San Francisco Decorator Showcase, 2014
antonio martins
“About a Bed” master bedroom by Antonio Martins (Photo: Drew Kelly)

This year’s 37th San Francisco Decorator Showcase, benefitting the scholarship fund of San Francisco University High School, was held at a gorgeous brick mansion on 3660 Jackson Street.

Renowned San Francisco Architect Alfred H. Jacobs, who is perhaps best known for his design of the Curran Theater, designed it in 1907 for Alfred and Rose Sutro. The almost 9,000 square foot house also boasts an expansive rear garden and beautiful views of the Presidio and San Francisco Bay.

3660 Jackson
3660 Jackson Street, San Francisco (Photo: courtesy of Bartlett Real Estate)

A young couple in finance purchased the home in July 2013, and have hired architect Gil Shafer and interior designer Miles Redd to expand and update the home for their family. But while these East Coast design powerhouses were working on reconfiguring their new residence, the owners graciously loaned it to University High School for the 2014 showcase.

Thirty Bay Area designers transformed most of its rooms, expressing their visions of how they would see a young family living in the historic estate.

Jonathan Rachman
Entry hall designed by Jonathan Rachman
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)
Jonathan Rachman
Entry hall designed by Jonathan Rachman
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)

The committee selected Jonathan Rachman to breathe new life into the grand entry hall. Inspired by Kate Moss and the hit song “Royals” by young New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde, Jonathan visualized a luxurious collision between fashion and music.

Gold and Champagne ruled in his room! A large cowhide rug covered in gold specs, metallic wall covering and drapery, a gilded neo-classical console supporting a bronze mirror-framed portrait, and brass mannequin sculptures filling the turn of the staircase, were an aureate sonnet for fashion royalty. Champagne colored cashmere graced the leather tête-à-tête in the center of the room, where a bottle of Roederer Cristal and old-fashioned coupes indicated that this is not a room to only pass through, but an inviting space in which to entertain.

Jonathan also extended his design up the staircase to the second floor, where he replicated Caroline Lizarraga’s collage of Kate Moss on champagne and smoke mirrors leading guests up to the original. The foyer was an ode to the chic heroine style that Kate Moss exemplifies for Jonathan.

kate kelly smith
Jenni Pulos, Kate Kelly Smith, and Guest
David Zenoff, Janet Hunter
David Zenoff, Janet Hunter

At the opening galas and the many private parties during the weeks of the showcase the entry was certainly a room people spent time in, with scholarship supporters, interior designers, architects, and design enthusiasts eagerly taking in the ideas presented.

Debbie Reynolds, Setareh Farsio
Debbie Reynolds, Setareh Farsio
Jared Baum, Richard Lonsdorf
Jared Baum, Richard Lonsdorf

Visitors are often unaware of all the interesting challenges with which designers can be confronted when taking on the design of a showcase room. This is not only a result of budgets or almost impossibly tight time lines, but also because the homes’ owners often put multiple restrictions on what can be done.

Dining room
George Brazil, Kristi Will, Jonathan Rachman, Cecilia Sagrera-Hill

This year the dining room’s hand-painted Chinoiserie wall covering, installed about 30 years ago by the legendary Michael Taylor, and large crystal chandelier could not be touched, and Cecilia Sagrera Hill and George Brazil of Sagrera Brazil embraced them and complimented these strong traditional elements with a modern touch.

Inspired by an enchanted garden they accented the floral walls with a custom octagonal dining table, which they surrounded with mid-century chairs and off-set it with contemporary art, including an infinity mirror with countless colorful butterflies. In contrast to the large scale of the chandelier they placed two slim bronze torchieres on either side of the front window and adorned the table with a grouping of delicate candle sticks and gilded china and flatware. The dining room elegantly celebrated the historic framework in a study in color and periods.

Dining room
BEFORE: The Dining Room in 2013, Before The Showcase
Sagrera Brazil
Dining room designed by Sagrera Brazil
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)
Sagrera Brazil
Dining room designed by Sagrera Brazil
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)

The kitchen was the very first House Beautiful’s “Kitchen of the Year” produced outside New York City, for which the magazine in the past had invited celebrity designers like Christopher Peacock, Mick de Giulio and Jeff Lewis, as well as Bay Area star chef Tyler Florence.

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BEFORE: Kitchen, Before the Showcase
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AFTER: Kitchen, Designed by Steven Miller
(Photo: Nikki Ritcher for House Beautiful)

This year Steven Miller joined the ranks with a transitional study in black, white and gray. He offset traditional high-gloss black cabinets with bright white CaesarStone counter tops, metallic chevron tile backsplash, pewter mica wall coverings and a shiny white floor, all highlighting the lush landscaped terrace beyond the windows.

The awkward soffit was given new life with a crystal-shaped opening converted into a lighting installation fashioned from quartz crystals by Melbourne based lighting designer Christopher Boots, whose lighting is sold exclusively at Miller’s NWBLK gallery.

steven miller kitchen
Details in the kitchen designed by Steven Miller
(Photo: Nikki Ritcher for House Beautiful)
steven miller kitchen
Details in the kitchen designed by Steven Miller
(Photo: Nikki Ritcher for House Beautiful)

The masculine and monochromatic theme continued into the adjoining family room and deck with modern furnishings and art. Favorite pieces were the “Periodic Table” by Council in reclaimed Douglas fir in the family room and covered in burnished silver and the heated concrete settee outdoors. On the deck Frank Eddy of Neo-American Gardens accented Steven’s furniture selections with multitudes of textures, forms and shades in an emerald palette.

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BEFORE: Family Room, Before the Showcase
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AFTER: Family room designed by Steven Miller
(Photo: Nikki Ritcher for House Beautiful)
"steven
Steven Miller, Grier Matthews
steven miller kitchen
Jane Scott Hodges, Newell Turner, Kate Kelly Smith
Kimberly Sharpe, Marybeth LaMotte
Kimberly Sharpe, Marybeth LaMotte
Shelley Gordon, Margaret Karl
Shelley Gordon, Margaret Karl

The master bedroom, the most dramatic room in the house, was Antonio Martins’ personal reflection of his Portuguese heritage, centered around a family heirloom, an ornately carved 17th century Bilros bed, whose dark rosewood contrasted beautifully against a backdrop of white and blue.

Martins collaborated with the amazingly talented artists Katherine Jacobus and Linda Horning who painted hundreds of large blue and white squares inspired by the iconic blue Portuguese Azulejo tiles, which they arranged in an abstract fashion, only providing glimpses of each story. Then Antonio covered the traditional bed in a custom navy blue velvet bedspread with hand-done appliqué and offset it with highly contemporary furniture.

One would assume that the pièce de résistance was indeed the bed, but many of us were drawn into a corner behind the door by a sculpture of giant braids that Antonio and his staff fashioned from 200 pounds of jute cord. The master bedroom was a striking example of how traditional and modern furnishings can live side by side effortlessly.

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BEFORE: Master Bedroom
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AFTER: Master bedroom designed by Antonio Martins
(Photo: Drew Kelly
)
antonio martins design
Bedroom Designed by Antonio Martins
antonio martins design
Bedroom Designed by Antonio Martins
Antonio Martins, Jane Scott Hodges
Antonio Martins, Jane Scott Hodges
Chelsea Mesa, Melanie Coddington
Chelsea Mesa, Melanie Coddington

In contrast, Geoffrey De Sousa took a quiet approach to the wood-paneled library. Drawing your eye to the $18 million view, he toned down the furnishings with warm woods and light and neutral linen and silk fabrics, accented with light textured rugs.

Believing that a young couple may perhaps read mostly on an iPad or a Kindle, he turned the surrounding shelves into an art installation, filling them with hand-painted white books to lighten the room. A collection of sculptural and primitive artifacts and a monumental glass and metal pendant by Mattaliano over the reading table set a bold masculine tone. The library was an elegant and timeless example of understatement, highlighting the room’s star, the captivating scenery outside.

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BEFORE: Library before the Showcase
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AFTER: Library designed by Geoffrey de Sousa
(Photo: Matthew Millman)
3660 jackson
AFTER: Library designed by Geoffrey de Sousa
(Photo: Matthew Millman)

Jaimie Belew turned the master dressing room and bathroom into a space for relaxation. Rechristening the dressing room into a salon, Jaimie opened it up by removing the unsightly daybed and pony wall hiding the vanity and replaced them with an open seating arrangement fit for discussing the latest fashions with girlfriends while sipping Champagne. She accented the soothing color palette of warm grays and browns with various metals, crystal and Lucite, anchored by a dark floor and warm white walls and closets.

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BEFORE: Dressing Room before the Showcase
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AFTER: Salon designed by Jaimie Belew
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)

The master bathroom, bathed in neutral hues received a much-needed sink in the form of the stunning modern “Loto” marble vessel with wood pedestal. To take in the amazing views through the French doors, Jaimie selected the “Vis a Vis” chaise lounge, effortlessly suspended from a low marble wall. Both pieces were by Kreoo, the Italian luxury marble manufacturer who just launched their collection in the US. Check out their line at one of San Francisco’s most innovative showrooms, Coup d’Etat.

Jaimie set the stage for these modern pieces with a traditional marble mosaic floor and accented them with muted brass fittings by Waterworks. This suite would be the perfect setting for the lady of the house leisurely getting ready for one of San Francisco’s many social events.

bathroom
BEFORE: Master Bathroom
bathroom
BEFORE: Master Bathroom
jaimie belew bathroom
Master Bathroom by Jaimie Belew
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)
jaimie belew bathroom
Master Bathroom by Jaimie Belew
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)
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Carved marble sink in master bathroom designed by Jaimie Belew
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)

The top floor had a number of bedrooms, one of which Matthew MacCaul Turner re-envisioned as an artist’s studio and observatory.

Going for a Bohemian vibe, blending the aura of the South of France with a California spirit, he removed the dated floral fabric wall covering and left the resulting peeled texture, inspired by its quiet beauty. He then exposed the sub floor as a canvas for local artist Gina Jacupke who threw buckets of blue and white paint on it, dragging it around with big brooms until she achieved a soft abstract and water-inspired finish. Matthew then layered the room with antique furnishings and objects and an eclectic collection of vintage and contemporary art.

The former bathroom served as the artist observatory overlooking Presidio forest and bay. The inviting rooms felt as if they were truly inhabited by an artist, proven by the often big crowds simply wanting to stay and hang out with this interesting character.

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Artist studio designed by MacCaul Turner Design
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)
3660 jackson
Artist studio designed by MacCaul Turner Design
(Photo: David Duncan Livingston)
David Dolak, Jennifer Dolak, Matthew MacCaul Turner, Kathleen Navarra
David Dolak, Jennifer Dolak, Matthew MacCaul Turner, Kathleen Navarra

Often the smallest room can offer much delight. This was the case in a top floor closet, for which Sunny K. Merry saw big potential. In honor of her father who had a small early “mancave,” which he called “Dad’s Honey Hole,” and her grandfather who flew B24s in WWII, she envisioned a tiny retreat for a war veteran fond of pin-up girls.

Filled with unusual treasures and lined in a wallpaper of 1940s pin-up girls, this tiny room had a lot to say once more closely inspected. The hint of naughtiness worked perfectly! Kudos to Sunny for making us smile with her first showcase room.

Sunny K. Merry
Sunny K. Merry in “Dad’s Honey Hole”
honey hole
“Dad’s Honey Hole” by Sunny K. Merry
honey hole
“Dad’s Honey Hole” by Sunny K. Merry
regan baker
Regan Baker
lisa bakamis
Lisa Bakamis

The basement had two rooms that were redesigned. One of them was the wine cellar, which was turned into a mixologist’s room named “Try This My Love” by Reba Jones of Butler Armsden Architects. Going in a more unexpected direction she envisioned a special place where the barman in residence could craft special elixirs.

Conversely to most wine cellars the space was bright and colorful, with a shiny floor painted in a graphic design that was inspired by Frank Stella and the low ceiling visually heightened by mirror. Wall shelves in clear acrylic displaying varied ingredients were back-lit with color LED, while a stainless surgical table, the work surface of choice, brought to mind the sterile environment of a laboratory. Reba’s design was a nod to the future, even though wine cellars will certainly never disappear.

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Mixologist’s laboratory designed by Butler Armsden
(Photo: Patrik Argast)
3660 jackson
Mixologist’s laboratory designed by Butler Armsden
(Photo: Patrik Argast)
Tineke Triggs
Tineke Triggs
Jane Richardson Mack, John Romaidis
Jane Richardson Mack, John Romaidis

If you did not pay close attention you almost missed the “Potting Shed,” a pair of lower floor rooms opening onto the garden. Landscape designer Randy McDannell transformed a dark and dreary storage space into to a masculine suite, complete with a cozy sitting room that included a bar and invited lingering. As a result it quickly became a crowd favorite.

Similar rooms in the grand country homes of Europe inspired Randy to create a rustic yet elegant retreat in various shades of gray, accented with warm woods and highlighting the lush live plants. A gardener’s office never looked this comfortable before!

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BEFORE: Potting Shed Before the Showcase
(Photo: Randy McDannell)
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AFTER: Potting shed by Randy McDannell
(Photo: Christopher Stark)
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Potting shed, back room, by Randy McDannell
(Photo: Christopher Stark)

This year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase may be over, but mark your calendars now for Spring 2015 for many more intriguing rooms full of new and fresh ideas.

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