You can’t step foot into Hope Colling’s Marin-based casa without developing a major case of Eichler envy. The key holder to Union Street’s Marmalade boutique — and the hotly-anticipated Mason Jar — has that jolie laide, surfer-girl vibe on lock, culled from her New York-meets-California roots. Naturally, those enviable qualities show up in every element of both her personal and home style.
So, when we invited ourselves over to play house for the afternoon, we couldn’t help but notice that art is absolutely imitating life. The first thing that meets your eye in the Zen space is, well, the outside! The open-air foyer is destined for warm nights (this is over the Golden Gate bridge, where summer is an actual season). Between the impossibly perfect pillows (which took everything in our power not to steal!) and the hubby’s homemade furniture strewn about, this abode is practically begging for some epic chill time. Need proof? Sit back and relax while we take you on a virtual tour.
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Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
Where do you hail from?
"I was born and raised in New York, but when I came out to San Francisco in 2007 for a visit, I fell so in love with the city that I never left!"
What do you love most about where you live?
"When I first moved out here I lived in the Outer Sunset, right on Ocean Beach, which was amazing because I like to surf and it’s where I met my husband Pete — he was my neighbor. But, after a few years there, we were both getting a bit weary of the constant fog and I was tired of wearing wool hats in July. It wasn't until we visited the home of some friends who live in Terra Linda that we discovered this picturesque little enclave of San Rafael. We're only 20 minutes north of the city, but its 20 degrees warmer up here and almost always sunny. Plus, the neighborhood has a cool '70s Southern California vibe that I love."
Hope relaxes in her living room in a Grass + Skye jumpsuit, Pamela Privasi neckalce, and Target shoes.
Can you tell us a little about Marmalade and what inspired you to open it?
"When I was young, my mother was a Rockette and I used to do my homework in the dressing room at Radio City Music Hall. When the dancers would come in for fittings — giggling and gossiping while trying on their costumes I remember thinking, 'This is what I want to do when I grow up, and it has nothing to do with this math homework.' So, when I first moved out here, I decided to try my hand at curating a boutique. I was having tea with a friend one day who asked me what sorts of things I planned to stock, to which I responded 'It's going to be a jam of girly things, candles, clothing, and pillows.' The moment the word 'jam' came out of my mouth, Marmalade came to mind, and I knew that was it."
Wowza, can we move in?
Your husband is a furniture designer; did he create a lot of the pieces in your home?
"He did! He designed and built our bed, the table in the atrium, bookshelves in the office, floating shelves in the den, some of our wooden planters, and the frame around the big piece of art in the living room. My absolute favorite piece of all that he created is the side table in the living room that holds all my Dwell magazines."
Her hubby's rad magazine holder — impressive. Oh, and that Eames chair isn't too shabby.
Word on the street is you're launching another shop in the fall, we're dying to hear more!
"Yes! We are very excited! It's called The Mason Jar and will be sort of like the more sophisticated, older sister to Marmalade, primarily focusing on home furnishings and interior design. My husband Pete is an amazing artisan builder; he makes everything from cutting boards to dining room tables using locally salvaged wood, so we'll carry a lot of his pieces. He did all the work at Marmalade. People always ask if they can buy our fixtures. I just finished a line of pillows that are made from fair-traded vintage Kantha quilts that I'm excited to debut. We can't disclose the location yet, but it's coming very soon and will be really close to Marmalade. We hope to be open by September."
Books on books on books.
It seems that a lot of folks are choosing to shop in the Mission these days over the Marina, has this affected your business at all?
"There are definitely ebbs and flows to the foot traffic patterns, but I'm happy to say that it hasn't affected me very much. We just celebrated six years, and I know that wouldn't have been possible if not for our amazing, loyal customers. The Mission has some great locally owned shops too, we actually considered opening The Mason Jar there, but decided to stick to what we know, and that's Union Street. There isn't anything like it in our 'hood and we feel it's long overdue."
Hope stands in front of her adorable atrium in an equally as adorable jumpsuit.
Who are some of your favorite indie designers?
"Bianca Benitez is doing some really cool things for Dear Creatures
. I also really love the vintage inspired pieces in Nadia Moraes
' recent collection. Also, Ginger + Soul has some really fun looks for summer."
Loving the colors.
Any local S.F .designers that you have your eye on?
is rad. She does these really cool bracelets and necklaces using semi-precious stones to write messages in Morse code. I love her new Chakra collection. Avery Dutton is a dress designer from Australia who is living in S.F. and she has an amazing fall collection I'm super excited to carry!"
Where the Marmalade magic happens — Hope's office!
What other Bay Area shops do you admire?
"I think Fawn
does a really good job curating a small space. Nina has a great eye for telling a story with visuals. Capulet
are always fun to visit, so is The Urban Nest
. Summer House
in Mill Valley is a great to pick up little gifts, but Artefact Design And Salvage
in Sonoma is my absolute favorite. I want everything in that place!"
What styles are San Franciscans snatching up these days?
"Right now, we're selling a lot of simple shift dresses and maxis. They're both great year-round pieces because they're easy to winterize by adding a cardigan, tights, and boots. Statement necklaces are another popular pick, but our bestseller is our ADA leather wrap belts, you can literally double or even triple your wardrobe with one of these babies!"
Hope poses near a plant and rad paneled wall in an Everly dress and Urban Outfitters shoes.
Hope's tricked-out dining room. Yes, that's a telescope.
You travel a lot. What are some of your favorite home items you've picked up along the way?
"It would be a piece of art we bought in Tulum, Mexico. It's a watercolor sketch of a mermaid holding onto a whale's tail, a roll of wallpaper I bought for 12 Euro at the Chelsea Flea Market that I'm still waiting to hang, and this giant ball of Indonesian teak that my husband carried all the way home from Paris that sits on our dining room table. Lastly, a set of beautiful, hand-painted dinner plates we brought back from Belize."
Hope surprised us with some champers, juice, and yummy fruit!
How would you describe your personal style?
"20th Century boy meets bohemian girl. I've always liked the interplay between masculine and feminine elements, so I'll wear a floral dress with motorcycle boots, or boyfriend jeans with an embellished top. Stella McCartney is the reigning queen of this look — her 2013 tuxedo dress is a prime example of how it's done well."
We wouldn't mind sitting down for a meal in this not-so-mellow yellow kitchen!
When you're looking to be inspired, where do you head?
"For trend scouting, I usually head to London or New York, or if I can't get away I'll curl up with a Slim Aarons book and get lost in the glamorous photographs. But, for visuals, I usually just take the dogs for a hike in the hills and see what ideas spark from nature. Right now, our window features host living birch trees, ferns, and redwood stumps. But, our America's Cup installation is going to be epic, I'm making a sailboat from paper mâché and an old bed sheet."
Hope models one of her favorite Paper Lantern dresses, Izzy B necklace and ring, and vintage shoes.
What are your wardrobe essentials for summer?
"A high-low maxi dress in a great summer fabric, a fedora does double duty by covering windswept or beachy hair, and it gives your face a little added sun protection. A denim jacket, it pairs perfectly with dresses, shorts, rompers and my favorite summer staple, ankle grazing white jeans. And lastly, a white button-down top or tunic in a gauzy fabric that can be tucked into trousers or top off a bathing suit."
It's a Sunday afternoon in the summer — where will we find you?
"Hopefully, at the beach in a wetsuit! I love to surf and in the summer the waves are small but smooth enough to get the longboard moving down the line. If it's the first Sunday of the month though, you can find me at the Alameda Flea Market. We love to hunt for authentic mid-century modern pieces that need a little love so we can turn them into treasures."
Hope's prized possession — her surf board!
Your home practically screams California chic. Can you tell us about the design aesthetic and what inspired the decor?
"The architecture of the house itself actually inspired the decor — so did Mad Men, a little. We live in one of the iconic Eichler homes, which was built in the '60s with principles of natural light, air, and openness in mind. Almost every room in the house has at least one glass wall, and the center atrium really blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor space. We wanted to maintain the mid-century modern aesthetic but add our own twist, so a lot of what you see are pieces that we either collected from our travels or made ourselves."
Where is your favorite place to chill out at home?
"In the mornings, it's the atrium because it gets the most sun. We'll eat breakfast out there while the dogs sunbathe. At night, we mostly hang out in the living room and talk about what we want to do with the house next, which almost always ends up with me trying to convince Pete that we need to put in a pool!"
The atrium in all its sun-soaked glory!
You've been in the Bay Area retail scene for a while. How have you seen local style evolve over the years?
"When I do the buying for Marmalade, I tend to stick to more classic silhouettes, prints and color stories, and avoid anything overly trendy. I think that's because I’ve learned over the past six years that our customer doesn't care much about what’s 'in fashion,' but she does have a keen sense of style, she knows what suits her. Of course, she's willing to take some fashion risks, but calculated ones!"
small>Hope chilling in her room in a Sanctuary top and Citizens of Humanity jeans.
Hope brushing up on the history of her iconic home!
Where do you score local decor items?
"Revelation in Mill Valley has some really unique finds, and I love Anthropologie
for kitchen and Aldea Home
for textiles. We do have a few pieces from HD Buttercup
and Room and Board
because they do mid-century really well."
That's a wrap!