The Oakland House

July 9, 2013

Oakland House

By Gabrielle. This post is brought to you by — The World’s Design Store.

Friends. See that photo above? Red house with lots of greenery? That’s our house in Oakland!!

I’m so excited about it I can hardly stand it. It’s surrounded by trees, and it’s lined with decks. And I can’t wait to share more photos and tell you all the details. Today, I’ll start with the day-dreaming part.

This house is such a different style than any other house we’ve lived in. So different that I’ve been having the loveliest time browsing for furniture and home accessories at Fab, and imagining the ideal interiors for this treehouse of a home.

Do you know Fab? It’s an online design destination where you can find thousands of beautiful, fun, modern items for your home — and they focus on items that are really well designed. If you’re looking for a bargain, you can even filter your search by price. Feel free to sign up for an account (at no charge), if you’d like to browse their selection.

In reality, I’m sure we’ll be using our furniture from Colorado (it’s been in a storage unit while we’ve been in France), but it doesn’t hurt to day dream! : )

As I picture what styles might work best in this house, here are some of the pieces that have caught my eye: home picks

1) Cognac Leather Lounge Chairs. Don’t these look so luxurious? That leather looks as buttery as it gets. How do you feel about armless lounge chairs?

2) Black Table. Click through and check out the other images — I sent kind of crazy for it when I saw it shown in a room.

3) Yellow Birdcage Lamp. I’m always drawn to anything with an industrial feel. This lamp feels both modern and industrial. And I love the colors.

4) Clear Tumblers. These are made by the French company, Duralex, and are super sturdy. We use Duralex glasses here in France in the Picardie style. It would be fun to have these sleek versions in our Oakland house.

5) Wire Drum Side Table. I love the look of this table. It doesn’t take up too much visual weight and looks like it would be useful in pretty much any room in the house.

6) Pomegranate Dish Towel. Cute! Cute! Cute!

7) Gray and Wood Dining Chair. These are so simple looking, but so sophisticated. I think they would be gorgeous around a dinner table.

8) GTA City Prints. Ben Blair and I discuss at great length what sorts of artwork we should hang on the walls of our home. I think it would be fun to include maps of the places we’ve lived as a family. home picks


1) Colorful Clear Containers. I would keep these in the office. I think they’re beautiful.

2) Wooden Work Desk. I’ve been working from the sofa for the last year or so, but I’m craving a desk again. This style seems like it would be right at home in the Oakland house.

3) Gray Sofa. I really like the dimensions of this sofa. Not too wide. It looks like it could work in a bedroom or the living room.

4) Blue Gray Patchwork Quilt. I’m really feeling the triangles. Maybe for our bed. Or maybe for Maude or Ralph.

5) Trellis Lamps. This lamp actually comes as a set of two, and is available in lots of colors. I can’t decide if I like the red or yellow best.

6) Gray Chair. A handsome side chair in a fresh pattern. Two of these sitting next to each other would be lovely.

7) Anouk Jansen My Mugs. Oh my! The shapes and colors of these mugs and pitchers are really speaking to me. Perhaps these should be the inspiration for the rest of the design choices.

What do you think? Are any of these picks calling your name? What kind of style do you think of when you picture our Oakland house? I’d love to hear!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris July 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

Yay! So exciting. It’s nice to have something to look forward to because moving is stressful and hard. Love the look of your new house and the site sure has some gems. Are you renting?


2 Jocelyn July 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

It’s gorgeous! It’s so great that you already know where you are moving to. That will make it all much less stressful I’m sure. I can’t wait to see/hear all about it and how you found it.


3 Design Mom July 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Thank you, Jocelyn! And it’s so true. Once this house was secured, I could feel the stress lift.


4 Kristen July 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Fantastic! I’m sure your family will love it. I love the cool and distinct homes in the hilly Oakland neighborhoods. Montclair (maybe where this is?) is a gem. Yay for the Blairs! Best wishes.


5 emily July 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

gorgeous home Gabrielle! It is so very California to me! I definitely think all your FAB finds would be right at home in that contemporary home. So much fun!


6 Jennifer July 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Oh, wow, not sure how I missed that you are moving to Oakland! Long time reader here, and longtime Oakland resident. We love it here, wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I would be happy to share any info I have with you. From the looks of your house, I am guessing you will not be in our neighborhood (Crocker). Here’s a local resource I like:, I think this is the best swim club:, a fun camp program:, super fun park where the kids can build things:
East Bay Farmer’s Markets: (the lakeshore one has bouncy houses and stuff)

And a few thousand other things, too. Feel free to email me!



7 Design Mom July 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Thanks for all the recommendations, Jennifer! I confess, I’m still feeling like a dunce when people mention names of Oakland neighborhoods and they mean nothing to me because I have no reference. Hah! There’s no question I have a lot to learn. I so appreciate the helpful links!


8 Sarah Jane July 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm

We’re getting ready to move too and I’m so unmotivated to pack! But I’ve been having a blast dreaming about new furniture and bathroom renovations, etc. We actually have that wood desk and I absolutely love it. It’s gorgeous!


9 Ann July 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

How fun! I love all the decking! I will check out that site!


10 Sally from Little Hiccups July 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Love the new house! Can’t wait to see more of it especially after you’ve added your own personal touch to it. I’m sure it’s going to be fabulous :)
We’re also about to move within the next few weeks although not quite as far as you – we’re moving two floors up in our apartment building! We had our big move less than two years ago when we relocated from Australia to Berkeley. This next move should be a little easier ;)
Looking forward to having you in my part of the world.


11 jen July 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

looking at the picture, i’m thinking somewhere in the hills. very excited for the full reveal. we moved to upper rockridge last year and absolutely love it here. welcome to the hood!


12 Esther July 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I’m sorry any time I see “Oakland” I think of the Raiders.


13 Emily July 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm

It’s so exciting you’re moving to Oakland! I live further south on the Peninsula, but we considered Rockridge in Oakland for a bit.


14 Danielle July 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm

The house looks great! And I love all the Fab ideas you shared – I definitely need to check out those leather lounge chairs. Gorgeous!!


15 Gina @ Oaxacaborn July 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

It looks like a house that would fit in very nicely in an episode of “Parenthood”. :) I love it!


16 mom in mendon July 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Looks GREAT. And Fab looks like a perfect partner for your new place. xox


17 Tasha July 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I also missed that you are moving there! What prompted the move to this location? WOW that house is gorgeous and I look forward to updates!!


18 erika July 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

ummmm…I think I *may* have lived in that house for about six months after I graduated from college. Oakland hills? Not going to say the street BUT…if it’s not the same house, it’s REALLY close. Wow. I’m having some kind of deja vu at the moment…

Congrats on your move! Oakland is lovely – I lived there for six months after college before moving to SF, then I went to grad school in Los Angeles and then back to law school at Berkeley – so I know the area well. My feet are firmly planted in the sand of So. Cal now…


19 Dottie July 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Oh hurrah hurrah! Oakland is zee best! I was crossing my fingers for Alameda, but Oakland is the bees knees!

Congrats on finding a dandy home in the lovely land of California! I have those two bowling trophies waiting for you, if you are still interested!

And is of course, FAB! But you should also check out the Alameda flea market for any other treats for your nice new nook. And you’ll certainly want to check out Dolly’s Donuts for a first week treat!



- Dottie


20 Emily July 10, 2013 at 7:35 am

Yay!!!! What a dream of a house! Cannot wait to see more!


21 Michelle July 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Your house looks like it might be in an area very similar to where I grew up, and where my mom still lives in the Oakland Hills. It’s a fantastic place to grow up! We used to go hiking up at Redwood Regional Park and still do on visits It’s a beautiful park with great paths.
The swim club your reader above mentioned is where my brothers and I have been going since we were born, and where I now take my son when we visit grandma. It’s private but if you can get passes from someone who’s a member and it’s a great place to go with kids (my mom probably has extras passes if you need them!)
It’s a wonderful place to live….congratulations and enjoy that amazing smell of the redwoods!


22 julia g blair July 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

The home looks perfect! SO excited to see you all!


23 Sarah July 11, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hello from another East Bay reader! I somehow missed the announcement too – so glad to hear you’ll be in Oak-town. I have to second ALL of the recommendations from Jennifer. My son just completed a week of camp with Trackers and LOVED it. I’m in a weekly French conversation group that meets at a VERY good French bakery – convo me if you’d like to join us!


24 Janice July 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Hoping you are dropping in to Colorado for a short visit and I will see you.



25 Sharon July 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

We moved from Moraga, CA (super close to Oakland!) to Seattle 18 months ago. It was the only time I’ve ever lived out of state (and I’m 44!). Leaving behind my parents, sis-in-law and families, etc was heartbreaking. That being said, I’m a RUTHLESS purger. I”m not particularly sentimental about my kids’ school work. I purge old toys, etc. when they aren’t home! Since then, we had to move from one rental house to another, and I purged again.

Moving is so hard. I sobbed and sobbed. I loved my house, my friends, my community, my family, etc. We never planned to move, but a job opportunity for my husband came up and we took it. It is hard, and it will be for a bit when you get there, too. We’ve since made so many good friends, which helps a lot. Best wishes to you and your family!

Make sure to eat at Pican (not w/kids; super heavy southern food but totally worth the splurge!), Dona Tomas, Pizzaiolio. The younger kids will love the Steam Trains in Tilden Park ;and don’t miss the gorgeous carousel. The Little Farm is in Tilden, too, and it’s a cute little farm, with cows, goats (bring celery to feed them), etc. Brings back so many memories of bringing my kids there when they were little (now 10 and 8). Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!


26 rose@rockrosewine July 16, 2013 at 2:35 am

Amazing space. I’m from Oregon and this looks like a home you’d find in the Pacific Northwest. I also live not too far from you in Normandy in Bayeux. Both places have such special meaning to me and both are equally great! Can’t wait to see what you do with both.


27 Amber July 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

I would love to know how you do it, planning your moves. I know you did some posts on how to move to Europe, but I would love some of your tips for moving in the states as well.

Me and my husband are currently making the transition from Las Vegas to Littleton, CO. I am having the hardest time figuring out how to find a place there because I can’t just call up a Real Estate Agent for a rental like I can here in Nevada. The rules and processes seem to be so different there.

How do you find a house without being feet on the ground and navigate your new cities nuances?


28 Sherri July 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

Gorgeous – love it. I can just see you and all your kiddies in that house (and am daydreaming about me and all my kiddies in such a house – time for a move?? :).


29 Julia A July 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm

sooo….I’m probably a little too excited that you’re living close enough to me that I might see you in passing some weekend :-0

Welcome to the Bay Area! Make sure you check out all the farmers markets (there’s on almost every day if you know what neighborhoods to go to), and Berkeley Bowl.


30 Celeste S. September 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm

WHAT!!!! I’ve taken a bit of an internet/Facebook break so I had no idea that you and your wonderful family had moved to Oakland my/our town! So exciting, for some reason I thought you had settled in France until…
Welcome this is a great city. lots of people have chimed in re: things to do and see but I look forward to hearing about your new adventures in the East Bay.

Best Wishes to the Blairs!


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