Please welcome my cousin Megan Regard Walsh to our Where Do You Live series! Megan has always represented the epitome of cool to me – she was the first to introduce me to Gwen Stefani and No Doubt and the first to show me how to draw the Stussy S. So naturally, she ended up in one of the coolest cities – San Francisco. Here she tells us how she ended up there and why it is a great place to raise a child:
Q: Tell us about your family.
My husband and I dated for 7 years before marriage and were married 3 years before Finley. We think we are an only-child household, unless you count our “special needs” pug. We had out daughter in our early 30s, but still managed to be the first of our close friends in SF, so the first year or so we felt pretty alone in the whole parenting thing. But now I make it my goal in life to help my friends make the transition into parenthood feeling supported and optimistic!
We spend a lot of time with my parents, since they moved up here a few years ago. And my sister who has lived with us on and off for the past few years. Having them around is a god send. I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else.
Q: Where do you live? Will you tell us the story of how your home came to be yours?
We live in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. After renting in “the city” for 8 years and paying what seemed like a small fortune every month, making the leap to home ownership just sounded more attractive than continuing to write checks to somebody else. So we bought one of the first properties we saw. It was a total wreck, but unique because it had a big lot and because it wasn’t officially on the market yet when we happened across it. So we jumped on it and put in a bid. The family we bought it from had had it in the family since the 1890s and didn’t really want to deal with a bidding war, so they accepted our offer without showing it. We went into it a little blind, but 3 years and a remodel later, we still feel like we scored!
Q: How did you decide to live in San Francisco?
San Francisco was the nearest “happening” city that I visited often while I was going to college in Santa Cruz. I met Nathan there as a senior and decided to stay at his apartment with him “for a month or two” after I graduated while I looked for my own place. Well it was 2000, during the dot com bubble and it was nearly impossible to get an apartment unless you had 6 months of rent in cash or some other awesome bribe/collateral, and I had neither. But on the flip side, it was ridiculously easy to find a job in tech at that time – I was an art and history major that found myself working on interactive design projects for the Smithsonian and Veuve Clicquot Champagne, so I was happy to see where that would take me. I basically never ended up getting “my own place” and we have been working away, at life, our careers and at marriage, ever since!
Q: What’s your favorite feature in your home? What makes you the happiest about it? Also, what are you dying to change?
We went from having no real bathrooms in our house when we bought it – more like an outhouse tacked onto the back of a ramshackle addition – to now having 2 glorious full baths post-remodel. So I kind of went bonkers designing the new ones. We have red zebra wallpaper in one and tile made out of abalone shell in the other. Being able to pee and wash your hands in the same room is a luxury in itself compared to what we had before, but the new rooms are straight up delightful. I also love that we have legit closets now. I literally had a dance party in one during our house warming party. There were no such thing as closets in all the weird little places we lived before remodeling and most people in SF can appreciate a closet that can house a dance party. First world problems in every way, but dance we did.
Dying to change my countertops. They are an awesome striped stone, but totally impractical to take care of. This time I went a little too bonkers for my own britches.