This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the SF Decorator Showcase held at 2698 Pacific Avenue. The 11,000 square foot Classical Revival home was built in 1904 by Architects Newsom & Newsom. Each room in the house has been brought to life by the visionary designs of Bay Area interior designers. A common theme that designers explored was not only sharing their personal story and what spoke to their heart, but also an homage to classic and contemporary, a blend of old and new world design, a sense of modern glamour. Dark colors, architectural details, natural stone, wall coverings, and luxurious window treatments was a commonality among many of the designers who sometimes collaborate together. A sense of serenity and calmness flowed from the luxurious bathrooms that was an oasis in it’s own right. Large, bold, contemporary light fixtures were focal points creating a striking statement that caught your eye as you walked into the rooms. There were a lot of unique furnishings, lights, and accessories, some designed by the interior designers themselves which gave each room a distinct flavor and curated feel.
When it comes to the SF Decorator’s Showcase, it’s not always about functionality in the minds of the designers. Designers aren’t limited by practicality, just the inspiration of the story they want to tell and what they want to convey to the world about their creative vision. I say that because every year, I hear the same comments by attendees. The comments are always about how this and that isn’t functional. “There isn’t a filing cabinet in the office!” says one lady. “I don’t think this will hold up in an earthquake” says another woman who looks at a floor to ceiling custom shelving unit displaying bakeware, spices, and ceramics in the kitchen. It’s true, some of the designs aren’t functional and may not work for everyone, but they sure are beautiful!
Each room was exquisite and creative, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the library/bibliotheek by Martin Kobus. Walking into the room, it just felt comfortable and relaxing, yet glamorously contemporary. I loved the light fixtures designed by Martin Kobus and the portraits which have been reinvented as one of a kind light boxes printed on silk and lit from within. Loved the dark colors in contrast to the white hearth and textured ceiling, the modular seating upholstered in a cognac colored hide. I have to note that the kitchen designed by Jon De La Cruz, inspired by sea salt and black pepper is also amazing. It is the 2017 House Beautiful Kitchen of the year and it’s obvious why. It’s classic, timeless, and universal. From the custom cabinetry by JWH to the black and white limestone floors by Haussman, to the natural stone countertop by Caesarstone, it’s hard not to love this kitchen! Check out some photos below and let me know which design is your favorite!
A question I get asked often is what is the difference between an interior designer versus an interior decorator? That’s a great question because there is a significant difference between the two.
Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior and lifestyle to create functional spaces within a residential or commercial building. Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions that are practical, attractive, and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture. They are trained to look beyond the aesthetics to design code compliant spaces that are healthy as well as beautiful and efficient. They can move windows and doors, remove/add walls, and plan a space that functions better for the occupant. Interior design is making the best possible use of the available space.