Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tempting Triplex!



This is no ordinary Triplex!


Come on...


Let me show you what I mean.


I've long admired this property owned by a lovely woman named Alice.


I like to call her the "Sister Parish" of Alameda.


She's our local Grand Dame of Design.


Completely "Old School".


I used to visit her in her shop and spend hours listening to her stories.


I've never met anyone like her.


  Through the years she has taught me many important lessons and design tenets.


She lived here for as long as I can remember...


These are photos of the first floor apartment she occupied.


She has Alzheimer's and has closed her interior design business and shop and moved into a care facility.


Her home has been lightly staged and put up for sale.


I saw it, in all it's glory, many many years ago when my husband and I first moved to Alameda.


We responded to an ad to rent the top unit which is the turret.


It was like a scene out of a movie...
meeting this very tall & glamorous, erudite woman who beckoned us inside her visually stunning world.


This is the second floor apartment.


We were instantly transported to another world...


We had never seen anything like it or her before and could not believe our luck!


Unfortunately we could not afford the rent she was asking and ended up living with my Mom for a few months until we could afford our own place.


We never saw this apartment which I can now say is my favorite!


Check out the wall treatment.


It's navy blue flannel!


I remember her telling me about it.


She had the most exquisite taste!


 I recall many times when I'd visit her shop and inquire about the price of something...


she would pretend like she didn't hear me.


She knew I probably couldn't afford it anyway.


Just being in her presence surrounded by her fabulous treasures and her endless stories had a profound effect on me.


I am sad that she is coming to the end of her life,


though grateful to have known her.


I will always be eternally grateful for the time spent sitting with her soaking in her amazing talent and gifts.


My own beautiful Grandmother used to quote a phrase in her native tongue...


"that if you don't have an older, wiser person to go to, then rent one".


Well, Alice was that older, wiser person in matters of interior design, that I was blessed to "rent" over the years.


The Turret Apartment


She came to my house twice,


and on both occasions,


educated me and opened my eyes to principles that were essential to eventually getting the home of my dreams!


Isn't this apartment right out of a movie?


We still wax poetic about what it would have been like to live here.


Good-bye Alice,
I'll miss you...






New treasure at 






22 comments:

molly- See you downtown said...

It's beautiful, Therese. Thank you for sharing the pictures and the memories.

Kathysue said...

Terri, what an absolutely beautiful home. Sad that she has to leave it, but I am sure from the sounds of it she had many wonderful years there. The items that are still in her home are also very beautiful. You gave her a lovely tribute in this post, xo Kathysue

Al said...

Toooo fabulous!! I'm still drooling. Alice sounds like a wonderful person. What an extraordinary home, if only those walls could talk...
P.S. Thanks for your note today :)

FanSea said...

Wow...this story is well told. I'm teary and I don't even know Alice. She seems like a wonderful and inspirational woman...thank God for people like that! You are blessed to have know her for certain! xo

Tote said...

What a beautiful house, and a wonderful tribute to Alice.

Susan

The enchanted home said...

Boy you weren't kidding, this is not your ordinary triplex indeed! What a fabulous place from a bygone era dripping with fabulousness and understated opulence. The floors and furnishings that are there are just exquisite. Sad about Alice and I dont' even know her but it appears she got great use and enjoyment and hopefully had many happy years and wonderful times in this grand old home. I hope this great home will pass on those happy times to another family.......beautiful post!

pve design said...

Which painting are you interested in? I will ask my Mother if she would like to sell one. I know she will be flattered.
pve

Beach House Living said...

The turret apartment ceiling is so wonderful. Like a movie set indeed. What a place and hopefully who ever purchases it will keep her elegant touches intact!

Acquired Objects said...

I'm sorry about your friend getting sick but unfortunately we all have a journey to complete. I can tell you were very thankful to have her in your life. What an amazing home she had, love it!

Burlap Luxe said...

Yes my choice of living :) Loving the turret living space, it would be amazing to call it home!

I am sure you will miss your friend! and it seems others will to with her wealth of design information.
Thank you for sharing your friend with us, and your dream.
xoxo
Dore

sarah, flourish design + style said...

Incredible..thank you for sharing this, x

Theresa Cheek said...

O..M..G! She was certainly the real deal! Yes, very original and old school. Those floors are so perfect!

vosges paris said...

A real dreamhome!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my, what a fantastic home. I would love to have it all, and not as apartments. I could go crazy in a space like that. How wonderful that you were able to have such a special friendship with such a lovely lady. Hugs, Marty

Blooming Rose Musings said...

A fabulous home! The turret apartment is wonderful. What a very special friend you had. Isn't it lovely when people come into our lives and we form bonds of friendship that truly have meaning? This post is a wonderful way to show this special house but even more important it is a lovely tribute to your friend.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, I love Alameda.

Pigtown-Design said...

holy smokes! what an extraordinary place.

cjsullivan133 said...

I was friends with Alice too. I cleaned her shop and babysat her Cheshire Madeline on occasion. Alice could talk up a storm. One of these mirrors on this tour belonged to Vivian Vance at one time. The painting on the staircase is of Alice's Mother. Alice always told me I wouldn't be able to afford one of her apartments! She kept them beautiful and had loyal tenants for the most part. Alice brought me to my first and only Home Design Tour in the City. We had a nice day out together. She paid me for cleaning her shop with two beautifully upholstered arts and crafts chairs in black wool, with bronze tacking. Her choice. She was just a month away from Graduating from CCAC, I believe the year I was born. 1956. Because I am Alumni there as well, I will be sure we pay tribute to this stylish and artful woman when she passes. But until then my prayers are with her. You will be missed Ms. Alice. xoxo

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

What an incredibly lovely story. She must have been something in her day. I can't help but feel sad about someone I don't know -- it's amazing how a person can accomplish great things, affect so many people, and then be diminished by that horrible disease. Truly unfair. You did a wonderful job showing her home and making her memorable to a stranger. Thank you.

Susan said...

a beautiful home & post- I don't know this woman but feel sorry for her leaving...
xo

1 Funky Woman said...

She sounds like an amazing woman. How lucky for you to have had her as a friend and that apartment, wow amazing!

Megan

Anonymous said...

first time reading your blog- so glad i found it. this post made me cry. beautiful!!!
kerry