A fiery orange tepee and an electric classic sign light up a playroom, a living plant wall curtains over a freestanding tub and 60-year-old Monterey pines grow in a stylish living room. This house of wonders is not your ordinary homeowner’s house — it is the 2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase in an 8,000-square-foot Georgian mansion at San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood.
This year’s showcase highlights the talents of 27 designers in 24 individual display spaces. The chambers show off the designers’ abilities, pushing the limits and displaying their creativity. A gorgeous penthouse spa, a candy chocolatier’s lab and a tiny writer’s retreat are just a couple more things you’ll find behind this historical mansion’s doors. Here are a few of our favourite spaces from this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase.
2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase
Dates: April 27 to May 27
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to seven p.m.; Sunday and Memorial Day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: $30 general admission; $25 for seniors; available at the door or Internet
Playroom: “Danger Zone”
Designer: Martha Angus and Eche Martinez
Taking to heart the thought that each kid is a artist, Martha Angus and Eche Martinez turned among the home’s living rooms into an incredible playroom filled with fun and colour at each turn. A glowing orange baby alpaca tepee, foam-filled furniture out of Art Basel, a vintage sign above the fireplace and light fixtures made out of Kid Robot toys are lively elements that could work only in a bold room similar to this. Windows that had an unfortunate opinion were covered up with stick-on displays. A box filled with fake dynamite adds one final over-the-top twist.
Faux bois painting: Katherine Jacobus; window treatments: inkjet print on vinyl, Quick Signs; sconces: custom, Martha Angus and Eche Martinez, Urban Electric; chairs, stools: Maarten de Ceulaer, Industry Gallery; artwork above fireplace: Charles James Gallery
Designer: Heather Hilliard
The first oak paneling and herringbone flooring help warm up Heather Hilliard’s bold black and white design for this dining room. A hand-rolled porcelain chandelier catches the eye and provides a gentle touch to the area’s picture lines. Cardboard sculptures by Ann Weber complement Hilliard’s custom treatment on the walls above the pine panels.
Pendant: Bocci; seat fabric: Christian Fischbacher; lamp: Habité LA; seat fabric: Holland & Sherry; andirons: Tuell + Reynolds; sconces: Soane Britain; chairs, table, console: custom
Master Toilet: “A Sacred Space to Bathe”
Designer: Síol Studios
A living wall at the home bathroom — which Kevin Hackett and Jessica Weigley designed as a “healing wall” — retains a lush range of blossoms, geraniums and mosses. A watering system trickles down the wall to maintain the fragrant bursts of lavender and mint fresh.
Designer: Alison Davin, Jute Style
The house used for this year’s display was built from the early 19th century, so the kitchen is tucked to the back and beneath each of the principal rooms. Since this isn’t how folks live today, designer Alison Davin aimed to create a space that a family would love to assemble in. Beams, herringbone floors, a fireplace and other architectural elements make this kitchen feel like a comfy and natural expansion of another living spaces. Dark navy cabinets offer unexpected contrast to the beech counter tops. Terra-cotta tile in Ann Sacks adds a more contemporary element on the counter tops.
Wall paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore; trim paint: Simply White, Benjamin Moore; cabinetry paint: Midnight Blue, Benjamin Moore; window treatments: Osborne & Little; sconces: Urban Electric; pendants: Remains; tile: Ann Sacks; artwork: Serena Bocchino
Designer: Matthew Leverone
Potted 60-year-old Monterey pines create a dramatic statement in this otherwise calm and gathered space. Layers of textures in the velvet sofa, hand-knotted Moroccan rug, silk cushions and leather seat make the glowing space feel soft and warm. The Monterey pines, planted in cement planters, make the space feel a part of this garden just outside.
Sconce: Jonathan Browning; all of furniture: custom designed by Leverone Design; rug: vintage
Designer: Catherine Kwong
The striking floor at the home’s main living room — inspired by Cy Twombly’s iconic function — sets the scene for this easy and elegant space. Stancil Studios covered the ground in a rich navy with bold, sporadic white brushstrokes topped with a transparent varnish. Designer Catherine Kwong kept the rest of the room cool and easy to draw attention to the ground. The first ceiling keeps architectural interest, while the slightly feminine but contemporary furniture adds to the area’s understated advantage.
Fringe lights: vintage, Mario YagI; black and white photograph: Henry Leutwyler; window treatments: Georgina Rice; paint: Pratt & Lambert
Designer: Kriste Michelini
Working together with the complex slanted ceiling inside this area was not simple, but by having a white foundation for her colour palette, designer Kriste Michelini made extra visual space. White grass cloth walls by Phillip Jeffries and a whitewashed floor blur the borders between the two surfaces and reflect the minimal all-natural light coming from the single window. The built-in platform bed with colorful customized cushions stands out from eclectic wallpaper from Elitis.
Pendant: Alabax, Schoolhouse Electric; skull: Ashley Tudor; wallpaper: Brit Pop, Elitis; table lamp: Barbara Barry, Baker; runner: DwellStudio; cushions: custom and Caitlin Wilson; desk, seat: Ironies
Designers: Willem Racké and Emilie Munroe
Although designers Willem Racké and Emilie Munroe understood the mirrors covering the walls of the bathroom had to go, they didn’t want to deal with the mess and chaos that would include a demolition. So Racké painted large parts of canvas in his studio and had them applied to the mirrored walls, leaving a few select spots available for flashes of mirror. Munro worked together with local company Dogfork Lamp Arts to look the chandelier. From the hallway looking in, each light looks like a bubble floating in the atmosphere.
Chair: Coup d’Etat; accessories: Sue Fisher King; carpet: Flor
Teen Girl’s Room
Designer: Applegate Tran Interiors
Designer Gioi Tran made this room with a specific character in mind: an artistic teenage girl rebelling from a beauty-queen mother. The bold room carries an edgy approach to normal “princess” decor. A map of London on the ceiling inspires dreams of traveling, faux-finished walls add abstract colour and a customized mattress is wrapped with string.
Desk, nightstands, bed, dog bed, desk stool: Applegate Tran Furniture; couch chair, nightstand lamps: Coup d’Etat; headboard fabric: Elitis; mattress linens: Kearsley; accessories: Paxton Gate; decorative painting: Willem Racké; floor tiles: Armin Maier
Designer: Shelley Cahan
Just within the teenage girl’s room (previous photograph), designer Shelley Cahan used a mix of vintage and contemporary elements to create a lively dressing room. Kravet geometric wallpaper came first, dictating the rest of the plan. A Sozo Studio custom closet system is covered in herringbone fabric with a laminate finish for additional visual texture. A vintage-inspired light from Arteriors pays tribute to the home’s authentic style.
Artwork: Lost Art Salon; seat, side table: Ironies
Maker’s Mark Retreat
Designer: Kelly Hohla, Jeffers Design Group
A mix of materials marks this room, designed as a joint study. Beginning with a custom wood credenza by New York artist Michael Coffey, designer Kelly Hohla used amazing Holland & Sherry fabrics and a gorgeous machine-cut hide wall by Kyle Bunting to add subtle texture. The area combines vintage and contemporary, and feminine and masculine, elements to create an inspirational workspace.
Wools, linens: Holland & Sherry; vintage chairs: Coup d’Etat; hide and hair wall: Kyle Bunting; credenza: Michael Coffey; lamps: Herve van der Straeten
Garden Courtyard: “Birds of Prey”
Designer: Davis Dalbok and Brandon Pruett, Living Green
Using artwork outdoors is surprising, but that’s often what makes a courtyard work. Davis Dalbok and Brandon Pruett of Living Green worked with Jane Richardson Mack to put six pieces of an antique Japanese screen in silver-leafed glass, shown here at the top right of this photograph. The images of Asian birds of prey on the displays helped create the frame for the rest of the garden.
There was minimal planting space in the courtyard, therefore Dalbok and Pruett used all of the vertical space they could. Each living wall explodes with conifers, maples, mosses, collectible Japanese maples and uncommon tiny baobab-type trees. Dyeing the gray concrete with a warmer terra-cotta colour made the patio feel more industrial and more natural.
Felted marble planter: Luciano Tempo; cement planter: Kimberlee Keswick; artwork installation: Jane Richardson-Mack; living walls system: Flora Felt; chairs: Michael Taylor
Master Living Room
Designer : Zoe Hsu
Before she had claimed her room from the showhouse, designer Zoe Hsu desired to use this gemsbok horn chandelier in her design. The piece includes a primitive look that complements the Schumacher snakeskin wallpaper in this sitting room. The space is created for someone to transition from getting ready in the morning at the vanity at the corner enjoying a glass of wine at nighttime in front of the fireplace.
Chandelier: Coup d’Etat; wallpaper: Schumacher; ottoman: custom; mirror, sconces: Ironies; fireplace rock: All Natural Stone
Designer: Philip Silver
Designer Philip Silver uses an Eastern philosophy in his interior designs; no major piece of furniture sits against a wall. Rather the mattress’s lavish headboard and a silver screen form a passageway in the spacious bedroom to the adjoining master bath. Holland & Sherry fabrics and plush Michaelian & Kohlberg rugs make for a soft and sumptuous sleeping area.
Bed linens: Frette; unwanted tables: Gary Hutton; dividers: Hartmann & Forbes; glass lamps: Jan Showers; mirror screen: Niermann Weeks; mattress suite: Ted Boerner
Designer: Antonio Martins
Designer Antonio Martins turned into this upstairs corner right to an elegant take on a guy cave. Martins watched the owner of the house for a lover and collector of antiques — especially old tools. A wall covered with old carpenter planes and boxes filled with classic tools only hint at the start of the collection. Fundamental materials help to maintain the upgraded man-cave vibe. The walls are upholstered with burlap, and the wood-framed floors are inlaid with metal tiles.
Woodwork: Fabian Fine Furniture; acacia bookshelf lamp: Fuse Lighting; seat: Phoenix, Johanna Spilman; burlap installment: Troy H Maher Wallcovering
Designer: Jaimie Belew
Inspired by Alexander McQueen and the San Francisco ballet, designer Jaimie Belew created a magical drawing space to stoke imagination. Toning down ballet’s typical pink into a warm gleam, Belew custom designed a desk with acrylic drawer fronts and a bronze glass top. Luminescent trim adds an extra glow. Linen-upholstered walls (which also serve as built-in bulletin boards) and parquet marble floors add welcome all-natural touches.
Designer: Kelley Flynn
The design of the black and white fabric wall covering emulates the crown shape of this chandelier. Along with the upholstered walls, a wallpapered ceiling and a mosaic marble floor emanate restrained luxury in this powder room. A hand-forged table by Shawn Lovell Metalworks provides a fairly shelf in a small space.
Chandelier: Julie Neill; wall fabric: Fern Tree, Schumacher’s Kelly Wearstler collection; absolute window covering: Great Plains; wallpaper: Sloane Stripe, Ralph Lauren; floors: tile, Artistic Tile
Penthouse Retreat and Terrace
Designer: Karen Villanueva
Designer Karen Villanueva began her penthouse design together with the stunning city view as inspiration. Bringing in natural elements, soft palate grays and natural tones helped develop a calming region that’s ideal to a spa break. Two massage tables fit perfectly, but they can fold up easily to create room for yoga and meditation.
Guest Bathroom: “Elysium”
Designer: Alfredo Gregory
To create a toilet free of constraints, designer Alfredo Gregory removed as many walls as possible. The consequent open-concept area was created so that every item can get moist. Unlike paint, cement walls and a weathered plaster ceiling will not peel or fade with time. Encaustic cement floor tile out of Waterworks is crackproof. Gregory also custom designed a cement sink, a light fixture and a contemporary toilet to complete the room.
Designer: Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt
This narrow space between the kitchen and the main hall was once a butler’s pantry, attached to the main dining room through a swinging door. Inspired by her family’s love of cooking and producing candies, designer Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt created a chocolatier’s lab. Custom cantilevered glass shelving holds equipment for distilling syrups and sugars. Gray cabinetry and durable hardware contrast with the cool white Calacatta marble counter.
Shelves, window: Bonny Doon Art Glass; Granite: Brown Felicetta; fabric: Coraggio; hardware: EM Hundley; marble: IRG; Paint: Pratt & Lambert; carpet: Stark
The 2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs April 27 to May 27. More information