Icons of Design at Millennium Tower
millennium tower
Millennium Tower at Mission and Fremont, San Francisco

For decades the San Francisco Decorator Showcase has reigned supreme. But this year San Franciscans have had a few additional opportunities to see Bay Area designers flex their creative muscles and also illusroberttrate a more modern side of interior design.

During the Summer we all enjoyed the “Modern by Design” showcase sponsored by Metropolitan Home at 2201 Baker Street and “Design Above All” at One Rincon Hill, which we covered here. And in the Fall, Millennium Tower’s “Icons of Design” showcased four condominiums which exemplified high-rise living at its most elegant.

Designer Claudia Juestel toured the showcase, and came back with her ever-insightful perspective on what was presented.

Master Bedroom in Residence 52C by De Sousa Hughes
( Photo by Matthew Millman )

An “Alien” Shagreen desk by Sylvan SF, “Wainscot” wing chair and “Morgan” chair by Victoria Hagan, “Axel” bench by Jean De Merry, “Mayan Stem” floor lamp by Orestes Suarez, “Yves” floor lamp by Mattaliano, custom coverlet designed by De Sousa Hughes, fabricated by Susan Chastain, all available at De Sousa Hughes, turn-of-the-century Gueridon tables from Candace Barnes Antiques, “Sparkle n Shine”, 2008 painting by Deborah Orapallo, available at Baxter & Cook Art Advisors, accessories from Lost Art Salon, bedding and faux chinchilla throw from Sue Fisher King

The Millennium Tower is considered one of San Francisco’s most luxurious high-rise apartment buildings. The project garnered a lot of attention recently when Tom Perkins purchased the Grand Penthouse A on the 60th floor, paying a reported $9.35 million for a mere shell. Mr. Perkins’ real estate agent said that her client, after a long search for the perfect pied de terre, eventually chose the Millennium penthouse because the building was superior to anything else available: the unit had a 600+ square foot deck, and it was completely customizable, as it was delivered as a shell.

This project would have certainly been a coup for any local interior designer, but the coveted job went to Ken Freivokh Design in the UK who had previously designed the legendary venture capitalist’s sailing yacht the Maltese Falcon.

I had the pleasure of a private tour given by Mr. Perkins one evening with a friend, and he showed us how it will be all laid out. I learned that the 4,750 square foot penthouse will receive unique details such as an interior jungle and orchid garden, with massive statues on the expansive deck. I am certain it will be one of the most amazing pied de terres in San Francisco.

Living Room by Scheiber Design Group in Residence 52A

“Fritz” chair by Scheiber Design Group, Ceramic “Pentagon” stool by Kim Yik Yung, available at Tansu Design, Indonesian “Cone” woven baskets from A. Rudin

Both penthouses on the 60th floor may be taken, but the 52nd floor has four grand residences available, affording almost equally stunning views and having been elegantly transformed by some of San Francisco’s most talented interior designers and architects. Unlike the “Design Above All” showcase, where four designers decorated an apartment each, more twenty nine designers participated the “Icons of Design” showcase. Styles are mostly modern with occasional traditional detailing sprinkled in.

Immediately upon exiting the elevator one realizes that this is not your average floor of any apartment building. Public areas outside condos are more often than not very bare spaces without personality; not here.

Decorative artist and showcase veteran Katherine Jacobus collaborated with interior designer Chantal Lamberto to soften the feeling of the elevator lobby and to remove its sterility. Katherine created four mural-like paintings inspired by 19th century French wallpapers that were intended to take visitors into another place, which perfectly compliments the vignette by Chantal and making it feel more like a private entry.

Parson’s Console by West Elm, antique gilded mirror from the collection of Chantal Lamberto, painting by Katherine Jacobus (Photo courtesy of Katherine Jacobus)

Annette Schutz and James Bacchi of ArtHaus made a bold statement by creating an urban-inspired gallery throughout the halls for their stable of contemporary artists. Work ranges from colorful music-inspired canvases by Serena Bocchino, over tonalist cityscapes with heavy palette work by Carolyn Meyer, to minimalist bronzes by John Christensen.

Installation by Arthaus in Foyer

“Even the Rocks Will Cry Out” oil & poured enamel on canvas, “Fourteen Words” bronze sculpture by John Christensen, all available through Arthaus, “Irish George” console in hand-carved pine with graphite finish and chartreuse lacquer top by William Switzer

Residence 52A
2,706 square feet
Asking price: $3,695.00 unfurnished

Annette Zavala and Billy Lynam of the Scheiber Design Group wanted a warm, uplifting and saturated ambience, and they started their design with the wall color, “Babouche” by Farrow & Ball, in contrast to a neutral palette. They used an eclectic mix of new and old furnishings, with clean and modern, as well as organic lines, and they added a tribal feel with pillows in African mud cloth and geometric fabric by Alan Cambell, a shield-like mirror, and exotic baskets and sculptural elements.

Living Room in Residence 52A by Scheiber Design Group

“Fusion” wall covering by Elitis and floor lamps, all available at Donghia, ceramic stools by Kim Yik Yung, available at Tansu Design, “Lucy” sectional sofa and “Fritz” chairs by Scheiber Design Group, hemp area rug by Aga John Oriental Rugs, “Honeycomb” convex mirror by Sylvan available at De Sousa Hughes, black Murano glass candle sticks from Living Green

Reba Jones of Butler Armsden Architects turned the dining room into a library for the future. Against expectation Reba used minimal Lucite shelving for a lighter look, as most literature, family photos, and media would be accessed via a computer. A SIM2 projector shows images and literature on the wall, freeing this 21st century room of clutter. One also wonders what modern concoctions the owners might create in the shiny black bar neatly tucked away in the niche.

Library in Residence 52A
(Photo by Patrik Argast)

Plexi glass book shelves from Tap Plastic by Whitehouse Builders above a high-polished laminate base by Plant Architectural Woodworks, “Littoral” chaise lounge by Roche Bobois, black “Tod” side table by Zanotta from Dizine, “Amoeba” by Moquette available at Abbey Carpet

Residence 52B
3315 square feet
Asking price: $5,177.00 unfurnished

The Venetian plaster walls in the foyer designed by Shelby de Quesada were the foundation for the designer’s concept of bridging contemporary design with classical elements by combining cool finishes in a minimalist approach.

Foyer in Residence 52B by Shelby de Quesada
(Photo by Robert Whitworth Creative)

Stenciled calf skin rug in Zebra by ZAX Leather available at Partridge & Associates, mirrored console tables by Shelby de Quesada, manufactured by Paige Glass, early 19th century Italian Rococo-style gilt stools from Epoca, “Facet Five” table by Gary Hutton available at Therien & Co., polished nickel pendants from Casella Lighting and “Seveigne” folding mirror screen from Nierman Weeks, available at William Switzer, vintage mirror obelisks by Serge Roche from Lebreton Gallery, “Boots”, 2007 and “Napoleon”, 2007 hybrid prints by Deborah Orapallo, available at Gallery 16, Venetian plaster walls by Caroline Lizzaraga

The master bedroom in 52B by Alexandra Owen of Owen Design Associates was inspired by the spectacular views of the Bay and is bathed in monochromatic tones of foggy blue and silver, accented by color in a large painting and rug. The designer’s goal was to create a room that is classic and elegant by using 100% natural fabrics, luxurious upholstered furniture, and gentle lighting.

Master Bedroom in Residence 52B by Owen Design Associates
(Photo by Robert Whitworth Creative)

Bed Linens by Pratesi available at Wilkes Bashford, upholstered custom furniture by Alexandra Owen, manufactured by FJ Fitzgerald Furniture Company, antique lamps from Candace Barnes Antiques, early 20th century Moroccan rug from Peter Pap, “Ice Cream Girls”, “Ciara and Sancho”, “Getting Ready”, photographs by Kate Owen

Jeff Ryan of Ryan Interiors converted the guest bedroom into a study. His goal was to feature a most stunning writing desk, and then let it inspire the rest of the design. The highly-polished Macassar Ebony desk certainly achieved that. The other pieces in a neutral palette were all pulled together to compliment desk, and contemporary art was added for some punch.

Study in Residence 52B by Ryan Interiors
(Photo by Robert Whitworth Creative)

“Kidney” desk by Wiggers, “Atelier” chair and “Libra” side table by Marbello Designs, “Finesta” armchair by Peter Alexander, all available through Enid Ford Atelier, “Cordia” Murano glass lamp by Donghia, “Sud” metal bench by Christian Liagre for Holly Hunt, available at Kneedler Fauchere, jute rug from Couristan’s “Organique” collection, “White #6″ painting by Christine Vaillancourt through Andrea Schwartz Gallery

Residence 52C
2,819 square feet
Asking price: $4,343.00 unfurnished

The living room by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates appears understated and uncomplicated with clean lines and a subtle blue and white color scheme, accented with touches of warm yellow. Upon closer inspection the beauty lies in the details. The ceiling, an often overlooked part of many interiors, here received a very subtle grid pattern by Thom Bruce Decorative Painting.

An amazing Viennese Secessionsist rug, reportedly worth $650,000.00, anchors the neutral seating group with a white square lacquer table at its center. Four small tub chairs, based on a vintage find and now in ODADA’s line, covered in glazed blue linen, are perfect for taking advantage of the amazing corner views while chatting and enjoying a glass of wine. I am speaking from experience; they are very comfortable given their delicate scale.

Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Living Room in 52C
(Photo by Rick Carmargo)

Stone wall “Cote d’Or” chestnut brosse by Walker Zanger, mirrored wall by Paige Glass, metal shelf by De Vicenzi, early 20th century Austrian rug from Hakimian Rugs, sofas, arm chairs and window seat cushions designed by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates, manufactured by Chiosso Brothers Upholstery, coffee table by Robert Kuo, available at Gump’s, end tables by Gregorious Pineo available at Kneedler Fauchere, parchment lamp from Soane, painting by Caio Fonseca from Berggruen Gallery, basket and pillows by Ralph Lauren, candle sticks by Calvin Klein Home Collection

The master bedroom suite by Geoffrey De Sousa and Sarah Puls of De Sousa Hughes was designed to suit a cosmopolitan lesbian couple, complete with a hers and hers bathroom. Masculine and feminine elements blend seamlessly in a refined palette of lavender, grey, celadon, amethyst and dark plum, which are also reflected in the striking artwork selected by Baxter & Cook Art Advisors whom the designers asked to collaborate after seeing their work at “Design Above All”.

Hers Bathroom in Master Bedroom Suite in Residence 52C by De Sousa Hughes
(Photo by Matthew Millman)

“Mosaic Flower” wall covering by Romo, available at De Sousa Hughes, “Queen of Hearts”, 2008 painting by Deborah Orapallo, available at Baxter & Cook Art Advisors, accessories from Lost Art Salon, glass perfume bottle from Monument

Martha Angus of Martha Angus Inc. and her family are new residents at the Millennium Towers, and having a teenage son who is loving it at Millennium Towers she wanted to show that a teenager could comfortably live there. Already having done a sophisticated boy’s room at the “Modern by Design” showcase this Summer she decided to convert the guest bedroom into a girl’s retreat, applying a high/low approach by combining valuable antiques and high-end contemporary furniture with pieces from Ikea and West Elm.

“Guest” Bedroom in Residence 52C by Martha Angus
(Photo by Peter Medilek)

White lacquer Parson’s Desk by West Elm, 1950′s Stilnovo desk lamp from Hedge Gallery, antique Italian Tabouret from Therien & Co., burgundy luggage by Goyard, late 18th century continental Neo-Classical gilt wood mirror, lacquer accessories by Jonathan Adler, “Pool Scene” by Christopher Flach

Residence 52D
2,230 square feet
Asking price: $3,263.00 unfurnished

Maria Quiros of Ann Getty and Associates went for drama and whimsy by fearlessly glazing the walls of the foyer a deep oxblood that comes to life especially at night, and by accenting the room with art that has a somewhat surreal naive feel by renowned Chinese artist Zhang Xiogang. Bright orange accents play well against the rich background, and antique mirrors down the hallway open up the space, bring in light and reflect the dramatic views.

Foyer in Residence 52D by Ann Getty & Associates
(Photo by Patrik Argast)

“Georgian Library” by Ann Getty House, covered in orange cowhide by Edelman Leather available at Shears & Window, “Nathan” galvanized steel tables from Coup d’Etat, reclaimed wood console table from Battersea, bronze “Tabouret” stools by Bruno Romeda, available at Hedge Gallery, “Dart” rug by Odegard, wall finish by Robinson Finishes, mid 20th Century mirrors from the private collection of Mr. & Mrs. Getty, “Pilot”, 2003, and “My Memory Number 1″, 2002, lithographs by Zhang Xiaogang, available at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, “Mobile 01″ ceramic light fixture by Isabelle Farahnick available at Hedge Gallery

We have mentioned the dining room by Martin Richards Interiors before; but I just could not resist highlighting the room once again. A study in soft and hard texture, Richard W. Bohonsky and Martin Scott struck a brilliant balance between audaciousness and elegance, with their selections of both furnishings and art. Inspiration for a room can come from anywhere. In this case the designers started by thinking of a practical yet beautiful solution for a challenging dilemma.

The room does not have any overhead or wall lighting, somewhat uncommon for a dining room. Avoiding costly electrical work they designed two unique hanging fixtures, placed on either end of the room. They are suspended form the ceiling by large cast hands and have the electrical cord concealed in the rope that comes down the wall to the floor, where it ends up in a large coil.

Dining Room in Residence 52D by Martin-Richards Interiors

“Hawthorne” lucite console by Allan Knight and Queen Ann brushed steel mirror available at William Switzer, Louis XIII arm chair, “Crystallos” rock crystal and acrylic table lamp, “Alcazar” ceiling fixture, all by Martin Richards, “Yin and Yang” portraits by Hsiao Hui Liu

Most of the bathrooms are part of the Millennium package. But here decorative artist Willem Racke of Willem Racke Studio took the powder room to the next level complimenting the soft green marble by painting stylized thistles on custom polished and waxed “Grasello” plaster walls.

Powder Room in Residence 52D by Willem Racke
(Photo by Rebecca Kmiec)

“Grasello” plaster walls and paintings by Willem Racke, “Valois” sconces by Jonathan Browning available at De Sousa Hughes

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Claudia Juestel is founder and principal of Adeeni Design Group, one of the leading interior design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.