Wednesday - April 8, 2015

Potrero Home with a Hidden Speakeasy is the Ultimate Party Pad

My husband Richard has this TV habit – the minute he steps in the house, he reaches for the TV remote, even if he gave it a mere 3 minutes of his attention for the hour or two it is on. He is playing his guitar, blowing into his harmonica or eating his dinner while checking his email as he returns missed calls. Sometimes I think he thinks it’s the secret to effectively multi-task. I still can’t get it: the first thing he does to settle down is to grab the remote to turn on the TV.

Yesterday, in one of his TV – guitar – harmonica – dinner – email checking sessions, the show of the moment was “Outlander”. He tries to get me to watch it and tells me it is a story of a nurse who time travels to 18th century Scotland. My timer went off telling me that the pizza from Precita Park was done. As I pulled out dinner, this line from the series grabbed me.

“And one day I turned around and looked back and saw that each step I’d taken was a choice. Every day: every man has a choice, between right and wrong, between love and hate, sometimes between life and death. And the sum of those choices becomes your life. ”

It was an ordinary TV occurrence but yesterday was no ordinary day. This was the day our home of 8 years was featured on SF Curbed feed. See article here. It was a day when we got calls and emails and SMS’s from friends and colleagues who read the story online. It is a happy day when your life’s work (and in our case, our personal abode) is given this much attention.

There are three things that surprised me most :

(1) the title the editor, Lamar Anderson gave it: ” Potrero Home with a Hidden Speakeasy is the Ultimate Party Pad”. Richard and I are very private individuals and he is happiest downstairs playing one of his guitars while I am reveling with either a book or audiobook, the New York Times, the Bonhams catalogues or going through my accumulated reading lists of favorite blogs (usually design oriented) or listening to TED Podcasts. It would paint a truer picture if the heading went on to say the Ultimate Party Pad … for 2 Seniors and ;

(2) that the room I least spend time in (the speakeasy) would be the key feature of my home (it is subterranean and that is tantamount to Superman’s Kryptonite for me who was born and raised in humid Manila clime) and ;

(3) that Curbed’s audience would appreciate a home that is described as “eclectic”.

Eclectic by definition is “a style or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources or a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.” 

Richard and I never really intended to be defined as having an eclectic style. Our home is eclectic because we designed a stage that could hold and display all the items, trinkets, furniture and tchotchkes in a way that pleased both our eyes and our souls.

That it turned out to be what it is – is a statement. We chose every item because it meant something to us. We placed these items where they are because it is how it works with the way we live. 

In a way, even the TV shows we watch get woven into our lives. I didn’t mean to hear that line from the Outlander as I was reheating dinner the other night-  but now, as I contemplate how my / our design aesthetic is defined, it is true that the sum of our life choices does become our life.

Photography from the shoot by Patricia Chang.

Feature by Lamar Anderson, Curbed SF Editor.

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