A Rarity: A San Francisco Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase!

Many years ago I visited San Francisco. While there, I did all the typical touristy stuff, like riding a cable car, visiting Alcatraz, eating chocolate at Ghirardelli Square and snapping a picture of the famous Painted Ladies. This was the photo I took around 14 years ago during my visit. They really are so striking…beautiful Victorian homes all lined up in a row.

The Painted Ladies of San Francisco


Here’s a recent picture below, and the first thing I noticed is all the ladies are still painted the same color as they were when I was there so long ago. I wonder if there are covenants or rules in place that say they must always remain these exact colors. I’m thinking there must be because folks would probably have a hissy fit if an owner got a wild hair and decided to paint one a dark burgundy or a hot orange color.

Per Wikipedia, the term Painted Ladies is a phrase used to describe Victorian or Edwardian homes that were painted in three or more colors so as to embellish their architectural details. There are actually several cities in the U.S. boasting their own row of “painted ladies.”

Something exciting has just happened! For the first time in many, many years, one of the homes is actually available for purchase. That’s big news since these homes rarely ever come on the market. The one that’s currently listed for sale is the one on the far right.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 01


Here’s a better picture of it. The home was built in 1898. Notice all the ornate trim and special details on the exterior. I had never noticed that they all have garages, how did I miss that?

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 03


Since this pretty lady is on the market, we get a rare peek inside! The entry is just as beautiful as I had imagined. Look at the stairway…such a unique design! Have you ever seen a staircase like this?

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 04


Just across from the main stairway, we find the entrance to the living room.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 05


Because of the home’s location high above the city on a hill, it’s gets a lot of natural light pouring in from the front and back windows.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 06


This must be the library or perhaps a den.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 08


Beyond the library we find the dining room…such a beautiful room! I love the fireplace on the slanted wall.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 09


Wow, you can really see how beautifully ornate the dining room fireplace is in this picture below. Notice how the front of the mantel actually curves out in the center. It’s those details that make older homes so special. Gorgeous transom! Sooo pretty!

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 10


The kitchen is a lot bigger than I expected.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 11


Standing on the landing here on the second floor where the bedrooms are located, you can see that the home continues even further upward. We’ll go up there in a sec.

Beautiful stairway in San Francisco's Painted Lady


On the second level is where we find the bedrooms. What a pretty view!

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 12


The master bedroom…

Because there’s a beam running across the ceiling, I can’t help but wonder if they took a wall down at some point to create a master suite.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 13


The master bath…

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 14


A pretty blue and white bedroom…

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 19


Another bedroom in this iconic home…notice the antique light fixture. So pretty and I love how it looks against the wallpaper.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 15


Remember how the staircase continued on up past the second floor? Let’s go up and see what’s up there.

Beautiful stairway in San Francisco's Painted Lady


Here’s where it goes, such a happy, sunny room! Forget skylight, this is a skyroof! 🙂

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 17


I would love to see the view out those windows! It appears there’s a small deck out there, too.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 18


This Painted Lady has a cute garden in back. It kind of reminds me of the historic homes in Savannah and Charleston with their small, walled gardens.

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 21


So now you can say you’ve seen the inside of one of the famous San Francisco Painted Ladies. She didn’t disappoint, did she? Someone will soon be the owner of a piece of San Francisco history!

San Francisco's Painted Lady Is Available For Purchase 01


You’ll find additional photos of this lovely home here: Tour a San Francisco Painted Lady

On our trip to California, as we traveled up the interstate headed for San Francisco, we saw signs for another amazing home I had once seen featured on HGTV, The Winchester Mystery House. What an experience it was to tour this home. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the sign saying the home was open for tours!

You’ll find photos taken of my visit to San Fran and The Winchester Mystery House in this post: The Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Such a beautiful home! San Francisco is a favorite city for us. We traveled there many times during the 80s and early 90s when my husband was still working. Took an art trip there with the Austin Museum of Art in the late 90s and one of the homes we toured was one of these painted ladies. Wow, it was much like what you show in these photos. I think they might all be very similar in terms of floor plans.

  2. I love the look and feel of this home. The stairs are gorgeous and I love all the natural light. The white bathroom with the brass fixtures is beautiful. It’s a beautiful home.

    San Francisco is a delight to visit. I went 24 years ago and was nauseated the entire time. I was expecting my daughter.

  3. Debbie Balsam says

    Several years ago one of those homes was open to the public. I forget which one. Anyway, we did tour it. Unfortunately, I no longer remember how it looked. I do remember a magazine company was going to redecorate it. We also toured the Whinchester House and gardens.

  4. It was so lovely! I bet it is expensive. I do believe a wall or two were taken down as most homes that age had small rooms, no suites.

  5. We used to live near S.F., but have never seen inside one of these beautiful homes. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I always wanted to live inside of one of them.

  6. We did the same thing you did when we visited San Francisco. It was really a touristy thing to do but I loved it.

    I worked at an office that had a copy machine that was always breaking down. When it jammed they would come and get me to see if I could coax it in to working before they called the repairman. I said it had more doors than The Winchester House. I always got blank stares and then I had to explain the house to them. You made me smile.

  7. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    That doesn’t look like the Tanner house! 😛 (I think theirs was that yellow one toward the middle of the group, with the rounded arch.)

    I love that transom in the dining room! Gorgeous. And I love those floor to ceiling windows on the top floor, and the elaborate wood in the staircase. I’m surprised to say that I don’t like the public rooms too much, but the private ones, the bedrooms, are very nice. They feel large for a seemingly narrow, house.

    I can’t imagine what the price is. Well over a million dollars, I’m sure. Just how “much” over, I can’t imagine. Haha. I’m afraid to look at the listing. It’s probably something truly outrageous like 14 million. Even though 7 million would also be truly outrageous. Fun tour though! You’re right, such a rarity. Thanks, Susan. 🙂

  8. Finally a look inside one of these beautiful homes. How wonderful it would be to live in one. Like you, I only saw the outside on my trip to San Francisco so I am loving this look inside. This house is beautiful. I love the kitchen cabinet doors. Lots of beautiful and unexpected touches.

  9. When I went to the realtor’s website they had the original ad for a house on Steiner Street (all the little details in the picture look like this house, but the house number is 120 Steiner) when it was fairly new that listed it for $8000.00 (it’s now listed for $2,247,000.00). The ad says “On Steiner St. facing park, house of 12 rms, completely furnished & sub-let as housekeeping apts., inc. (income) $157.00 month.” Where the garage door is now is a couple of windows. I would bet that when the houses were built the basement area was servants’ quarters. Very few people would have had cars in San Francisco.

  10. These look like the houses that they show at the beginning of Full House. I could be mistaken but they are lovely.

  11. Oh I enjoyed seeing the inside of this home. That stairway is amazing. I have to believe you’re right about the master bedroom being opened up. That beam lines right up with the wall in the hallway. I love the views they have outside. Those homes were featured in the background of the opening scenes of the TV sitcom Full House back in the 80’s-90’s. That’s where I first saw them. I’m curious how much they’re asking for it. I know real estate is doing well there.

  12. Those house was the only ones surbiber wen San Francisco was burned meny year a go they considered this house as history of San Francisco
    That happened with the big earthquake
    I Ben to San Francisco many time God I love that city!
    Thank you for the tour it was so nice to look inside the house!

  13. It was great to finally be able to see the interior of one of these homes. Nicely maintained. Thanks

  14. Cynthia Lambert says

    That fancy fireplace surround in the dining room is only leaning against the fireplace. I wonder whether they bought it, intending to install it, but then never did? It appears that the existing surround is brick, which would be unusual for this period. One can see that the other fireplaces have the requisite period tile.

    The owners did a good job of decorating, mixing just enough contemporary to make it livable, and not trying to completely return it to Victorian. It looks as though a lot of the detail has been lost, however. The skylight was probably necessary, as these old houses tend to be dark. It may have replaced an older skylight which was often originally present to give light to a dark staircase. The attics, which would have housed at least one servant, have been converted to living space. The garage may have been a kitchen, or the kitchen might have been below street level, so the modern kitchen we see was formerly a parlor or other public space. All of the white woodwork moldings would have been the colour of the stair railings, so they have lightened it up by painting over the stained wood. The back garden would have been strictly utilitarian in the 19th century, with a privy, perhaps a small herb garden, and ropes stretched across to dry the laundry. If there was street access, the tradesmen would have come to the house from the back. The modern day garden is much prettier.

    • Oh, it does look like it’s leaning. Good eye! Kind of makes you wonder if it’s the original one to the house and it’s been saved all this time…maybe waiting to be restored.
      Yes, I’ve noticed when I tour Victorian homes, the moldings are always stained, unless they’ve been painted over at some point. I love the rich molding, like in a library or den, but I do love painted molding. Don’t think I could bring myself to paint over it in a historic home, though.

  15. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, taking another look. 🙂 You are right, these are houses we have all grown up seeing in many movies and tv shows. It’s fun to finally be able to get a closer look.

    Speaking of which, I noticed in that close up picture of the house all the way to the right, the tan house, it appears to have a bay window on our right side. In fact, a stacked bay window! But how in the world do they keep it painted?! It’s so close to that block building, I am literally baffled about how they can get a human painter in there, along with supplies, to keep it painted. For that matter, all the extremely narrow alleys between the houses appear to be so cramped it’s a wonder they can keep the houses painted and maintained! I actually get an uncomfortable feeling of claustrophobia, thinking of being so close to other houses like that.

    I had wondered if they had even bothered putting any windows on the sides of the houses, but then saw the bay window on that last one. Perhaps that side of the house was next to an empty lot at the time and the issue of painting the window didn’t exist, lol. They might have even charged a bit more for that house due to that extra amenity. 😉 At least the windows on the back of the houses appear to be large and over look a lovely green space.

    Also, I forgot to say I don’t think they did remove a wall from the master. Only because I can’t see where you’d enter the room, unless it was from the other side of the bedroom, which seems unlikely. The beam nearly meets up with the entrance door, which doesn’t seem likely to have been moved since it flows perfectly from the hall. The door next to it must be a closet. There is no access from the hallway as the stairs back up to that space. Of course, the bathroom may not have been a bathroom at that time, but if that gave access, it would still only give access to the that end of the bedroom, not that narrower end. Anyway, it’s fun to wonder about.

    I was thinking what it would have been like to be one of the first owners of one of those houses. What your day to day life would have been like, your dress, your daily routine. I imagine women with long skirts and their hair piled up on top of their heads. I imagine promenading around the park and the sidewalk with their parasols and sweeping up the stairs with their dresses trailing. And I do wonder what the original purpose of the garage space was. Maybe just a basement area or ‘terrace level.’ Fun to think about. I wonder if there are photographs still available of that stretch of street when it was first built and occupied, or even through the years. It would be fun to see the progression through the decades; the change in exterior colors, if any, the change in clothing, and when the garage doors were installed.

    It’s funny how every generation thinks of history as things that have already happened in the past, when in reality, they are all living it. 🙂

    I’m really glad you caught this sale and shared it with us. Thanks.

    • It is fun to imagine! In the listing I linked to, they show an old black & white photo before the lower section was converted to a garage. Not sure how old that picture is, though. I bet they spray the paint in/down. Some of the houses are probably far enough apart to squeeze a person with a really long roller in between.

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

        Oh, I didn’t see that. I only get a Trulia site, which is like Zillow, I believe. I can’t seem to find the actual listing. No matter. It’s really a bargain price. I actually can’t believe it’s that inexpensive. Well, I say ‘inexpensive,” lol. But for San Fran, that is! I love that you have that picture from your trip and I was ‘matching up’ the buildings in the background from your 14 year old picture to today’s buildings, lol. Of course they’re the same. Great post. 🙂

  16. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Oh gosh, (sorry, but this is so interesting to me) the website link you have gives the Trulia estimate for the home value at just $2, 247,0000, which actually seems like a bargain to me considering these houses are veritable San Francisco landmarks and known all over the world. Of course, that may not be the asking price, lol. It also says that the average home value in the area is $2,600,000. Surprisingly, it states the square footage at only 2,500. You would think it was more than that, wouldn’t you? Back in the day, that would have seemed small in comparison to the large families they had. Of course, the basement level may have been more living space at the time. But what’s really funny is the square footage of the lot is smaller than the square footage of the house at only 1900, lol!

    Twenty two years ago the house sold for the San Francisco bargain price of $575,000! Wow. Sounds so cheap now. I guess Danny Tanner really could have afforded it then, lol. He was a local TV show host, I believe, so likely making enough to actually own one of those houses.

    But did you see the crime stats? No thank you! Burglaries, shots being fired, thievery, arrests, stolen cars, etc. Between that and the close quarters, and 29K a year in property taxes, I think I’ll have to pass. 😉

  17. Did not disappoint–so bright and much larger than I imagined. The master would be uncomfortable though, facing the park across the street with crowds taking photos almost 24/7. Still, so nice to see the interior, thanks for finding this one!

  18. What a fabulous home! I so enjoyed this tour. I almost moved to SF right after I finished my school teaching stint in Bahrain. I was lucky enough to have the use of a friend’s huge apartment on Nob Hill for a month. I fell head over heels for the city, but went back to NYC to attend the New York School of Interior Design and after that I ended up in Houston. I have often thought what my life would have been like if I stayed in SF. All that charm!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  19. Marlene Stephenson says

    No,maybe i wouldn’t want to live there but,i love to tour old houses. The windows,transoms and fireplaces are so unusual and lovely. All the woodwork is “out of this world” for sure.lol Thanks Susan.

  20. Thanks for this lovely tour of a beautiful home! I have never been to Ca. so this was a treat. So much character in this house, love the stairway!

  21. Maravilloso reportaje de una de estas casas tan hermosas y famosas de San Francisco.
    Me encanta el estilo victoriano actual, muy propio de América…me fascina…Tiene un toque tan elegante y señorial que me atrae enormemente.
    Quisiera decir algo al respecto de su comentario sobre los colores de las fachadas que conservan los mismos a lo largo de tiempo.
    Yo vivo en Madrid, España, y la casa que fue de mi suegra tiene casi 100 años. Su fachada no se puede modificar en sus colores. Estas casas están catalogadas por el Ayuntamiento y siempre hay que pintar las fachadas y puertas y ventanas del mismo color. En este caso las ventanas en color verde inglés (oscuro) y la fachada color vainilla.
    Un maravilloso encuentro con su blog…precioso. Mil felicitaciones.
    Espero que pueda tener traductor ya que no sé escribir en inglés…sorry.
    Saludos cálidos

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Dolores. I used Google translate to read it, which works really well, so feel free to leave a comment any time. That is so interesting about your mother’s house and I’m guessing the Painted Ladies in San Francisco are under similar rules about the paint colors. Thanks for sharing about your Mom’s house! San Francisco is a fascinating city to visit. There’s so much to do and to see there. Hope you are able to visit it one day. I want to visit Spain one day, it’s on my list of places to see! 🙂

    • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

      Hola Dolores, espero que usted continuará para visitar el sitio de Susan. Es un lugar maravilloso para pasar un poco de tiempo, ver algunos hermosos lugares y conocer a gente encantadora. Susan es una maravillosa anfitriona. Ella siempre nos deslumbra con sus paisajes increíblemente creativos de mesa (todos los jueves) y igualmente fascinantes proyectos tienen casa (lunes) Y ella comparte libros sobre el diseño, la jardinería y la decoración de su extensa biblioteca personal, e incluso da nos une con la que comprar los libros , debemos elegir. Ella encuentra hermosas casas como ésta en San Franscisco nos tentar con, y ella siempre tiene un montón de cosas divertidas para compartir para las vacaciones. Ella incluso hace que las listas como “My Winter Lista de supervivencia” con los grandes productos que ella se basa en conseguir ella a través de inviernos fríos. (Susan no le gusta el frío, jeje) Dios mío, ella realmente hacer un gran trabajo con este sitio. Y ahora está a punto de embarcarse en una nueva aventura en el viaje y ella será la publicación de fotos y actualizaciones para todos nosotros para compartir sus hazañas. Por lo tanto, yo espero que ustedes hacen de este lugar una parada regular. Traiga una taza de café y relajarse.

  22. Another fun tour, thanks for sharing. I am in lovve with the transom in the dining room. I just have the strangest urge to watch Mrs. Doubtfire!

  23. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, you are everywhere! You know how you always call the paneling in your downstairs family room, Judge’s paneling? And I had said that I knew it as Linenfold paneling and hadn’t heard it referred to as Judge’s paneling. So tonight, (because I’m apparently crazy) I decided to find out if there is actually a difference between the two or if they are the same thing called by different names. So I duckduckgo-ed the question and along the top of the page are pictures of paneling and there’s one room I immediately honed in on, it was so warm and pretty and I thought, “Now that is a room I could live in!” … and then .. I recognized the fire screen. 😀 Yup, it was your room, lol. I am telling you, your stuff gets around. You are becoming world famous! Haha. But seriously, this is not the first time I went in search of something and the search led me right back to the porch. 😛

    • lol You may be seeing pics of my family room because Google probably knows you visit my blog. Sometimes if I Google something, I have to click on the little globe thing at the top right corner that says “hide private results.” Then Google shows me results completely neutral, not mostly results from sites I sometimes visit.

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

        But I didn’t google it! I never use google. I always use duckduckgo because they don’t track your every move, like google does. So even with this seemingly obscure little search engine, you are right there on the first page!! 😀 Haha. I love that.

  24. Isn’t this fabulous ? We have a ton of Victorian homes in Montreal ( my last home was one ! ) I love everything about them – and these ones include garages – what a bonus !
    Just gorgeous – thanks for sharing

  25. So pretty. But I wonder if the kitchen was updated or do you have to keep the inside a certain way without making it to modern

  26. Maryellen Riff says

    I would like to know how much one of the houses gos for? My niece lives in San Francisco, & publishs a news paper.

  27. What a great article – so interesting to see what the inside looks like. When I was around 16 or so it was my dream to live in a Painted Ladies house. I would print and cut out pictures of them and paste them into a ‘dream houses’ scrapbook I had, trying to decide which color was my favorite. I don’t know where I thought I’d get the several million dollars from, but it was nice to dream anyway 🙂 haha

Leave a Reply to Debbie Balsam Cancel reply