By Lauren Brocato By Lauren Brocato | February 24, 2022 | Home & Real Estate Feature
Bicoastal branding and design agency frenchCALIFORNIA has done it again—this time crafting a chic model residence at San Francisco's One Steuart Lane.
A circa-1956 Fried Egg armchair by Hans Olsen, a prototype rosewood chair by Norman Cherner, a Serpentine sofa by Verner Panton and a Petalas table by the Polish-Brazilian architect Jorge Zalszupin with a bronze sculpture by Stephanie Bachiero
San Francisco is dotted with branding and design agency frenchCALIFORNIA’s beautiful creations— and now, the firm has done it again. With founder and Creative Director Guillaume Coutheillas at the helm, frenchCALIFORNIA crafted a sleek space at residential building One Steuart Lane that champions the California modernism aesthetic. “The concept of California modernism is rooted in the design movement that brought modernity to a wider audience,” Coutheillas says.
Coutheillas called on Laguna Beach-based Peter Blake Gallery, a leading exhibitor of West Coast minimalism, to employ his expertise. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill handled architecture and residential interiors at One Steuart Lane, and amenity interiors were done by Rottet Studio. The product of this dream team? A space that’s effortless and light yet oozes from every crevice with the comforting and alluring elements of minimalism.
“Transition - White, Linen, Black, Gray” (2019) by Scot Heywood in the kitchen
“All three partners have such a strong grasp on the very particular aesthetic of the California resident and know exactly what appeals to the California buyer’s sensibilities,” Coutheillas says. “Peter Blake is the master of West Coast minimalism and was able to find us an incredible selection of pieces that specifically convey the modern California-waterfront aesthetic, while also paying homage to the masterful design of the building.”
frenchCALIFORNIA founder and Creative Director Guillaume Coutheillas
Throughout the project, the team played off the building’s clean lines, contemporary materials and organic elements as well as its prime waterfront location. “Together, we wanted to create a residence that is fit for a collector, particularly a collector who may be interested in California minimalism that includes American light and space and hard-edge artists,” Coutheillas says. “We also wanted to show that this aesthetic can be approachable and inviting, rather than cold or intimidating.”
A velvet chair for Minotti in front of a Gio Ponti walnut and glass coffee table
Design elements and decor, exclusively from Peter Blake Gallery, spanning from the 1930s Bauhaus to early 1970s French eras adorn the space, which Coutheillas and the team precisely curated to appeal to a sophisticated, refined clientele. A neutral color palette acts as the space’s canvas to reflect the laid-back California aesthetic and serene waterfront views. Floor-to-ceiling windows demand the eye’s attention upon entering the space, and through them, the reflection of the water and sun create an exciting sense of change from day to night. “The early mornings have a completely different feel than later in the afternoon as the sun rises and sets,” Coutheillas adds.
An Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq Pointe de Diamant sideboard and an Angelo Mangiarotti marble dining table
“We worked closely with Peter Blake, who helped us to select the most evocative and fitting pieces for this space,” says Coutheillas. Collectibles from some of the world’s most renowned makers, including Jorge Zalszupin, Joe Goode, Jean Prouvé and Vladimir Kagan, populate the apartment.
“I’m particularly drawn to the Vladimir Kagan Serpentine sofa, complete with Dedar velvet fabric and brass detailing. The Pierre Folie Chauffeuse chair is covered in a gorgeous Sandra Jordan boucle wool. Sandra Jordan is based in San Francisco and has a beautiful line of handwoven luxury alpaca fabrics for the home,” he adds. “In terms of the art, I love California hard-edge artist Tony DeLap and the piece we have from his Fadeaway series.”
A Pierre Folie Chauffeuse steel lounge chair and a vintage Italian side table
Coutheillas undoubtedly has a talent for assembling teams that precisely fit the needs of each project and can bring his visions to life. He also has a magic touch that illuminates every space he puts his spin on. And to design a model residence at One Steuart Lane, one of the last opportunities for buyers to own property along the Embarcadero, there was no one better suited for the job. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Photography by: PHOTOS BY SCOTT HARGIS