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Post image for Fannie Allen brings her knowledge of art to her work as an interior designer

We were at Atherton resident Fannie Allen’s home to talk about her work as an interior designer. But we immediately got sidetracked by Delilah, a nude sculpture made entirely from typewriter parts by Bay Area artist Jeremy Mayer.

“He’s fascinated by anatomy” Fannie explained. “His studio is filled with anatomy photos and typewriter parts. He won’t take apart a valuable, working typewriter, just discarded ones. He’s featured in a documentary, California Typewriter, about one of the last typewriter repair shops in America.”

Art, we found out, has long been part of Fannie’s life and remains central to her work as an interior designer.

“I grew up in an art-infused house,” she says. “My mother had studied art history, and our dearest friends were art historians.

“But while I was in high school [in Richmond,VA], I flipped the other way and got into computers, science and math, and did programming. And I pursued a career in tech, even though I was an art history major at Stanford.”

A mother of three, she stopped working when her children were young and backed into being an interior designer. “Friends liked what I was doing in my house and would ask me to help them,” she said.

In her work, she’s long been curious why clients are slow to warm to the idea of buying art, which led her to write a blog on the topic. “It’s not about the money,” she said. “People can spend $5,000 on a chair but won’t spend half that to buy a canvas.

“People who haven’t bought art before feel they aren’t educated enough. Is that good art? Will I like it in two years? I try to help them over that stumbling block.”

For both her clients and her own purchases, Fannie patronizes emerging and local artists as much as possible. “For me to like a piece of art, it helps to understand what the artist is doing. When you buy locally, you get to know the artist. I love to go to their studio and see them work.”

Photo by Robb Most

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Madeline Jhawar helps clients discover “Italy beyond the obvious”

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For Canadian-born Madeline Jhawar, it seems all roads lead to Italy. She spent a year there in high school as an AFS student, later lived there for five years, and worked for Butterfield & Robinson as a hiking and biking guide. For awhile she abandoned Italy for the semiconductor industry, doing the job but not loving it. […]

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Ashley Hunter will help you get your [you-know-what] together

Thumbnail image for Ashley Hunter will help you get your [you-know-what] together

We need to get one thing out in the open straight away. When Ashley Hunter told us her latest endeavor involved offering project management services, we could only chuckle. The reason: Ashley is a super multi-tasker. We first met the Menlo Park mother of four, who’s children range in age from six to 14, when she founded The […]

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GeoHazards International interns zero in on hill city schools in India

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UC-Berkeley students interning with Menlo Park-based GeoHazards International recently finished fieldwork — miles of stair climbing included — in a dense city on steep ridges. Their task was to survey structural and landslide vulnerabilities at schools — and the experience was anything but textbook. Aizawl, India is home to active earthquake faults, frequent landslides, and more than 300,000 […]

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TechShop celebrates its 10th anniversary today – and it all began in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for TechShop celebrates its 10th anniversary today – and it all began in Menlo Park

TechShop founder Jim Newton emailed: “Today TechShop is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and what a journey it has been! Ten years ago, TechShop Menlo Park opened with largely volunteer support from soon-to-be members and adorned by a sign hand made by my mother. “Today, we have nine locations in the U.S., three overseas, and more […]

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Spotted: Familiar face in a new space

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It was a very short distance for DJ’s Hair Design to move to its new location at 814 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park, from its former home on Oak Grove Avenue. “DJ’s has been a thriving business in Menlo Park for more than 30 years, and I’ve owned it for over 23 years,” said Eric […]

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Community invited to Menlo Park Kiwanis Club May lunches featuring a variety of speakers

Thumbnail image for Community invited to Menlo Park Kiwanis Club May lunches featuring a variety of speakers

Guest speakers at Menlo Park Kiwanis Club meetings in May will touch on a variety of subjects — police and the media, challenges facing the California legislature, how San Mateo County’s Harbor District benefits residents, and planting trees at local schools and in neighborhoods. The Kiwanis Club will also award its annual scholarships to graduating […]

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Four-hour shutdown planned for Menlo Park water system maintenance overnight May 1

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On Sunday, May 1, 2016, from 2:00-6:00 am, the Menlo Park Municipal Water District plans a shutdown of the Burgess Park pressure regulator valve. This after-hours work schedule will minimize the impacts of low water pressure to customers. The valve regulates the water pressure for the district’s lower zone, an area between Alma Street and […]

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Angel Heart Cakes morphs into Eva Sweets on December 1st with open house

Thumbnail image for Angel Heart Cakes morphs into Eva Sweets on December 1st with open house

There’s a changing of the guard at Angel Food Cakes, the bakery started by Menlo Park residents Debbie Humphreys (left) and Chris Rivera (right) who were first profiled on InMenlo in 2010. They’ve sold their Marsh Manor bakery to Tal Waizer (center), who will be taking over on December 1. All three will be on hand that […]

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M-A grad Beth Bonora works on civil and criminal cases as a trial consultant

Thumbnail image for M-A grad Beth Bonora works on civil and criminal cases as a trial consultant

When Menlo Park resident Beth Bonora graduated from Cal in 1970, her profession didn’t exist. Today, her trial consultancy and research firm, Bonora Rountree, is one of the most respected in the country, handling both criminal and civil cases. The story of how she came to establish the field involves one of the most dramatic events of […]

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Margie Kriebel’s passion for food and cooking leads to career as personal chef

Thumbnail image for Margie Kriebel’s passion for food and cooking leads to career as personal chef

Menlo-Atherton High School grad Margie Ragland Kreibel’s career path post college was not unusual — time spent in public policy for the City of Palo Alto and then sales and marketing at Apple and other tech companies. But then she had an “a-ha” moment. “I thought, ‘I’ve been doing this for over 20 years,’” she […]

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