SF House Call: Jill Pilotte of Small Stump

SF House Call: Jill Pilotte of Small Stump

Mar 4, 2008

She's a Jill-of-all-trades. She's an illustrator (she created the Sixty Forty Print Club, which splits its proceeds between the artist and a non-profit). She's a floral designer (it's in the genes — her mother, aunt, and uncle all had flower shops in her native Rhode Island). She's a small business owner (she runs Small Stump). She works at one of our favorite local shops (Rose and Radish). And Jill Pilotte also keeps a lovely home in Pacifica, which you can see more of below the jump.

As the creative head of Rose and Radish, Jill manages the website and takes many of the photos for the store's online journal. She also helps come up with new show concepts and shape the overall feel of the installations. Last year, she scaled back her hours at the Hayes Valley shop in order to devote more time to Small Stump. "Now I feel like I have a great balance between my art and creating with a group of amazingly talented ladies at Rose and Radish," she said.

How would you describe your decorating style? I would describe my decorating style as constantly changing vignettes. I have lots of little collections of objects, but our house is really small and I don't like things super cluttered. So I make little displays and change them all the time — putting some things away for a bit and takingothers back out. I also like to have fresh flowers around so I will often group a display around some beautiful orange tulips or a chunk of bright green moss.

Favorite spot in your home and why? My favorite spot in the house is at my old wooden dining table. It is a beautiful color and I just love the worn and imperfect surface. It's also one of the only places in the house that gets good light.

What's on your nightstand? There's a lot on my nightstand since it's more like a night-bookshelf. There is a notebook and pencil for late night ideas, a pile of books I am trying to read, a pot of yellow tulips, clock, phone, and a picture of my mom.

Current inspiration(s) for your work? It's pretty easy to see that a lot of my work is inspired by nature, but I also tend to think in themes. Coming up with ideas for show installations at Rose and Radish is really exciting. Since we create brand-new shows every few months, my brain becomes engrossed in the next theme, and that definitely runs off into my own artwork.

Favorite childhood memento that's in your home? When I moved to the west coast I didn't really bring that much with me. I have a collection of Rhode Island state plates that are really special to me. I think of my family that I miss very much whenever I look at them.

Biggest splurge? Our biggest splurge in the house was when we finally got rid of our two old futons last Christmas and bought a new couch. We got it at IKEA and I love it. It's the perfect size for two people and two dogs. And man it felt good to get rid of those lumpy futons.

Best bargain in your home and where did you get it? My favorite bargain piece in the house is a little dark green typewriter table. I found it while thrifting in Reno with a friend and I especially love it because it reminds me of her. I think it came from Savers for $5.

What's at the top of your list of things to buy next for your home? The next thing I'd love to get for the house is some new lighting. I want a nice bright task lamp for my new work table. We also have a pretty terrible fluorescent light in the kitchen that looks like a beer keg cut in half that has got to go. In fact all our ceiling lights are kind of boring and ugly, we hardly ever turn them on. For now, until we become rich, we'll ignore the overheads and continue to use a lot of low table lamps.

Favorite local resources for furniture and accessories? I love going to the Alameda Flea Market. There is also a little strip of great vintage shops on Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica that I stop in at least once a month. And of course Rose and Radish!

Thanks for giving us a peek into your space, Jill!

(Pssst ... More photos of Jill's home — and her adorable pups — can be viewed in her Flickr set.)

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