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Jennine Jacob turned her love of entertaining at home into a business, photos by Patricia Chang
When Jennine Jacob landed in San Francisco in 2013, she had been away for several years and felt like she didn't know anyone anymore. She and her husband, Rocky, had lived in SF previously, but they spent several years in Germany and on the East Coast for school and work, and the city seemed new again. She decided to rekindle friendships by throwing a series of parties, and the decision yielded something unexpected: a new career. The backdrop for all this is her Potrero Hill home.
↑ Jacob and her family (which, with the addition of son Jasper, numbers three) started looking for a home shortly after returning to San Francisco. "Now that the rents were so high, owning a home started making more sense," she says. They lucked into a Potrero Hill condo that met their requirements: good light, centrally located, parking, and (as every mother reading this will understand) a washer and dryer within the unit.
↑ This home, one in a four-unit building, fit the bill, but it was painted in several different colors—and none of them suited the couple's taste. Given everything else, that was easy to overlook. "It had really weird colors and crazy cherry cabinets," says Jacobs. "But there was a nice vibe about the place, and it had good bones."
↑ A remodel is stressful for most families. But for this project, there was the challenge of resolving two different aesthetics. "He's an industrial designer, and he has strong opinions about what looks good. He likes an all-white environment and modernist design," says Jacob. "I have a broader scope, and I like a more eclectic, handmade, and lived-in look." The couple's home is kind of like their toddler: It resembles them both.
↑ The kitchen was the first room to be remodeled. They chose IKEA cabinets; large, white hexagonal tiles for the backsplash; and minimal open shelves for the room. "Against the advice of our real estate agent, we removed all the upper cabinets," says Jacob. "And with them gone, we still have more storage than we need."
Another storage behemoth that was shown the door was a hulking refrigerator. "There was a ridiculously large fridge in the kitchen," says Jacob. "I've never understood the American obsession with huge refrigerators. We didn't need it and it took up too much space."
↑ The rest of the home is similarly neutral. In the living room, white walls are a backdrop for a painting Rocky has had since he was 18. The blue tones in it are found elsewhere: such as the cushions in the window seat. "I made these by cutting up a drop cloth, dip dying the pieces, and then sewing them into pillows," Jacob said.
↑ Her love for craft is seen throughout the house—she made the wallhanging in the hall and the geometric paintings over the bed in the master bedroom.
↑ Jasper, who is now two-and-a-half, has a nursery and playroom under the stairs. "The truth is that the whole house is Jasper's playroom. He plays wherever he wants," says Jacob. However, his home base is the kind of cozy little nest you'd find in a children's book. Picture rails are used as narrow shelves for his books and a small activity table is frequently the scene of epic Hot Wheels rallies.
As we mentioned, the new home was something of a catalyst for a new career. Jacob was once a prolific fashion blogger, but staging frequent parties spurred her to start a new business. "I was always scrambling and running out to buy things to make the kind of parties you find on Pinterest," she says. "Most party items were for one-time use. It seemed like such a waste." She started wishing there was a place where you could rent high-quality, stylish accessories. And thus her service, Mrs. Peasy, was born. From her website, you can lease everything from Heath plates to Mason jars for a reasonable fee. You can also rent an complete "party-in-a-box" table dressings.
↑ For us, she assembled a table that could work for a last-minute Christmas party. Mix-and-match candlesticks march down her dining room table and classic red transferware is mixed with more modern, dark-hued plates. "I didn't have enough napkins in one color, so I mixed those too," Jacob says. "I used cream-colored napkins for the sides of the table and gave red napkins to the places at each end."
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↑ This laid-back and relaxed style applies to both her business and personal decorating style. "The name for my company is simple," she says. "It's after easy-peasy."
· Mrs. Peasy [Official Site]