jake got me the womb chair for my birthday when I was pregnant with our son. We  just recently moved the living room around (3 years later!) to accommodate it and create this other nook which I really like. The chair was a sample from Zinc Details in San Francisco, I had a photo show there a long time ago and we have bought some great pieces from them over the years. The big stone pillows (and little red one) are called livingstones and they are from France from a home store that is now closed. I bought the big ones for myself for my 30th birthday (which was 7 years ago) and they have held up really well. The bent wood bookshelf is from  Propeller Modern.

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Image above: We had planned to move before having our son but we didn’t. So while I was pregnant, (of course, the kitchen was finished while I was in labor) we updated our scullery kitchen so we could have a dishwasher as well as get rid of the lead paint in our 105-year-old kitchen drawers. We loved the old tiles behind the sink so we kept them when we installed the new cabinets, corian counters, grohe fixture, wood veneer.

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Image above: The painting is by Astrid Cravens. The Heath teapot was a birthday present. The bird from my mom, and I bring home a few rocks and shells from wherever I go.

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Image above: The bowl from Anthro, wedding vases and Arjan flowers.

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Image above: The wooden birds from my mom. We have painted all the rooms ourselves in the house sort of one by one. The living room is essentially all moulding which is so much work to paint so we finally had someone paint for us a couple years ago. We added the green to the fireplace and the ledge. Jake is a big part of color decisions, as he is a painter. He kind of insisted on the green just underneath.

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Image above: The credenza from a vintage shop in San Francisco’s Glen Park. The print by Judith Shahn from Cape Cod. The wood clock was a present I got Jake from the San Francisco Hayes store Propeller. The vintage planters from Crimson in Temescal.

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Image above: The large image was actually a mistake shot from when I was traveling by myself in Fernando de Noronha a long time ago. We love that we have a painting by our friend Reed Danziger. I cut a lot of flowers from our garden and trees for our house. This is magnolia season and I don’t have a magnolia tree but my next door neighbors do and they give me a few branches every year. The wire bird is from a vintage store in a tiny town in Kona right before the Waipio valley. The furniture piece is bludot shelving  from Zinc Details.  We liked the metal doors that you can customize the colors.

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Image above: The triptych from the Moscow flea market when I was on an assignment from Budget Travel about 12 years ago.

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Image above: The chandelier and antlers are from the Alameda Flea Market. The vintage table is from my parents. The bench and chairs are  from West Elm -I love bent wood.

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Image above: Jake Huffman wood burning painting. The chairs are a locally made Argentinian version of the classic you can get at DWR that I bought and brought home in boxes on the airplane on my first trip to Buenos Aires many years ago. All leather and steel but MUCH cheaper (I only paid $100 to ship them on the plane!)

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Image above: Heath ceramics vase, Amanda Marsalis photos, dream catcher from a road trip to New Mexico by my friend Aimee. Flowers from Arjan on Piedmont Ave.

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Image above: Viola park cabinets. We kept the original glass shelves above and just painted the edges hot pink. Lisa Congdon image from 20×200  a present from my book-keeper who is an amazing resource to all San Francisco photographers. The blue bowls and plates are from Kate Spade from our wedding registry.

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Image above: We re-did our bathroom with Heath ceramics seconds (We used the imperfect tiles that are cheaper) and modern basic tiles from the Sausalito warehouse). The cabinet with sink is from Ikea. We used a grohe fixture and West Elm mirror cabinet that we spray painted the same color as the rest of the bathroom. All the ball lights in the house from a great lighting store in Berkeley , they have a million lights in one room. The clear globe on top of cabinet from a travel store I visit A LOT 

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Image above: Our son’s room. The wallpaper by Geoff Mcfetridge  The acorn image is by my sister and TAQ artist whose house is way nicer than mine! (She is my older sister, so you know everything she does is cooler! The crib/bed was a hand-me-down from her.) The red/white bedding is from Ikea. They have awesome fabrics. Owl blanket from Atomic Garden. The little red painting is vintage. The rugs are from Peace Industry. The basket from a nice guy at the weekend Calistoga Farmer’s market while I was on assignment for Martha Stewart. The furs from New Zealand. The whale pillow was a present for my son from my agent Carol Alda after she saw the whale wallpaper I was working on for my son’s room before he was born.

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Image above: The Otomi print is  from a shoot in Loreto, Baja while on assignment for Apple many years ago. The Otomi pillows are from some other shop in Tulum when on vacation there. Fluffy grey pillow and duvet from another favorite fashion and homewares shop, Erica Tanov. The street paintings from Brazil, polaroids from Hanalei and Costa Rica. The yellow lamp from the Jonathan Adler shop in San Francisco. I love my new little natural wood bedside book shelf from the most amazing shop in Temescal.

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Image above: I got our cat (Omai) at a rescue stand outside our local Bank of America. She was a gift to keep Jake company while I was headed out of town on a travel job seven years ago.  She was super tiny, and has remained one of the smallest cats ever. I had our blinds custom made at a little local shop my sister told me about.

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Image above:  The ball light is from a home store that doesn’t exist anymore but was sourced by Joe from Urban home. The photo of girl with hydrangea by me, shot in Portland, Oregon. Far image is by Amanda Marsalis. We love the hardwood floor details in our 1906 house and the hand carved big screen door.

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Image above: The pantone wall was created by Jake. We picked a pink and then he kept adding white to it. The planter from heath ceramics. Our friend Marcus and his business partner Chris Ray made our deck with a lot of love and care. They have a fabrication business now so not sure if they will make a deck for someone anymore but they are amazing builders. 

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Image above: I redid our shed for Jake to use as a painting studio for his birthday right after we moved into our house. It was a project but fun to maintain the old redwood structure, and just repair it. Lighting from Berkeley Lighting.  I fell in love with Fermob chairs at the Luxembourg Garden when on assignment in Paris. I didn’t get them there but was pretty excited when I saw them at the Gardener and Flora Grubb. I bought them over time because they are pricey! I got the little one for my son when I was pregnant and it was 50% off. I like to be barefoot at home so when we did our deck and redid our little yard we tried to make everything soft. I love the pool edge stones we installed into the grass walkway. Our front garden is all drought tolerant but we do have grass in the back.

  1. fancy says:

    The kitchen tiles are freaking amazing, so glad you saved them!! Wonderful cozy home that looks full of LOVE!!

  2. Lovely pictures!!Love that ranunkel bouquet!! WOW!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Such a colorful, friendly and interesting home. Tiny Atlas looks wonderful–I look forward to browsing.

  4. Katie says:


  5. nj says:

    holy crap this house is amazing.

  6. jen says:

    What a wonderful home. You have some truly excellent furniture finds. Love the photo that looks like a window. Love, love, love your womb chair.

  7. Sarah says:

    The print over the oven is lovely, at first I thought it was just a reflection in a mirror.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Wow, this house is amazing! Hopefully mine can look like this in the near future, I love how there’s a splash of color in almost every room with white furniture to even it out. Great photos, by the way!

  9. Liz says:

    Where is the lamp on the vintage credenza from? Thanks!

  10. becca says:

    beautiful! thank you for sharing!

  11. Miriam says:

    I scrolled through this in ecstasy. Please post the paint colors when you have the chance. Is the green in the last room Benjamin Moore Northern Lights by any chance? I loved everything about this house so very much, especially the careful pops of color (and white with a tiny bit of clear green and a little pink here and there is my favorite color combination ever). Would also love to know whether the dining room is separate from, or connected to the kitchen. I am so inspired right now!

  12. Lauran says:

    Great to see an Oakland home (my town too!). You included many of the great local design resources/links. I love Atomic Garden too! Such a beautiful yet unusual assortment of goods. Love your colors too. Thanks!

  13. Sarah says:

    Just my cup of tea. Loved your use of colour. A beautiful home.

  14. All the momentos for home decoration really nice. I love this post, really big and interesting. Thanks!

  15. Flora in Nice says:

    One of the nicest homes I’ve seen recently.

  16. Leslie says:

    This home is simply breat taking!! I love everything about it!!

  17. isabel says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and being so good about all the sources. Ditto on that green paint color – i would love to know the brand.

  18. Jilly says:

    Thanks for creating such a thorough, engaging narrative to accompany these lovely images! Would you mind sharing your source for the custom blind? I’m in the neighborhood, too, and have about a million projects in need of custom sewing…

  19. emily says:

    love the bright lines of color throughout the house…like that upper cabinet painted red, and that green molding. so cool and such a fun way to highlight architecture

  20. Taylor says:

    The bright colors in this house are fabulous! In love with that shed!


  21. Lesley says:

    Wow thank you so much for such an amazing house tour, I was sucked in completely by the first image and didnt want it to end!

    Could see myself living here very happily! Gorgeous family home!

  22. Abbey says:

    Such beautiful light. Thank you for sharing your lovely home.

  23. Jane says:

    Thank you. Gorgeous! Another request for the paint colors please (including the whites!) x

  24. Gosh this one is my favorite. Very California cool, well designed and just the right amount of color!

  25. I know it’s silly with everything else that is awesome in the house to like the kitchen backsplash tile so much! It’s just the best color!

  26. sonrie says:

    i love all the natural wood and the light and the wonderful textiles!- thanks for sharing.

  27. EBrown says:

    I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn’t show up. An any rate, love this house. Very much like my old house in the Lower Rockridge. It’s so much fun to know that you have used the same shops that I frequent. Plus I just “discovered” the Atomic Garden. I’ve driven or walked by a million times, but a few days ago I went in and immediately fell in love.

  28. Elsie says:

    One of my favorites to date! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Emily Nathan says:

    Wow thanks all! Let’s see what I can answer. As far as the paint colors go, that will take a bit more research. We have a basement full of paint and I will go look and report back. What’s crazy is that we spend a ton of time on each color choice but then never notate anything.
    Jen and Sarah- Thank you on the photo! If you get motivated it can be yours! We love that womb chair but warning to all cat people, our cat loves it too! aggrr. Nicest thing in the house and she ruins it a bit every day.
    Liz-The lamp (was a set yay) is vintage from a store that is no longer open sorry!
    Miriam- The dining room is separate from the kitchen.
    Jilly-The blinds are from a neighborhood shop that has actually done repairs for my sister, so I know they do that!

    I will work on the colors ladies! Thanks so much. I am a color person like all of you I guess! Also, I am so glad that Melissa (our photographer) is such a great visual story teller!

  30. Anne says:

    The “teapot” looks great, but it is really a kettle, not a teapot.

  31. emily nathan says:

    Ok ladies I did some basement research and I found some paint colors. A number of our paints are from Mythic which are non-toxic. I am not sure which whites are where but we did you ow 3-2 otherwise know as Grace’s Smile in a number of places. The hallways is Benjamin Moore Gumdrop we think from memory. The indoor green in the dining room as the accent color is Shades of summer. Our living room is actually a super light blue but I haven’t found that one or the yellows yet.

  32. isabel says:

    thanks for the color research.

  33. Libby says:

    Such a lovely home! Would you mind sharing what kind of range that you have? I can’t quite make out the brand from the first photo, but it’s exactly what we are looking for in our new home. Thanks for the beautiful photos and inspiration!

  34. virginia June says:

    Love this site, I am thinking about starting a website for my most favorite co.
    And se


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