Though the 2020 San Francisco Decorator Showcase will close its virtual doors Jan. 15, the designers' inspiring visions live on. Here, a select few share the stories behind their creative spaces.
Creating a multifunctional dining room was the ideal assignment for Hohla, who has been fulfilling similar client requests for years. “The showcase was the perfect place to design our dream multifaceted dining room that also serves as a library, study and gathering spot for cocktails,” she says. “With the current pandemic, multifunctional rooms are becoming the norm!” Furnishings like a bespoke two-part dining table and nontraditional dining chairs enhance the space’s functionality further, while handpainted Japanese wallpaper and a vintage buffet by Pierre Chapo add sophistication.
Designed as an escape for a young couple, Triggs’ lush, layered space was inspired by a multitude of things, among them high fashion, iconic architects and postmodern designers of the 1960s. A rose-colored sideboard from Jean de Merry grounds a lively painting by Bay Area artist Lauren McIntosh, while works by Ryan Bucko hang from the ceiling. “One of the biggest challenges of this room was that it contained a very narrow L-shaped ‘bowling alley’ just off the main area,” Triggs says. “I needed to find a way to turn this awkward space into an asset. I came up with the idea of a tequila bar (Cala Mezcal) that would be intentionally dramatic to draw people in and become an integral part of the room’s design, not an afterthought.”
“The moment I saw the space, I was inspired by the view to the San Francisco Bay and realized it needed to be sensory, touching on emotions with the use of music, art and vision,” says Dorsey of the modern-day listening room he designed. “I’m originally from Tennessee, and there is this place called The Listening Room where legendary songwriters and artists would go to try out new material,” he says. “I wanted our space to have that same relaxed feel, yet exclusive.” Dorsey achieved his vision by incorporating bold elements, like the handpainted ceiling with Porter Teleo’s Pétales wallcovering, a custom channel sofa and eye-catching art borrowed from local collector Pamela Hornik.
“Our goal was to blend traditional influences with contemporary design elements,” says Baker of the kitchen’s calm and welcoming design. “Many of the furnishings and built-in cabinetry recall free-standing, classic pieces, and we used a color palette that feels earthy, undersaturated and timeless.”
For the gallery lounge and bathroom, Neve and team’s biggest challenge was creating something from nothing. “Essentially this isn’t really a room; it’s a pathway to the larger room,” says Neve. “How can we make people stop in their tracks?” A graphic 1950s painting by Judith Rothschild from Hackett Mill Gallery takes center stage on the stark white wall and stands out against a dark and moody bathroom. “Hopefully [the white walls make] you stop and take a moment to appreciate the art, the sculpture and the furniture vignettes,” he says.
”Our principal bedroom and dressing room is inspired by the beach and grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge through the windows of the room,” says Kristen Peña. “We wanted to bring the calm yet grand feeling from the outside into the space.” Peña and team succeeded in doing that by incorporating standout features like the handpainted walls by Caroline Lizarraga. “In partnering with Caroline, we created the most beautiful finish that is ethereal and a little bit sexy, all elements seen outside the windows of the space,” Peña explains. Channel-tufted chairs by Coup Studio in a Rosemary Hallgarten Glam alpaca boucle and the Kelly chandeliers by Gabriel Scott add to the dreamy look and feel. “We wanted the space to be a respite at the end of the day,” adds Peña. “A place where you could exhale your stresses and cocoon yourself in comfort and luxury.”
“The overall concept we were inspired by is the visual representation of the marriage between the perfect and the imperfect, casual and elegant,” says Gioi Tran, co-founder and principal designer of Applegate Tran Interiors, who was inspired by the marriage of California coastal living and Bauhaus sophistication, along with the home’s natural surroundings. The custom-made cocktail table, designed with a base forged from trees by Aderyn Studio and a tabletop made from dark-toned marble from Da Vinci Marble—which also formed and installed the lilac marble fireplace against the far wall—creates a major wow moment, as does the Fungo chandelier from Lasvit. “Every element was meant to play off each other, balancing between organic and geometric shapes,” Tran explains.
“For her series Botanicae, artist Elina Frumerman created ‘portraits’ of locally found plants and trees by isolating them against black painted backdrops and taking the photographs in natural morning light,” says Austin Forbord of DZINE, who, along with Philip Bewley, designed the commanding stairwell. “The botanical photography by Frumerman is the driving force of these spaces, powerful in their presence and arrangement,” he says.
A massive tree in the home’s back garden and a favorite children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, inspired the imaginative bedroom Amadi designed, which contains a forest-themed wallpaper from Rebel Walls and a custom-made cabin bed. “This bedroom mimics the magic of childhood tree forts and endless adventure at every turn,” she says.
Photography by: KELLY HOHLA PHOTO BY JOHN MERKL; TINEKE TRIGGS
PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER STARK; CHAD DORSEY PHOTO BY Douglas Friedman; REGAN BAKER PHOTO BYSuzanna Scott;
JEFFREY NEVE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER STARK; K INTERIORS PHOTO BY R. Brad Knipstein; APPLEGATE TRAN PHOTO BY José Manuel Alorda (JMA Photography); DZINE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER STARK; BENNI AMADI PHOTO BY Christopher Stark