Going on almost four decades now the San Francisco Decorator Showcase has faithfully returned each year, providing insight into interior designers’ creative minds and access to fresh ideas applied to some of the city’s most prominent mansions.
Once again the hardworking organizers were able to find a new home for one of our favorite design extravaganzas. In a small town like San Francisco, and given the very specific requirements, this is no easy feat. The house must have a minimum amount of rooms, be large enough and suitable for entertaining, empty and available from early in the year to June, provide opportunity for improvements, and have owners who are able to fund a certain amount of renovations, and are willing to allow for a few months of construction mayhem.
Thanks to a very hardworking team, dedicated volunteers, open-minded luxury home owners and incredibly talented designers the showcase offers an annual delight to its visitors and continues to fund the University High School’s important financial aid program.
The “Villa de Martini”, home of the 2016 showcase, is perched atop Telegraph Hill and offers panoramic views from Russian Hill to the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz to the East Bay hills.
The 6,100 square foot Italian Renaissance-style villa was designed by Italian architect Peter (Pietro) D. Canali (1898-1969) who immigrated to San Francisco in 1924. He was also responsible for several Italian style homes in the Marina, the Art Deco storefront at 627 Vallejo, residences in Piedmont and Sonoma, and he collaborated with Alfio Susini on the classical modern Italian pavilion at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island. He designed the “Villa de Martini” for Louis de Martini, the son and heir of Antonio de Martini, a local real estate investor.
The home was built on a triple lot in 1929 for a reported $30,000, and it is one of the first residential buildings in San Francisco with exterior walls made with reinforced concrete. The architect commissioned several Italian artists to apply Renaissance-inspired architectural details throughout the exterior and interior. In contrast the current owner, a Norwegian developer, asked the designers to aim for a more contemporary feel. As a result many of the more traditional details on the interior were removed or toned down, while the European style garden retained its old world charm with roses, olive and lemon trees surrounding the Travertine patio and walk ways.
Antonio Martins was inspired by Snøhetta’s architecture of the new SFMOMA and fashioned a minimal, highly curated and modern living room with white lacquered walls by the talented Willem Racké and black hot-rolled steel floors, highlighting contemporary art from the Minnesota Street Project.
Martin Kobus took masculine approach to the light-filled dining room that opened to the lounge and kitchen, pairing grays and neutrals with warm woods and brass.
Stephan Jones’ inviting first floor study was inspired by the California coast and combined traditional and modern elements in an informal manner that exuded both confidence and relaxation.
Ian Stalling’s “White Witch Study” is an ode to the incomparable Stevie Nicks, who played a white witch on American Horror Story: Coven. He combined creamy and warm brown tones with understated textures and clear lucite, set off by a dark and dramatic drawing of a frightening witch by Daniel Samaniego and a colorful ceiling covered in a kaleidoscope wallpaper by Timorous Beasties. The result is a layered, intimate and bright room any lady of the house would call her haven.
For the master suite Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living took inspiration from the contrasts of one of fashion’s and music’s most iconic couples, David Bowie and Iman, in setting contemporary furnishings against a glamorous and understated color palette of grays, blacks, blues, creams and golds.
Like many designers this year, also Beth Martin of the Martin Group highlighted the ceiling in her masculine powder room with a dreamy and innocent large blue eye floating above a gorgeous marble sink.
Sullivan Design Studio turned an unused storage closet on the top floor into the “Loft Bar”, featuring color lacquer and brass set against ink blotch wallpaper by Timorous Beasties. It is perfectly located to serve the nearby roof deck conceived as a purple pollinator-friendly terrace by SWA Group.
Evars + Anderson turned a gloomy basement room into a cozy hang-out lounge featuring charcoal Venetian plaster walls and a gorgeous cowhide rug in shades of green, blue and white by Kyle Bunting.
As the designers unveiled their rooms, colleagues, patrons, artists and admirers came to celebrate their transformations during the two sold-out opening parties. For amore information about the annual event, visit the San Francisco Decorator Showcase.