Design

Sonoma House Tour

Sonoma House Tour of Jess Brown

Jess Brown, who makes dolls by hand, lives with her husband and two children in Sonoma County, California. Their home is filled with antiques, family photos and shells collected at the beach. We’d love to head over there and stay all day. Take a peek at the house (and beautiful garden!), with photos by Lena Corwin

KITCHEN:

Petaluma House Tour

On having a hunch: My husband and I bought this house twelve years ago. As soon as we pulled up, without even going inside, I was like, “We should make an offer.” I had this wacky feeling about it. It was a super cute Victorian home, within walking distance of Petaluma.

jess-brown-home-tour-7

On a colorful house: The previous owners were house painters. When we bought it, the exterior was 11 different colors! The base color was green, but every year they’d add colors. For example, one of their children was born in July, so they painted some red, white and blue. Even though it was so bright, my husband was like, “The paint is mostly new, we should live with this for a while.” We kept it that way for ten years.

Ceramics collection: Vintage Heath Ceramics, 1950s Russel Wright American Modern and Mt Washington Pottery.

Sonoma House Tour of Jess Brown

On loving your home: I try to decorate so that every spot in the house feels like something we love. Like, wherever you turn, wherever your eye lands, you should think it’s awesome.

Bud vases: Heath Ceramics. Stacked bowls: Colleen Hennessy.

Sonoma House Tour of Jess Brown

On family dinners: We eat dinner as a family every night, and we always have music going. There’s a lot of dancing in our kitchen. As the kids have gotten older, they’re not quite as into that, but we still have a happy little vibe. So, if my son walks by — even though he’s 14 and has headphones in — I’ll make him dance to Louis Prima while I’m cooking meatballs.

Wooden farm table: antique. Metal chairs (in top photo): Bertoia. White ridged bowl: Mt Washington Pottery.

Jess Brown's California House Tour

On go-to meals: I’m an okay cook. I’m becoming better. The problem is my father was a brilliant chef, and my sister is a good chef, so it was decided early on that cooking is not my skill. But I make certain things well — we do a lot of tacos in our house, and lettuce wraps and a great lentil salad. I’ve gotten good at Italian meatballs, too. I make them almost every Sunday night, and serve them with traditional sauce, over Polenta.

LIVING ROOM:

Petaluma House Tour

On a family heirloom: Our coffee table is actually a wooden trunk my grandfather got while stationed in Italy during WW2. He shipped out right after my grandmother became pregnant, so my mom was born while he was in Italy. He shipped this trunk to my grandmother as a baby gift. That’s probably the most special thing in the whole house. If the house were burning down, that’s the thing I’d get out.

Sofa: Cisco Brothers. Pillows: Erica Tanov. Armless chair: Cisco Brothers. Rug: vintage.

couchtextile

On giving things away: I am notorious for doing a huge purge every few years. Friends are like, “You have to list things on eBay! You have to sell things!” But I feel like you’re in good shape karmically if you just give things away. It’s like the universe will send more good your way. Even when we have yard sales, I’ll just give things away. I like the idea of something going off to bring someone else joy.

MASTER BEDROOM:

Petaluma House Tour

On a beloved morning ritual: It’s somehow come about that my husband brings me coffee in bed every single morning. I have no idea how I worked that out! We’ve been together for 30 years now, and this has happened almost the entire time. The kids aren’t up yet, so we sit in bed and talk and have our coffee together.

On rising early: I’m definitely a morning person. I think it’s happening with age. My husband and I are both turning 46 this year, and each year we seem to wake up a little earlier. We’re like, “Why are we puttering around here at five in the morning?” We like to have breakfast together before he leaves for work, and I like to make us omelets.

Wooden bed frame: handmade by her husband. Headboard: vintage Japanese screen. Quilt: Jess Brown Design. Sheets and duvet: Matteo. Wooden bench: vintage.

STUDIO:

Sonoma House Tour of Jess Brown

On a room of one’s own: Honestly, my studio is probably my favorite spot in the house. It gets such great light. But since it’s for work, I guess I also try to avoid it!

On the inspiration behind her ragdolls: I always created handmade toys for my children. When Stella was in first grade, I opened a children’s store with a friend of mine. I made a couple dolls for the shop and it became a business. At the time, everything was plastic and finding a store with handmade toys was very hard. I really liked the idea of my children being surrounded by things that were made with intention.

Petaluma House Tour

On creating a women’s clothing line: It always bugged me that toys for kids were dumbed down, so my dolls started to get really sophisticated. Why wouldn’t you teach kids about design? Why should doll clothes be made of crappy polyester in limited colors? So we gave the dolls nice linen dresses and hand-knitted alpaca shawls. Women would come into the shop and say “Can you make this in my size?” It happened often enough that I decided I should.

Daybed: Shabby Chic. Quilt: vintage Japanese indigo coverlet. Quilt pillow: Jess Brown. Feather pillow: Coral and Tusk.

BACKYARD:

Petaluma House Tour

On being outdoors: We spend most of our time outside, because the yard is really great. Our home is around 1300 square feet, and Victorians are laid out funny, with lots of little rooms. Once you have teenagers, they need space. The garden is like an extension of the house. The doors are always open. We’re fortunate to have trees that block wind. It’s like our own micro-climate.

Petaluma House Tour

On creating a yard: Year by year, we’ve worked on different areas. We put garden beds up, built a patio, planted fruit trees, put in a little freestanding pond. Over time, it’s almost like we’ve created five different rooms out there.

Bowl with ridges: Mt. Washington Pottery. Plates: Heath Ceramics. Olive oil plate: Rae Dunn for Jess Brown

Sonoma House Tour of Jess Brown

On beauty for beauty’s sake: I recently took a trip to Paris with my daughter, and she had this great observation. We would go into teeny patisseries to get a snack and it would be painfully beautiful. My daughter said, “I don’t even know what this place is called; there’s no sign. They make things beautiful not just for marketing, but because it’s what should be done.” It was so inspiring to see people doing something just because they love it.

Sonoma House Tour of Jess Brown

On a belated treehouse: The tree house is actually a great heartache, since we didn’t build it sooner. The kids wanted one for so long, but we couldn’t get to it. My husband finally built the treehouse, but it was probably a year too late. Our kids had one or two slumber parties in there, and we have some good memories, but just yesterday I heard my son telling someone, “There are too many spiders in there.” My husband wants to take it down, but I won’t let him. I’m like, “It’s a symbol of our parenting!”

Petaluma House Tour

On a family pastime: We’re big on road trips. We’ll pick a beach that’s an hour or an hour-and-a-half away. My son’s favorite ramen place is in Japantown in San Francisco, a 45-minute drive away, so we go there once a month. My husband made a good point, which is that people are fine driving two hours to get to a soccer tournament, so why not prioritize other things? As our children have gotten older, I’ve become aware of how quickly time is moving. Family drives are a way to have more time together.

Petaluma House Tour

Thank you so much, Jess!

P.S. More house tours, including a colorful NYC apartment and amazing wallpaper in Utah.

(Photos by Lena Corwin. Interview by Caroline Donofrio.)

  1. Anna says...

    I love everything about this home. It is so light-filled for one, and Jess’s style just accentuates that with the mellow colors and breezy textiles. It looks so lived in and easy. Brava girl! My favorite so far and continue to come back to it for inspiration.

  2. Anna says...

    What brand and shade are your exterior home colors? Perfect greys!

  3. Kristan says...

    Lovely! I’m inspired.
    Can you tell me what color of that yummy grey paint & lighter grey trim? I’d be so thankful.

  4. This is my favorite home tour I’ve seen on Cup of Jo! I love the look of things carefully chosen over time and I love her style.

  5. Just gorgeous!

  6. Ami says...

    Beautiful home showcase! Great maker and story! I loved the reminder about spending time together, outside, taking trips and the tree house. I’d better get started on the treehouse…

  7. Raquel A. says...

    Love the house – but I am shocked she is 46! Please do beauty routine with her!

  8. LS says...

    Sonoma County is the best! I was born in LA, lived in SF for a time, but Sonoma County really is beautiful. I love it here. Awesome to see it represented :)

  9. I’d love to see a post on Jess’s beauty routine. She’s beautiful and looks nowhere near 46

  10. Renee says...

    I love the treehouse! Where did your husband find the plans for it, or did he just make it up?

    • Cindy Gill says...

      It would make a cute chicken coop!

  11. OMG so many memories!

    I was born in Petaluma and raised in Sonoma County, and one of my best friends growing up lived in a house very similar to this one – old and gorgeous and maintained but not sparkly brand new. So many memories of climbing up into the attic to hangout on the rooftop patio, climbing trees and helping her mom can homemade jams and other condiments.

    I’d LOVE to own a home like this one day over a brand-new, cookie cutter “modern” home.

  12. Monica says...

    What a lovely home and person (have long admired her artistic talents with the dolls). I have just found my new decorating mantra…”Like, wherever you turn, wherever your eye lands, you should think it’s awesome.” Starting tomorrow and every day after. Thank you Jess!

  13. Jo says...

    Such a lovely home! I am currently on the hunt for new furniture and this is perfect for some home decor inspo. The tree house is such a cute addition to the home.

  14. What a lovely home and lifestyle Jess and her husband have created for their children! Such an inspiring space and article, thanks for sharing!

  15. Jill Palumbo says...

    I had to chime with everyone on how much I love this home tour. I’ve been following Jess for a couple of years and love her home, dolls and clothing. My only sadness is that her clothing line doesn’t come in plus sizes. Those linen tunics look heavenly!

  16. Sheila says...

    Jess-

    My sister Gretchen turned me on to your wonderful dolls and while I am about to buy one ostensibly for my daughter, I have to admit that is for me as well.
    Love your home and your approach to life.

  17. Sarah says...

    Just lovely, interesting, not perfect, – and that made it perfect!

  18. lomagirl says...

    I want to see the front of this colorful house!
    I keep thinking we are running out of time to build a tree house….

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they recently repainted it, so now it’s just one color, but i’ll ask her if she has an old photo!

  19. Aidel.K says...

    Two years ago my husband & I stayed with friends in Sonoma. That region is sooo lovely. I would love to live there, and this house tour reminds me why.

  20. Erin Mary says...

    Ahhh, I grew up in Petaluma! I got the heck outta there as soon as I graduated from high school (go PHS Trojans, I guess), but now that I have a little perspective I realize what a great little community it is. What a pretty house :)

  21. I love that this house and her stories are not completely perfect but they seem real and accessible and inspiring. Thanks!

  22. I love her nuggets of wisdom, really wonderful perspective.

  23. Such a beautiful home, I’m loving the garden! I can’t wait until we get out of an apartment and into a home with an actual patch of grass for a garden! While growing herbs in Mason jars is fun, it’s not quite the same.

    – Dara // http://www.peoniesandhoneybees.com

  24. Terri says...

    I so rarely comment on anything on the internet these days, mostly because I feel as if it doesn’t really matter. Why should anyone care about my thoughts on the subject, you know? But, I have to say that this was one of my favorite house tours, and I had the distinct feeling while reading that Jess is exactly the kind of person I would love to be friends with. I especially liked your comments about the treehouse, and about being willing to drive long distances to spend time with your family and visit a restaurant your son loves. There was such warmth emanating from your house and the thoughts you shared.

  25. Favorite home tour so far – thank you for sharing!

  26. Roxana says...

    LOVE THIS. Favorite tour. So beautiful. Very inspiring from an aesthetic perspective, but also a philosophical. I love the way they spend time together as a family. Love, love, love this tour. She is gorgeous, too. Thank you!

  27. Alexandra says...

    This place is heaven!

  28. shopgirl says...

    Love her dress…

  29. Katherine says...

    Absolutely love this

  30. Mia says...

    funny thing – i live in the sacramento area and anytime i hear of a celeb or notable person that has a home in my area ( usually more in the el dorado hills region of ca) i’m always like, “why would anyone want to live here, of all places? move to sonoma!” lovely post. i think in another life i lived in petaluma or something. also, she looks legit 28 years old.

  31. Peg says...

    I would like to also say that this is my favourite house so far. Especially how it feels like a beautiful, lived in house. Like some other people mentioned, not the curated look. Also love her easy style.

  32. molly says...

    So super lovely!! I would be thrilled to know the name of her son’s favorite ramen place…we could go on our next visit to the City! Thanks xo

    • Hi!
      Yes… Suzu ramen in japantown! Amazing!

    • molly says...

      Thank you, Jess!! You’re so sweet to reply :) I look forward to taking our munchkins sometime soon! Take care xo

  33. Amanda says...

    I agree with everyone else- all of it, and her…. just so so lovely!

  34. Nisha says...

    What a lovely house tour, lady and family! I agree with her entire philosophy on life, design, parenting. I’d love to see a beauty uniform for her as well. She’s so effortlessly, lit-from-within beautiful.

  35. Jen says...

    But how? How does making handmade dolls afford a home like that? A previous career, family money, a corporate lawyer husband? What? Articles like this a so…*sigh*. I know a lot of really good hardworking people living in budget apartments, you know? I mean intellectually I know there are always trade offs and life isn’t fair blah blah blah but… I dunno. It’s obviously time for met to get off the internets!

    • Esvee says...

      My thoughts exactly… How do people make this happen?

    • Alexis says...

      I know what you mean. I alternate between loving posts like this and feeling inspired, and then feeling like I’ll never “have enough” to live like this and kind of resenting it all. I think it’s a natural reaction given our culture.

    • SheetalR says...

      I had the exact same thought.. here (in India) my husband and I work our backsides off to be able to have a decent home and middle class lifestyle. I have come to believe that either we have very poor money management skills or everyone else living life kingsize have enormous debts.. :)

    • Kate says...

      My thoughts too! Maybe she and her husband have built this over time? She said they have been together for 30 years, that’s a long time if they were always careful with money and poured it into their home?

    • Frédérique Poirier says...

      I have the same reflections. I live in Montreal and would never have enough money to buy a house like that. I love this blog and i have been reading for a long time, but this kind a post makes me a little bit upset. A little more transparency would be niece.

      Sorry for the spelling mistake, I’m french. :)

    • Apple says...

      Yes, agreed Jen! Family money I suppose, but this issue you have raised would make an interesting article. It’s a level of honesty I wish was more available online!

    • Hi,
      Thanks you all for the kind thoughts about our home. I hope I can help answer some of the questions on how we have our house. My husband is a contractor and I was a teacher until I began the doll and clothing line. We have always poured all of our energy in to anything we work on. We bought the worst house on a great street 13 years ago and have done every bit of work ourselves. A complete labor of love. The bones of the house were perfect and we just really dug in. There are still so many projects waiting… But it’s just an ongoing process.

    • SheetalR says...

      Thank you for the answers Jess. :)

    • Jenna says...

      Thanks so much for your gracious reply, Jess. I think your lovely home reflects all of the care you put into it.

  36. Gina says...

    Love the style!! I knew the minute I saw her kitchen…I collect the same pottery. Thank you for the tour and meeting such a special lady.

  37. lisa c says...

    lovely house, beautiful photos and inspiring quotes and insights! was wondering if you know what sandals she is wearing in the 6th photo? they are so cute! thank you :) xo

    • Hi!
      My sandals are from Beatrice Valenzuela.

  38. Hayley says...

    Beautiful home with beautiful light. May I ask what paint color(s) Jess used? White walls are tricky and hers are lovely.

  39. Leah says...

    Love. My favorite house tour ever. I echo some of the comments I read, in that this house does not feel “curated” – it has been created – – by love.

  40. What a beautiful home! I love Sonoma/Petaluma area! I feel like it’s perfect small town feel and close enough to SF. Thank you for sharing!

    I want a treehouse so bad for Luna and I’ve been dropping big hints at my husband and now this post will serve as an even bigger hint! Haha!

    Xo Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

  41. Karen T. says...

    What a gorgeous home and holy cow, when Jess said she’s been with her husband for thirty years, I was thinking they had to be preschool sweethearts! She has gorgeous skin!

  42. Aga says...

    I don’t know what I love most – her, her house, or this blog for sharing this! Beautiful home, wonderful interview, great post – I love this blog :)

  43. Dottie Louise says...

    What a wonderful post! I love her thoughts on giving things away, and just her whole outlook in general. It’s sad to hear the tree house was built a year too late, it’s such a beauty! Thank you for sharing!

    PS: Also I agree, I’d love to see a beauty uniform featuring Jess! Fingers crossed! :)

    • Leah says...

      I wholeheartedly second your entire comment!

  44. lin says...

    Great to see a post about a family with older kids! Mine are 11 and 8, so — more please!

    • JJ says...

      Yes more with older kids. Love the young stage but lots of families out there with teens who really love your blog:) What a beautiful home and family!

  45. Kathryn says...

    What a lovely space! Do you know what color the outside of her house is painted?

  46. Holly says...

    Petaluma!! That’s where I am 💜

  47. molly says...

    so super delightful! our tree house is (finally) going up this year, and I hope its not too late! our boys are 5+8 – so praying they enjoy it (and we don’t have that heartache that it was too late as they have been asking for so long as well!!!).

    we are all just out here doing our best ; )

  48. This is a lovely property inhabited by a lovely close-knit family. Look at those beaming faces; you can feel those happy vibes floating all around the place and giving it that glow! This, you cannot get from the shops for it is priceless!

  49. Samantha says...

    I loved the fact that this is a house that looks like real people live in it, instead of looking like a gallery. It feels cozy and lived-in in the best way possible. I loved her view towards cooking. She doesn’t push herself into trying too hard, she knows what she’s good at and that’s what she sticks to. That backyard was a dream, so many different ambiances combines. To have a place that allows me to spend lots of time outside is definitely a goal of mine. I’d love to see her in a Beauty Uniform!

  50. Ceridwen says...

    This is such a sweet and beautiful post. It made me cry a little. It is such a lovely comment on family and being together. She has a great perspective. I liked how she spoke of teenagers too with respect and love. And what a beautiful home! I’m going to make meatballs on Sunday now x

  51. Beautiful home & thoughts, loved what she said about beauty for beauty’s sake

  52. Angela says...

    Favorite part=her philosophy on road trips 👌🏼 Excellent!

  53. Obsessed with this house. It has a such a lived-in, serene, beautiful vibe to it. More home tours, please! Such a fan of them.

  54. Kate says...

    I love Russel Wright! Such a nice collection.

  55. That treehouse is pure magic! I loved reading this, Joanna. I have the same thoughts on dinner time, we love to have music playing and dancing while I prepare dinner. It’s a fun way to keep everyone together and happy rather than whining and chaotic! I hope to continue that tradition well into teenager territory!

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  56. How does she make her small kitchen so beautiful? Where does she put all of her stuff? I have a tiny kitchen too and It is all about function and not beauty. I am totally inspired by this.

  57. Anne says...

    Mm I love the color scheme in this one. So calming and not fussy at all

  58. She had so many good things to say!

  59. Talia says...

    Hands down my favorite yet. May even be my most favorite post ever! What a lovely woman and her approach to life is beautiful and inspiring!

  60. Mary says...

    Such a pretty house!

  61. Ellgee says...

    I was also thinking the same thing about a Beauty Uniform..love her style!

  62. Laura says...

    Can we please talk about this statement: “I’m an okay cook. I’m becoming better. The problem is my father was a brilliant chef, and my sister is a good chef, so it was decided early on that cooking is not my skill.”
    This has happened to me in my family… it was decided early on that I am good at art, and my brother is good at cooking and gardening, and therefore I could never like, or be good at, cooking or gardening. It’s very frustrating because now cooking is an important life skill that I don’t have, and I actually do like gardening, (I don’t have a garden, yet…because it’s not my top priority, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it!) Can we just all agree to not pigeonhole children’s skills like this???

    • Amy says...

      They make this a point in the book “Siblings Without Rivalry” – how to praise children on their skills without making it ‘their’ skill alone. How labeling kids as the ‘artist’, the ‘sports one’, the ‘smart one’ can be encouraging, but so limiting in other areas to both the kid being praised and the siblings who feel they need to find another role in the family.

    • Laura says...

      Thank you for responding, Amy! It’s nice to hear someone explain something that I’ve been feeling my whole life but could never exactly put a finger on.

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I actually labeled myself this way as I became an adult and then a mother and was cooking every night. I really didn’t have a natural understanding of flavors and what made an amazing dish. My sister on the other hand really does and it is truly her artistic outlet. She’s a professional chef and is brilliant at her craft. I’m a home cook learning as I go. :)

    • Laura says...

      Hi Jess,
      Wow I am honored that you responded! I should not have assumed that your parents or family labeled you that way. But I am still glad I made my comment because it helped me learn and understand my life better.
      Your home is truly lovely btw.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you’re so sweet, laura xoxo

  63. Theresa says...

    Loved this home tour! We are making a big move this year and this inspires me, as we are moving from a huge, urban area to a rural area. I’ve fantasized about a house and a garden like this! Swoon!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      How exciting for you guys! Moves are always nerve-wracking, but I’m sure it’s going to be really wonderful.

  64. Sarah H. says...

    This is my favorite home tour yet, Joanna, and that’s saying something, because I’ve loved many you have featured. The home is beautiful, and I just love what Jess says about trying to make lovely spots everywhere she looks in her home. Great parenting insights, too. My daughter is 11, so I constantly feel like I’m chasing down the things I meant to do with her/for her years ago before it gets to late to do them or she is too old to care that I did. The section about the treehouse really resonated with me. The backyard is amazing, and Jess—your clothes are gorgeous and look like a dream to wear (racing to your website now!). I’ll add my vote to those asking you to graciously return for a “beauty uniform” post. Yes, please!!

  65. Alyssa Leister says...

    Love this! The garden is beautiful but I’m pretty sure I’m still drooling over that kitchen. The colors! The organization! I’d love to cook there.

  66. Lilian says...

    Lovely! So authentic! How can we have another post with Jess, and maybe learn about her Sunday meatballs? :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Lillan,

      Great idea! In the meantime, Jess says her meatball recipe is from Rao’s Cookbook. But she says she adds polenta to it instead of bread crumbs.

      :) Thank you,
      Stella

  67. Jorie says...

    I saw the doll and instantly thought of Kiki and Coco in Paris! Clicked on her link and sure enough… the same doll! My Daughter and I love reading that book together!

  68. Trish says...

    I like her!

  69. Emily says...

    This made me want to pack up my NYC apartment and move to Sonoma ASAP.

    Love love loved the house and the interview!

  70. Cynthia says...

    I like the way her house is decorated, especially the trunk from Italy being used as a coffee table. I, too, give away things instead of selling them. I’ve always believed that being generous comes back to you in one way or another. I would rather give something to someone who can use it instead of selling it.

  71. Nina says...

    wonderful philosophy about driving around together to create memories instead of just do things like soccer games.

  72. Jules says...

    What a beautiful house tour! Luscious. Now maybe you will do a Beauty Uniform feature with Jess? Love her style, simply adore it.

  73. Laura says...

    I just read this and decided I want to be Jess Brown when I grow up. Oh, and I’m 39.

  74. rach says...

    I love seeing a home tour of an established, loving couple, with grown children! #lifegoals
    They’re sweet. Makes me dream of a trip to Paris with my daughter! (8.5mo old)

  75. Isabella says...

    Oh, this made me happy! I live in Sonoma county, too, and used to live in Petaluma, so we’re sort of neighbors. :) So, so nice to read about someone who *doesn’t* live in New York, and whose home is such a refreshing change from the standard, prohibitively expensive-looking, midcentury-dominated interiors that are so ubiquitous on the internets these days. This is a home that’s relatable, human, and thoroughly lovely!

    • Jules says...

      I used to live in Sonoma (the city) in Sonoma County. Fun to see this piece. Anyway, I also am happy to see someone/something featured that isn’t New York related. I love seeing things about the rest of the country too!

  76. ANNIE says...

    love love love this lady. I’ve never heard of her but I love the things she said! I especially loved her sharing of her tradition of having coffee with her husband in the morning. That’s just the sweetest thing ever. I need to have that type of tradition in my house too :)

  77. Marina says...

    Love this home tour! Would be great if Jess shared the recipes she mentioned.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Marina,

      Jess says her meatball recipe is from Rao’s Cookbook. But she adds polenta to it instead of the bread crumbs.

      Hope this works in the meantime! Thanks,
      Stella

  78. MJ says...

    favorite, favorite, favorite!! i’ve seen peeks into her home before somewhere and loved it then. i’m would LOVE to see her do a beauty uniform, pretty please!!!

    • rach says...

      Great idea!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, great idea!

  79. Lauren says...

    This sounds a bit silly, but I’m dying to know where the cutting board is from? I can’t stand ours and this one looks so functional.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Lauren!

      Jess said it was from Whole Foods. It does look awesome.

      Thanks,
      Stella xx

  80. Katie says...

    Does Jess have a blog? I really connected with her – I think we all did. She seems like such a warm person. I’d like to hear from her again, in a guest post perhaps.

    • Anitra says...

      Yes! I would love this!

  81. Katie says...

    This is a really wonderful interview, I enjoyed this peek into her life.

  82. NHA says...

    This was the writing equivalent of that feeling you get when you land in California- relaxed and blissful. Loved a look into someone’s life who does not live in Brooklyn. (I’m tired of Brooklyn)

  83. Carol Wayne says...

    She is so right about getting your kids in the car and driving….inspires all kinds of good conversations…most of the time!

  84. Joanna says...

    Good heavens! This is a home tour. Why am I teary?!

    Thanks Joanna, I love the down to Earth/well used approach. Her thoughts on parenting were so true and a little painful even as my little ones aren’t even in school yet. It’s funny to feel the pain of missing something even while you still have it. These days are hard and so so good. Another reason not to put off to tomorrow what you can do today. <3

  85. Summer says...

    What a wonderful interview! I’m ashamed, because when I read the first bit about California home and she makes handmade dolls, I did a total, “Uuugh, California” eye roll. Haha, shame on me! The dolls are beautiful, as is the family. How inspiring! I agree that it looks beautiful and comfortable; it’s definitely a home, not just a house. I would also like to see Jess’ beauty uniform! Now, I’m going to rush over and shop her site. Thanks for sharing!

    • Beth says...

      I live in California and thought the same thing once I read the part about the dolls, so you aren’t alone ;) Beautiful house and family, though.

    • SummerLily says...

      I agree on a Beauty Uniform post! I loved this home tour…

  86. Veronique says...

    lovely home and woman with a down-to-earth approach to living life with intention. this was by far my favorite house tour, gives me hope..thanks for sharing your beautiful space.

  87. Anne C. says...

    I really enjoyed this home tour! It’s nice to see a different style represented (and a family with older children). Just lovely.

  88. Joanna says...

    What a beautiful soul and home/garden… grounded, natural, wise. I loved this! thank you for sharing x

  89. Heather says...

    I think I always feel this way, but this one really might be my favorite home tour ever! Love it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i felt the same way! i was so inspired by it, and it was one of my favorite homes we’ve featured.

  90. This is so great – would be awesome if recipes were included for her favorite meals.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Jill,

      Don’t they sound so delicious?! For the meatball recipe, Jess says it’s from Rao’s Cookbook. But she says she adds polenta to it instead of bread crumbs.

      Thank you,
      Stella xx

  91. Celeste says...

    Loved this house tour! Everything feels so soft and lived-in. I say that in the best way possible. I wanted to curl up on that armless chair in the living room, the bench in her studio, and that outdoor chair in the last image! She’s made a really welcoming, beautiful home. <3

  92. Susanna says...

    Wow, so candid and authentic. Love this house tour and agree with the other comments, would love it if you did a Beauty Uniform interview with Jess. Seems like there is quite w lot of quiet wisdom there.

  93. This is my favorite home tour you’ve ever featured–so relaxed and inviting, and the ceramics are lovely (my eye is always drawn to the pottery!). Every vignette of collected treasures and every table scene inspired me. The space feels lived in and well-loved, just as a home should be. It gives me great pleasure to read (and see) all the stories a home can tell. This is one I’ll certainly be revisiting.

  94. I grew up in Petaluma. :) Thanks for the peek inside this lovely home.

  95. J.D says...

    Do they rent their tree house on AirB&B? Haha it looks so peaceful!

  96. MC says...

    What a fantastic interview. I love how honestly she answered each question and the incredible beauty and heartache in each answer. Beautiful photos as well! :)

  97. jeannie says...

    This is so lovely! I feel nostalgic for bringing up my children. She is right: time goes by so fast. What a lovely home she has created and it really seems filled with love.

  98. Very beautiful, human, authentic. Her daughter is spot-on about beauty for beauty’s sake.

  99. Anitra says...

    I just loved this!

  100. Kiki says...

    Beautiful. Simple and tasteful. Please visit her again for a Beauty Uniform and get the goods on her amazing skin, hair and those linen clothes! Adore.

  101. Kate says...

    Beautiful photos and capture of a sweet family– not overly styled like the rest of the web! Jess, care to share the exterior paint colors you used? I’m on an endless search to find a dark color that isn’t too jarring or stark. Thank you! Be well!

  102. Martha says...

    I was so excited to see this – Jess Brown is my favorite doll designer ever since I saw her work in Martha Stewart Living. I loved the house tour! And a great reminder about about the passing of time and and prioritizing how you spend that time together.

  103. Megan A Thurkins says...

    Sigh…I so enjoyed this.

  104. Such a perfect home + sentiment behind their life there. Thank you for sharing a peek into this beautiful, well-lived, well-loved life…

  105. Lovely woman, lovely home, and wonderful outlook on life. Thank you for sharing!