Blogger Liz Stanley lives in San Francisco with her husband, their five-year-old son and a baby on the way. They have such a fun and playful home, where you can bowl in the hallway and paint crocodiles in the bedroom. Take a peek inside…
On the neighborhood: We live in Richmond, which is the outer western neighborhood of San Francisco. It’s not a super hip neighborhood, it’s very quiet. But I love our spot because we’re right across from Golden Gate Park and the de Young Museum; everything’s within a 10-minute walk. A redwood grove is right across the street.
On big windows: When we first looked at this apartment, the owners had dark velvet curtains, so we didn’t even see the windows when we first walked in. But that’s what I love most about this apartment. They’re huge and gorgeous, and there are five. When I spotted them at the end of the tour, I was like, oh my gosh, we have to get this place!
On skipping the coffee table: We don’t have a coffee table because I want more space to play and have dance parties, but we have foot stools if we want to put our feet up.
On pops of red: Growing up, my mom always told me, “Every room needs a pop of red.” Decades later, I realized that every room in my adult home has a pop of red. My younger sister pointed it out last summer. The red chair is from T.J. Maxx; it keeps breaking since it’s not real leather, and we’ve had it fixed several times. But I love it, it’s such a statement piece.
On their homemade memory game: In the top photo, we’re playing a memory game where I glued pictures of real objects—my son’s toys, our house, a park—on the back of cards. It’s really nice because I can swap out the pictures, so I’ll add a new playground or some toy he loves right now. Some things stay the same, like his little stuffed lamb.
Credits: Chevron rug from West Elm. Sofa from Crate & Barrel. Eames rocker from SoMa Classics. Bow pillow DIY here. Paul Ferney painting over the mantle. Illustrated family portrait by Ashley Christensen.
On art projects: When Henry’s bored, it’s a quick save: Let’s do an art project! Here, we were playing with old Easter eggs. I pulled out an egg carton and put numbers on each one, and we did a counting game.
On family dinners: We eat family dinners when Henry gets hungry—usually around 5:30pm! Henry loves family meals. He’ll even say “I want to have a family breakfast” in the morning. I never understood the whole thing about how it’s important to eat together, but apparently Henry totally gets it.
On cooking together: I look forward to making dinner every night. I know a bunch of people dread it, but I love it. It’s fun to get Henry involved. He’ll help cut things with butter knives and throw things into the pot.
On inexpensive framing: I found the old fruit-and-vegetable poster in a bookstore and wanted to frame it, but framing is so expensive. So I go to thrift stores and buy old frames; then I clean and often paint them. For art prints that look vintage, it’s perfect to get an old worn-out frame because then it looks like a vintage framed print.
On white leather chairs: The kitchen chairs originally had scratchy fabric that felt like a grandmother’s sofa. I thought they’d be amazing in white leather. My husband did not see my vision. You wouldn’t think of leather for a kitchen, but it’s SO easy to clean. Even if Henry spills spaghetti, I just spray it and it’s gone. Now my husband loves the chairs. He’s like, I shouldn’t have doubted you! I’m like, Remember that.
Credit: Round white table from cb2.
On bowling: Instead of normal bowling, we usually play crazy bowling where we put the pins in random places in the hallway and you have to bounce the ball off the wall. Just making things different.
On sprinting down the hallway: Henry is a runner. Our Peruvian neighbors below us call him “el corredor” because he’s constantly running back and forth in the hallway. Just like the cowboy print.
On shopping for art: My brother-in-law, Paul Ferney, is a painter, so we have pieces by him. We have photos of the temple where we got married, a commissioned illustration of our family, photographs by friends. Everything is meaningful. I try to not just buy art because I have a blank wall.
On how to decorate: There’s no real planning. I just get pieces I like and trust that they’ll come together. I decorate quickly and get it over with. My mother-in-law came over the other day and was like, I haven’t been here in two years and the house looks exactly the same. I just get it to a point where it looks cute to me and then I walk away.
On the blue cross pillow: I saw a similar pillow in Domino Magazine and thought it would be easy to make with felt and cotton. Here’s a tutorial I did.
On the mirror: The mirror was from my grandmother’s home, and we inherited it when she passed away. The mirror creaks in the middle of the night, and I always think it’s my grandmother’s ghost. It’s loud!
On framing a child’s art: He loves that we framed his art and talks about it all the time: “It’s my art gallery.” It’s really cute. I just went to the thrift store and bought old crappy frames and spray painted them gold. I bought different textures and sizes, knowing that I could cut his artwork down into any size. We rotate his artwork; right now he’s really into making crocodiles, so we have those displayed.
On the Henry pillow: With these cool personalized pillows, you choose the hair color, eye color, expression and name. Henry loves it. He’ll lie down next to the pillow and call it his brother.
On the Eames rocker: As cute as that chair is, it’s not that comfy, especially if you’re trying to read to a kid. So now it’s purely decorative. We read stories on our bed instead.
On having a lovey: When Henry was a baby, he was never really attached to anything. But I kept putting a little lamb in the crib with him and putting his arm around it and forcing him to love it. Now he’s attached to it and will sleep with it. You can force your kids to love what you want them to love!
On the sunshine print: My husband would sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me when we were dating. When we were kissing, he’d always hum it to me. So, of course, I’d sing it to Henry when he was little. It’s our special song. Although it’s special to a lot of people!
Credits: Mini white Bertoia chairs from Little Nest. Personalized name pillow from Sarah + Abraham. Toddler bed from Oeuf. Striped rug from IKEA. Prints by Blanca Gomez. Eames rocker from SoMa Classics. Yellow dresser from IKEA. Open storage shelves from Target.
On working at home: There are doors that open from my office into our bedroom and Henry’s bedroom, and the doors are always wide open, even when I’m trying to do work. He’s welcome to come in. He knows he can tell me about tricks he’s doing or ask questions or help me with a project. I like when he wanders in and out.
On creating an inspiration wall: I just strung wires between two nails, and I hang things up with paperclips. Here, I had a photo of the Grand Tetons because we had just gone there. And a homemade clock that I had just made. My sister had drawn a touching thank-you card. When I first made the wall, I didn’t realize how much I was drawn to yellow and gray.
On the garden: We have a community garden right next door. Anyone the city can come have a plot, although there’s a crazy three-year waiting list. They gave us a skinny plot, and we did a good job taking care of the plants, so they gave us a larger spot, and then I totally failed. And I had no excuse; I live next door! So they took it away. This shot was taken back in the glory days. We still go down there all the time and walk about plants and try to catch bugs.
(Photos by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Photography)