Allison's beach house goodbye

Two weeks ago I received a very bitter sweet phone call. My friend, neighbor and business partner called to tell me they were moving. Bitter is not the best word, it sounds too much like a bad taste left in the mouth. Quietly sad is probably more apt. A fantastic opportunity has come their way, one that cannot be passed up.
Allison and her family have been a great gift to this little walk street community of tight living quarters, kids running in and out of each other's homes, weekends spent at the beach, warm evening dinner parties and old fashioned neighborly friendship.
The sweet side of all of this, is that the family will be moving 'up the street', as I so euphemistically like to refer to it. Up the street to the Bay area. Up the street to my favorite part of the world, a lovely pocket of Marin County called Ross. If I had to choose an even more perfect spot for them to be, I'd be at a loss.
Allison and I have also been business partners for the past 4 years.
We've managed to keep it going through some serious life changes, after math of divorce and newly single motherhood {me} pregnancy, a new baby and a toddler {her} Amazing when I look back at what we were able to accomplish through it all. I've learned so much from this girl, who is as beautiful on the inside as on the out. I will miss her.
I once did a little blog tour of her adorable beach cottage. Much to her, I assume, chagrin I really didn't do it justice. Recently with her house on the market {it sold within the first week} some professional shots were taken. I wanted to share with you some of Allison's fabulous talent.
I love the salmony color of her cieling with the toasty almond walls. If there's one thing this girl knows, it's details.
stainless steel counter tops, with a wooden top on one end, a perfect work space.Under her center island, Allison has collected old wire locker room baskets to hold her vast stock of vintage linens.
you can't see them so well, but she recently added the burlap seat cushions to the dining room chairs. Burlap is the new velvet after all.
Dutch doors are a must, here at the beach. You can scream down the street for your kids at dinner time without even leaving your home! One of the 'details' Allison added not long ago, was the darkening of all of the door hardware in the house. It made such a difference. And she did it in one afternoon while the kids were napping. So clever.
I love what she's done to her daughter's room. Using the Serena and Lily bedlinens as a starting point, she's created a sweet but whimsical room. She uses fun swaths of fabrics behind the panes on her French doors through out. A great touch used to mask the contents of a closet.
her son's room was once her daughters, not wanting to have to repaint, in one afternoon, she transformed it into a beautiful yet not feminine boys room. As I remember, it was a trip to Target and she had instantly changed the whole feel of the space. {green bedding, striped rug and window treatment - Target }
In 2005, the family added on this great master bed and bath.
The little balcony {above} off the of the Master, a great place to sit and listen to the surf.
ahh, the backyard that launched a thousand parties. The annual Valentine's wine tasting party, Birthday parties for the young and.....well, not so young any more. Many a great evening was spent under this old tree. Not to mention, many a business meeting.
{What the photos don't give you is the sound effect of the fountain. It's so peaceful out here.}
The backside of the free standing Garage, helps create a privacy in the back of the house. Using space wisely is what walk-street beach living is all about. They turned the garage into a great little guest cottage.
This shot doesn't give you the full effect of how sweet this little room is. But it's adorable and the light in the space is great.
Come that day when the car is loaded, moving van is gone, kids seat belted in, hugs are exchanged, there will certainly be tears and the aftermath of a quiet void with the echo of great memories. I will not consider them gone, but merely just up the street.
xoxo M


Brighton said…
What a beautiful home. No wonder it sold so quickly! I was in Marin county a few years back (my Aunt lived there) and fell in love with it.
Megan, what a wonderful tribute to not only Allison and her talents but her gorgeous home! I wish them all the best of luck with their move.
Linda/"Mom" said…
* What a most wonderfully delightful home, darling couple and enduring friendship~~~ talk about BLESSINGS!

This was SUCH a loving tribute~~~ appreciate your opening your heart and sharing it with us!

Linda in AZ *
Dianne said…
Love the beach house she is leaving...not surprised it sold so fast. Tell me, how did she darken the hardware? I am very interested in doing that.
mary said…
What a hollow place is left when a friend moves away. How blessed you both have been with such an amazing friendship... it can definitely grown better and stronger with distance, it simply takes a little more work and commitment.
Anonymous said…
What a great cottage! Love it all. How did she darken her door hardware???? Dying to know.
rikshaw design said…
i want to live there! your words were so sweet!
i live right down from will have to get up here and visit!
annechovie said…
What a beautiful post, Megan. Allison's home is charming and I am sure the new owners will reap the benefit of her great taste and style. What a special friendship!
Jessie said…
That looks like SUCH an incredible home, and she seems like a very sweet friend. :)

Here's hoping you get to take some nice visits to "up the street:!
Brenda said…
Thank you for sharing her home. It is beautiful. My husband grew up in MB and we want so badly to move back there. It really is a great community. Someday. I was ready to call my agent about that house but of course it sold in the first week.
Sounds like you had an incredible friendship and business relationship. I'm sorry your friend is moving! I live in the SF Bay Area, and it's lovely here. Allison's cottage is adorable!
foobella said…
What a DREAM HOME! If that DIDN'T sell in a week, I'd have to wonder what kind of whackos were looking at it?
paula said…
oh my, looks like such a dream.
allison Sutherland said…
Megan, That was soooo sweet. Thank you for all your kind words, you make it so hard to leave. I am hoping to have you as a Ross neighbor at some point in the future.

To answer your questions regarding the spray...I cannot locate the remining at this time, but you can simply get it at home depot in the paint aisle. It is in a spray can. I used the black hammered/antique bronze paint color and texture. The gloss ones look fake. This did the trick on the old shiny brass knobs and complimented my newer crystal knobs in the addition part of the house.
Lisa said…
It's always hard when good friends & great neighbors make a move. The comfortable ease & flow of those you know from close beach living suddenly changes. How nice though that this special family is going to a place that you love. I'm sure she will have a beautiful home with a special spot just for you in mind when you visit.
What a nice send-off, your a good friend indeed!
p.s. be sure and stalk the new owners for us ok?
thanks so much for sharing this -what a beautiful home and friendship!
Fifi Flowers said…
FAB house.. GREAT neighborhood!!!
Hi Megan,

Thank you for sharing Allison's home. Your post was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and saying good-bye to a friend, even if she's just moving "up the street," can hurt like nothing else.

You, and Allison, have my sympathy, and I hope you both will find the time to visit each other often.

Take care,

Jennifer said…
Well that was a real treat. Not only is her house absolutely gorgeous but you are clearly a great friend with all of those kind words. I hope your new neighbors are just as wonderful.
It's so sad when friends move away. I know you'll always be friends, but still.

What a sweet tribute and post about your friend, thanks so much for sharing her beautiful home.
VictoriaArt said…
You are a warmhearted friend, if she has similar qualities you will keep your friendship up!
She has a beautiful home and I can see her talents, will she still be working with you?
Many of my friends came as expat's in the US and returned a couple of years later back home, I lost so many friends and the best have survived years of inter continental separation...
Good luck to you all!
Jenn Robertson said…
Oh my, that was beautiful and sad. I am headed for the they have to leave?
Heather said…
What an amazingly beautiful home. She has done everything that I would like to do to my own. It looks so warm and inviting and chic. Good luck to her, and good luck to you. I'm sure you'll miss her living so close by.
Lauren said…
oh this will be tough!! :(

her home is AMAZING and I need to bookmark this post!!! love her style.

hope you're okay!!
Beautiful home. It's a pity your partner/friend/neighbor is moving, but she'll be your friend forever!
Karena said…
Oh Megan, it is heartbreaking when dear friend moves away and no wonder her home sold so fast! Someone will fill that void for you soon, as you are so special. I know you have been through so much!
Marie Cole said…
What a wonderful tribute about your dear friend and her beautiful home.

After seeing those picture I know why it sold so fast.

Happy memories to treasure forever!
Wow what a beautiful story and a beautiful home! It's so sad to hear that Allison is moving. Your neighborhood seems so tight knit that I'm sure it's difficult for both you especially as business partners, but like you said she is only up the street and I'm sure you'll see her often. Please wish them luck in their move.
Featherbed said…
I just love that dresser in the bathroom - how cool.
wow - Ross is pretty nice - it's the Beverly Hills of Marin - this is a really pretty beach house though.
Michelle said…
She has a great little nest; must be a great offer to leave this little gem :)
Courtney said…
Oh that balcony, it is just so perfect. Really a beautiful house tour. Thanks to you and Allison for sharing.
simply seleta said…
Wow, a lot of style is packed in this beach cottage. Love it all! Thanks for tour. :-)
What a delightful home she has, thanks for sharing Megan:)
I'm very sorry your friend and partner is moving away. :-( Thank you for sharing her lovely cottage (and your lovely friendship) with us one more time.
Lucinda said…
I am so sad for you both! Best wishes in whatever comes next.
Anonymous said…
One of my best friends from college lives in Ross. What a beautiful town. It feels like New England in CA. I will give her a heads up to welcome Allison to the hood.
Elizabeth said…
Wow, the entire house is lovely! I'm so jealous of the dutch doors... We want one for our back door. Breezes in - dirty dogs out.
I have never seen such a beuatiful house ever in my life. The details are just so simply done but elegantly showing off each corner of the house. The beauty as you see it from outside seemed to keep you amazed and ans stunned as you walk and view more what is in the inside. Just so very very very lovely.

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