Showing posts with label interior design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interior design. Show all posts

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 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.

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.

Friday, May 29, 2009

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2009 - Part III

DSC05702 SF Designer Showcase 2009 cabinet of curiosities

Please follow the lady in blue upstairs as we continue our tour of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase a fundraiser benefiting San Francisco University High School financial aid program. In place of a chandelier is a giant hanging garden created by artist Yedda Morrison:

DSC05745 SF Decorator Showcase staircase flowers


The everlasting silk blooms reach all the way to the top of the stairwell: 


DSC05746 SF Decorator Showcase staircase flowers


Designer Nicole Hollis continued the taxidermy theme, started with her cabinet of curiosities in the entry hall, with this display of butterflies and other insects:


DSC05747 SF Decorator Showcase staircase

On the other hand, we could have taken the elevator instead which, believe it or not, is vintage 1910, original to the house, along with other cutting edge conveniences of the day like the laundry and trash chutes.

This wondrous little jewel box is decorated with verre églomisé walls by artist-designer Jane Richardson-Mack. 


DSC05756 SF Decorator Showcase Elevator


At the top of the staircase, Gale Melton made great use of the existing shelving and storage to create this gift wrap closet:


 DSC05781 SF Decorator Showcase Giftwrap Closet


She ingeniously used gift wrap paper for the wall covering…


DSC05753 SF Decorator Showcase giftwrap closet


…and conveniently displayed all the tools for the task out in the open:


DSC05752 SF Decorator Showcase giftwrap closet 


Directly across the hall is the Puppet Theater by Jurow Design Associates:


DSC05782 SF Decorator Showcase Puppet Theater


I especially like the men’s newsprint suit:



 DSC05783 SF Decorator Showcase Puppet Theater


How nice it must be to have sufficient closet space to dedicate one entirely to whimsy and fantasy.


Please enjoy the puppet show, wrap a few gifts, or take that beautiful elevator for a joy ride while I prepare the next post.  We will actually enter the rooms of the second level next time.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2009 - Part II

DSC05724 Kate Michels
Landscape designer Kate Michels.  Bench by Terra Teak, Mill Valley

Today we will continue our tour of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase on 2830 Pacific Avenue. A Georgian-style mansion was built in 1910, shortly after the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906.

Immediately outside the kitchen, the chef has access to a lovely enclosed herb garden on the breakfast terrace designed by Kate Michels Landscape Design

DSC05723 Kate Michels

Imagine eating an omelet seasoned with fresh herbs from this attractive kitchen garden

DSC05717 SF Designer Showcase kitchen garden

DSC05720 SF Decorator Showcase kitchen garden

Care for a side salad of baby lettuce and edible flowers harvested right here?

DSC05714 baby lettuce bowl
Cement container by Studio Replica

DSC05718 Viola tag

The wooden paneled gate leads into the formal rose garden designed for relaxation or entertaining. In the opening photo, Kate Michels is seated on a classic bench, a reproduction of the bench designed in 1902 by renowned English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Michels chose beautiful and practical, low-maintenance plants. The white iceberg roses, so well suited for this climate, will bloom profusely throughout the summer. This boxwood grows naturally in a round form; no trimming required.

DSC05728 Buxus semperviren 'Globe'
Buxus semperviren 'Globe'

Orlando Diaz-Azcuy designed this gorgeous patio furniture for McGuire.

McGuire Portico Teak by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy. Photo by Kate Michels.

Diaz-Azcuy also designed the dining room, just inside the French doors.

DSC05732 SF Decorator Showcase dining room

This arrangement of white roses ties the dining room and living room together perfectly.

DSC05731 SF Decorator Showcase white roses


The living room , designed by Myra Hoefer, is meant to be “meditative and inward …for a quiet cocktail after a hurried city day…”

DSC05733 SF Decorator Showcase living room

DSC05734 SF Decorator Showcase living room sofa

“…containing a few modern elements of surprise…”

DSC05735 SF Decorator Showcase living room chairs

DSC05736 SF Decorator Showcase living room chair detail

Down the hallway, The Classic Powder Room Revisited by Marsh & Clark Design combines classic and modern details in a beautiful shade of blue…

DSC05739 SF Decorator Showcase light blue powder room

…with a mosaic tile floor hand-cut and set by Pippa Murray Mosaic


DSC05738 SF Decorator Showcase blue powder room

…and rich Venetian plastering treatment on the walls by Olea Plastering

DSC05740 SF Decorator Showcase blue bathroom walls

This completes the tour of the entry level. Get ready to climb the stairs to the second level next time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2009 – Part I


House sketch: Clay Seibert, Image from: Decorator Showcase

My friend Stephanie invited me to a lovely birthday celebration last week. She kick started the festivities at her home where she served the most delicious continental breakfast of New Orleans iced coffee and fresh blueberry muffins baked by her daughter.

We then all drove to San Francisco to see this year’s Decorator Showcase, a fundraising event benefiting the San Francisco University High School financial aid program. This year’s house is a brick mansion designed by architect Nathanial “Nat” Blaisdell and built in 1910. The four-story house is on the crest of Pacific Avenue in the heart of the tony part of town called Pacific Heights.

For the entry, Nicole Hollis chose a beautiful grey cabinet of curiosities, giving homage to the popular hobby of collecting in the homes of royalty and aristocrats since the 16th century. Hollis encourages you to “press your nose to the glass, or reach out and touch” and hopes that this will spark “enough inspiration to continue to preserve them for future generations.”

DSC05702 SF Designer Showcase 2009 cabinet of curiosities

Taxidermy specimens, featured throughout the house, created a running conversation amongst many of the attendees.

The architectural details of the entry immediately reveals that the Georgian-style architecture is consistent throughout the house:

DSC05706 2830 Pacific Avenue entry columns

The first room we entered was the family room. We all chuckled that this room is not for a family with young children with Nutella fingers. Having said that, I thought the room was very chic and comfortable with a beautiful relaxing palette of wheat, straw and wood. The designer of the room, Leverone Design, Inc., describes the room as a nest, an “invitation to lounge, play games, or enjoy a casual meal – a place to reconnect with friends and family.”

DSC05705 SF Decorator Showcase 2009 Family Room

This cabinet would be perfect to store Monopoly, Scrabble, and jigsaw puzzles:

DSC05707 SF Decorator showcase family room

Leverone Design also designed the lovely timeless breakfast room:

DSC05708 SF Decorator Showcase breakfast room drumlight

Everyone went gaga over the Aqua Creations light fixture J. Weiss Design selected for the kitchen:

DSC05710 SF Decorator Showcase kitchen

DSC05711 SF Decorator Showcase kitchen light

Though the kitchen was remodeled from a series of small rooms to a more spacious layout, it has not lost its old-world feel. J. Weiss Design’s selection of the classic-looking backsplash by Heath Ceramics, designed and manufactured just across the bay in Sausalito, was perfect.

DSC05712 SF decorator showcase stove and backsplash

That’s all for today; next time we will visit the rest of the entry level. If you must peek ahead, you can visit the Flickr set here.

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