Thursday, June 4, 2009

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2009 – Part V



Photo courtesy Heather Hilliard

Some of you wondered how I acquired the photos of the last four posts on the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The Showcase staff was checking cameras at the entrance but when I explained that I was a blogger and planned to feature some of the designers, they graciously allowed me to keep my camera. Unfortunately, before I was finished touring the second level, my camera was unceremoniously confiscated. I am truly grateful for the photos I was allowed to take but at the same time I was sad that I did not have it for the penthouse and roof garden.


Photo courtesy Heather Hilliard

When I first turned the corner from the narrow staircase, I saw a warm and comfortable room bathed in natural light spilling from the picture window.

And when I say picture window, I mean PICTURE WINDOW:


Photo courtesy Heather Hilliard

If you look closely through the window, you will see the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in the fog. But that was not what we saw that day. These photos came courtesy the designer Heather Hilliard and were taken a different day. On this day we saw this:


Photo courtesy Stephanie

Can you believe this view? Can you believe that ribbon of fog across the Golden Gate Bridge, modestly revealing only her tower tips and legs? And if you follow that ribbon, you will see that it obscures most of Sausalito across the San Francisco Bay, but leaves the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts untouched.


Photo courtesy Stephanie

It is days like these that make me feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world.

My daughter may never emerge from the girly bedroom and bathroom, but if I lived in this house, I may never emerge from the penthouse. Heather Hilliard struck a perfectly understated note with comfortable neutrals and gentle pops of color echoing the view: blues from the bay waters and International Orange, the Golden Gate Bridge’s paint color.


Photo courtesy Heather Hilliard


I would curl up on the comfy sofa with a great book, sipping Irish coffee brought to me by my staff.


Photo courtesy Heather Hilliard

I wouldn’t even have to worry about leaving a ring on the coffee table because the cool plexiglass tables are protecting the pretty hassocks beneath them. Or I would blog about my perfect life filled with Dutch tulips and Tony Bennett softly crooning “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” on the stereo.


Photo courtesy Heather Hilliard

“SNAP!” Back to reality, please.

Oh yes, where was I? I was giving you a tour of this fabulous house, but now I have no more photos. I can not show you the roof garden that encircles the penthouse providing a view in every direction. Nor can I show you the myriad of geometric patterns created here with succulent plants. I can not show you the fourth level of this house, the lower level, where:
  • the walk-in safe has been re-purposed as the wine cellar
  • you can sip cucumber water in the zen-like yoga studio
  • your kids can dump, er I mean neatly place, their sports equipment in the, well, sports equipment room
  • the bathroom will play your favorite playlist of songs as soon as you close the door and you can gaze at the ceiling of celestial lights
Ramsey, of FogBay, asked an interesting question in a comment in Part II of this mini-series.
Which better describes your feelings in the home?
A. Lovely, I could move in here tomorrow.
B. The designers are showing off, I could live here but I'd have to completely remodel.
C. Other
The house, for the most part, has a great layout, especially considering its age. It exudes a warm and alive feeling. I was not surprised to read that Nellie Norris Cravens and her family, who lived in the mansion for 27 years, “used every room, every closet, every space.” As is often the case with these showcase houses, the designers are alleviated from the pressures of reality; I do not recall seeing one TV or computer. The decorations were not all my style, sometimes a bit too “drippy” with luxury or too avant-garde for my taste, but some of the rooms, like the family room and breakfast areas, I wanted to transport directly into my house. And you already know how I feel about the penthouse. How about you? How would you answer Ramsey’s question?

I overheard someone say that the house was for sale for $14 million. When I googled the address, it said it was on the market for a mere $10 million. Just think, you save $4 million! Please buy it and then invite me. I will bring Irish coffee for everyone, straight from its birthplace, The Buena Vista CafĂ© in Fisherman’s Wharf. I won’t stay long, honest!

Stephanie, thank you for capturing the view with your photos! Thank you for inviting me to your birthday celebration; touring the Decorator Showcase was a great idea! We all had a fantastic day.

DSC05797 Happy Birthday Stephanie

Monday, June 1, 2009

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2009 - Part IV

Did you have a good time riding up and down the elevator  from my last post about the San Francisco Decorator Showcase? It’s time to continue the tour of the second level. 
The Teenage Daughter’s Bedroom is right behind the elevator. My teenage daughter would kill for this room designed by Palmer Weiss. With a room like this, she may never emerge. She would love the girly but not sugary colors:
DSC05764 SF Decorator Showcase Teenage Daughter's Room

She would be crazy for this luxurious canopy:
DSC05775 SF Decorator Showcase Teenage Daughter's Room
 … the great fabric choices and the beautiful Parisian color photograph:
DSC05765 SF Decorator Showcase Teenage Daughter's Room

 She would love spending hours putting on her make up and blow drying her hair in Nancy Van Natta’s bathroom.
DSC05773 SF Decorator Showcase Teenage Girl's <st1:city w:st=
On the other side of the elevator is the guest room. Sorry, I don’t have any photos of this room, but I did photograph the adjoining Guest Bath, designed by Lynn Amon. It is sheer elegance with the fancy carved wooden Chinoiserie mirror and light fixture that looks like a sea urchin but is reminiscent of a Chinese lantern .
On the other side of the elevator is the guest room. Sorry, I don’t have any photos of this room, but I did photograph the adjoining Guest Bath, designed by Lynn Amon. It is sheer elegance with the fancy carved wooden Chinoiserie mirror and light fixture that looks like a sea urchin but is reminiscent of a Chinese lantern .
  DSC05758 SF Decorator Showcase Guest Bath
Everyone loved the wallpaper and I heard a couple of people talk about how impractical it was to have fabric wallpaper in a bathroom. When I read the information book, I learned that this is not wallpaper but stenciled orchids that were then over-painted for a faux-linen finish. Amazing. 
DSC05759 SF Decorator Showcase guest bath wallpaper
 Now come down the hallway to the Master Bedroom. Cecilie Starin designed a luxurious retreat of elegance. A giant Chinese screen lined the wall behind the four-poster bed:
 DSC05786 SF Decorator Showcase Master Bedroom
 An intricate Chinoiserie mirror hangs over a perfectly accessorized tabletop:
 DSC05789 SF Decorator Showcase Master Bedroom
The opalescent hemp-sheathed antique-silver wall covering was just the right amount of bling without competing with the beautiful antiques in the room.
Directly next-door is His Sitting Room. Scheiber Design Group did a magnificent job in creating a space for the man of the house. The room has a classic streamlined style without the “hands-off” fussy feeling that the more formal rooms in the house possess.

 DSC05791 SF Decorator Showcase His Sitting Room

DSC05792 SF Decorator Showcase His Sitting Room
That’s all for today; next time we visit the penthouse and roof garden.
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