To say that Jennifer Nordine’s home in San Francisco has character is a huge understatement. With so many amazing pieces that reflect several different time periods, a stroll through her beautiful home is like a lesson in history. Step back in time and get ready to swoon over all of the amazing details and eclectic items seen throughout the space. Plus, learn about Jennifer’s favorite spots to find home décor (and coffee, too).
You have a rich family history in San Francisco. How has this affected your personal style choices in your home?
My great-grandfather, Ernest Francis Ribera, immigrated to San Francisco from Spain and my great-grandmother, Ruth Foley, from Ireland. My great-grandfather first settled in an Edwardian home off Geary and 27th. Since, I’ve always admired the Edwardian characteristics, which led us to buy our 1940’s Edwardian back in 2013. As far as style choices, I tend to lean toward more eclectic pieces that reflect across different periods of time. My mid-century console was inspired from the ’40s, my sconces from the ’50s, Crosby sectional from the ’60s, pillow textiles from the ’70s and lastly the photo in my living room is of the old San Francisco Cliff House. My great-grandmother Ruth worked in the Cliff House gift shop before it burned down in 1909. I wanted to emulate a beautiful space with elements of history that my family would be proud of.
What’s your favorite room in your home, and why?
Hands down, it would have to be my little living room nook. It’s my secluded sanctuary. I get to sit in my cozy chair, look out my window and get lost in Polk Street, engulf myself in my newest book club novel (currently: Something in the Water), go ham on a Netflix binge (recent binge: “The OA”) or just put my feet up and reflect on the day.
We love how light and airy your home is! Any tips for finding home décor to match the overall aesthetics?
Best advice would be to try to keep larger foundational pieces neutral—pieces like rugs, curtains, consoles and couches. It brings a touch of cozy, but also makes space feel light and airy. That will give you an opportunity to add color hues through smaller pieces (i.e. pillows, books, linens). I personally love pops of color throughout to add charm, without it overpowering the space. In addition, painting the walls, trim and baseboards white really opens up space (Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace trim and baseboards, and Distant Grey on the walls).
Where are some of the top places that you recommend to shop for home finds?
I’m one lucky duck being walking distance to some of the best shops in Northern California—everything from flea markets to small boutique businesses. A few of my Bay Area favorites: Alameda Flea Market, Batch, Marin Country Mart, General Store, Serena & Lily, Hudson Grace, Jenni Kayne (Palo Alto) and The Bud Stop (for pretty blooms). A few of my online favorites: McGee & Co., Goop, Lulu & Georgia, Rejuvenation, Schoolhouse, One Kings Lane, Williams Sonoma, West Elm and Anthropologie Home.
We love how books are a part of your décor. Do you have any tips on how others can mimic a similar style?
When it comes to having an expert eye for a second design opinion, I can always rely on my friend and interior designer, Chrissy, from Harlowe James. She’s incredibly talented at what she does, and if you are in need of an interior designer in the Bay Area, she’s your gal. I digress, back to books. Chrissy taught me to use neat stacks of books as the decorative anchor and stick to a monochromatic color palette. Be picky when choosing books. You want to make sure they don’t dominate the entire table. Chrissy always inspires me to add in new books with vibrant covers to switch up the look. In addition, I always take a walk. Always guilty of this exercise circling around each area with a slight head tilt after book styling, but honestly, walking around to get a look at it from different angles and to check out all the sides helps ensure everything looks just the way you like—positioning and coloring. So for the perfectionists out there, all your angles are covered.
Where is your favorite spot online to shop for unique textiles?
Without fail, Serena & Lily, followed by Etsy, and McGee and Co.
Did you face any design challenges when decorating your home? Of course. The entryway was challenging being the way it’s configured—as you come up the staircase, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. Figuring out a way to make it functional and appealing was a challenge, but by removing the kitchen door and transforming it into a barn door, adding a circle jute rug and console entry table to the right really opened up space and made it feel much more welcoming.
We love your soft color palette! How did you go about choosing it?
Aside from the holiday season, summer is by far my favorite. The warmth, the sand in between my feet, the rays of sunshine hitting my shoulders, and that gosh darn smell of sunscreen. It all makes me smile. I try to bring that same feeling into my home. My version of summer interiors calls for natural textiles, tabletop treasures, bright white accents and cozy linens. As of late, I made the decision to update my apartment. The first update…paint. We updated my trim from Benjamin Moore Old Navy to Chantilly Lace. While I love the navy as it radiates an East Coastal vibe, my apartment needed to be lightened up a bit, and Chantilly Lace did wonders and completely transformed the space. You can see the before here. At the same time, I love navy, so I made sure to sprinkle blue hue detail pieces throughout like this McGee and Co. pillow. It now feels fresh, simple and classic with a bit of quirk.
Any favorite San Francisco coffee shops?
Let me just start off by saying San Franciscan’s love their coffee, and prior to my coffee detox, I was quite the connoisseur. However, that won’t stop me from sharing my old stomping ground favorites. Here are a few great places where I used to get a jolt:
- Saint Frank on Polk Street
- Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters on Union Street
- Cafe Réveille on Long Bridge Street
What’s your current morning routine?
I cherish my early mornings. They remind me to be grateful for another day in this world. I generally wake up around 5 a.m., and if I’m lucky, before my alarm. I immediately make my bed, open my blinds and crack my windows open to let that fresh San Francisco air in. Mornings often are a time for reflection for me, in particular, as they remind me of my mornings as a kid. My dad always popping his head into my room belting, “Today is going to be a great day!” Every day, I strive to have that attitude. I’ll have some apple cider vinegar, a glass of water and breakfast. A good friend introduced me to Qi’a creamy chia seed oatmeal from Whole Foods (available on Amazon, too). It’s the bee’s knees. By 6 a.m., I’ll head to my workout—one of my favorite parts of my day. It helps me center and set my intentions. The type of workout varies on the day. Barry’s Bootcamp, Pilates, weight and circuit training. I like to change it up and keep my body wondering what’s next. Most of my workouts include strength training and cardio as well. At 7:15 a.m., I’ll usually have a post-workout shake with coconut milk, pure protein, bananas, blueberries, spinach, collagen peptides and almond butter. Followed by my daily vitamins ritual, shower and morning skincare routine. By 8 a.m., it’s grind time and I’m fast at work in my little IT networking/hardware world.
Any beauty products you currently can’t live without?
Oh my, Odacité. Applying it is like a luxurious ritual I’m treating my skin to. There is a serum for each specific skin concern that you mix and help target—for me, fragile capillaries and hyperpigmentation. This stuff has completed elevated my skin. It’s fresh, luxurious, organic (100 percent vegan and no GMOs). Visible results without a drop of synthetic chemicals. The founder, Valerie Grandury, went from fighting cancer to fighting wrinkles. Cancer became a major wake-up call for her as she realized that if she wanted to heal, she needed to change everything and embarked on the fascinating journey of removing toxins from her life. God bless her!
Torrey Fox, Photography, @torreyfox
Jen Nordine, @jennifernordine
Shop Her Home:
Match Striker (similar)
Jute Rug (similar)
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