Saturday, May 25, 2013

BEAUTY: Interiors--San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2013

In recognition of World Interiors Day, I am featuring outstanding work by current interior designers.

I attended this year's San Francisco Decorator's Showcase a few weeks ago, and the house this year is the old Herbst Manor, a Georgian style home built in 1899. Prior years have seen some amazing, flashy designs but this year felt restrained, subdued. I am not sure if it is the tone of the world, the texture of society, or the continuing economic crunch--or all of the above--that contributed to this sense. Don't misunderstand, the designs were lovely and imaginative, but something about the house, taken as a whole, felt neutral... Yet there were still some standout spaces.

Below is Matthew Leverone's Salon, one of the first rooms one sees after entering. The detailed, ornate molding in this room was a perfect foil for the sleek modern pieces, juxtaposed with two large potted pine trees. I like the deliberately blurry photo of an Old Dutch Master image over the fireplace filled with the sawn ends of logs.

Catherine Kwong's inspiration for the Living Room was a Cy Twombly painting, which she translated into expressive and expansive dripping white strokes on the ebonized floor .

The dining room was a study in bleached pine, white, putty, parchment, and taupe. It doesn't come through too well in the photo, but the textures in this room put this fantastic but understated design over the top (click the picture to see details). The perfect finishing touch: the hand painted wallpaper between the lower crown molding and the coffered ceiling.

Martha Angus and Eche Martinez created a fun, witty playroom for kids and adults alike which they dubbed "The Danger Zone."Again, the modern sensibility is a delicious contrast to the woodwork in the room. The bubble furniture begs to be touched and bounced on. And yes, that is a crate of stacked dynamite in the fireplace (!).

This living wall in the Master Bathroom by Siol Studios was stunning. The free-standing shower, enclosed by sliding modern lattice garden gates, in front of the tub was quite special as well...

The dark, moody, sultry Master Sitting Room by Zoe Hsu featured a wild lighting fixture of Gemsbok horns.The space is clean-lined yet luxurious.

One of the most striking features in the entire home was the relief map (yes, actually raised, with texture) of London on the ceiling of the Teenage Girl's Bedroom, designed by Applegate Tran (they also designed the tentacled ceiling light fixture that sprawls across the City). They took their fictitious client and fleshed her out so completely with a space that was part pinky-cute-girl, and part rip-it-up-I-don't care-punk that I felt the girl herself could walk in at any moment and scream at me to get out!

And finally, Phillip Silver of Bigelow + Silver assembled a richly textured yet calming neutral Master Suite. I noted the marvelous long silver leafed canvases lit with picture lights flanking the fireplace. They are a beautiful backdrop to the sky blue vases on acrylic stands. Very simple but very effective.

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