For Sale: San Fran's Best Known Victorian
The pale green exterior of the 1892 structure has cameo-ed in movies, and an ad for Foster's beer, but it's most famous appearance comes in the opening credits of "Full House," the sit-com that introduced Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to the world. It's the first time in 35 years that one of the houses on the iconic block has been up for sale.
Though the home's exterior has had its fair share of exposure, the interior has been hard at work, too. Shannon's furniture company, Michael Shannon and Associates, was born in the ballroom-cum-garage in the early 80s and has been inspired by the home ever since.
"When you own an old house everyone seems to be putting their hands out saying that'll be $10,000," Shannon recalls. He had a friend who could work with steal and the pair ground out their first creation, a table for the kitchen. A neighbor saw it and ordered four more. They ramped up production, and it wasn't long until the neighbors were coming around again, this time asking them to keep the noise down. Soon the business grew into it's own production and show spaces, custom fabricating work for the well-known Pierre Deux line. But the design sensibility never strayed far from home.
"For us the house really has served as our design laboratory," says Thomas Zickgraf, Shannon's spouse and the now CEO of the furniture company. Over the years, the lines have often included over-sized mirrors, a holdover from when Shannon first took possession of the home in the 80s. It had gone through periods of vacancy -- he had to evict an encampment of hippies on the floor with rumors of an FBI raid – and there were large holes in the walls. The historic home's lathe and plaster walls were difficult to patch, so the big mirrors were a solution that also brought more light into the rooms, a persistent problem for row homes.
Most of the furniture falls into the category of transitional decor. The pieces reference classic lines with a goal of making them distinct, but versatile enough to cooperate styles from ultra-modern to the Victorian's decorative brackets and stained-glass windows. The home's architectural detail could pose an immense design challenge to the next occupants, but Shannon and Zickgraf are happy to help.
"If someone wanted to buy the furniture," Zickgraf says, "we'd probably sell it to them."