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:
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:
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.
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.
I would curl up on the comfy sofa with a great book, sipping Irish coffee brought to me by my staff.
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.
“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
Which better describes your feelings in the home?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?
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.
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 Café 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.