Neutral tones, textured wall coverings, mirrors, brass materials, cultural patterns, and a tribute to musicians highlight this year’s Decorator’s Showcase located at San Francisco’s Villa de Martini on 298 Chestnut Street. It’s always nice to see seasoned high end designers showcase their talent year after year from Artistic Designs for Living to Antonio Martins Interior Designs, Heather Hilliard Design, and Ann Lowengart Interiors, but it’s just as refreshing to see new and different designers bring their creative concepts to life such as Stephan Jones Interiors and Gloria Marth Design. Last year’s Decorator Showcase featured many designs in a black and white theme with more space to play with compared to this year, where the rooms appear to be much smaller with a more natural, cozy feel and breathtaking views. A few designers paid tribute to musicians such as David Bowie and his wife Iman, and Stevie Mack. Their creative and artistic designs were inspired by these legendary musicians. Other designers were inspired by their family, the Chinese zodiac signs, nature and the outdoors, small personal spaces, light, and the creative colorful energy of the Bay Area.
One of my favorite rooms was the study on the first level designed by Stephan Jones Interiors. The study was created in a smaller space which felt very intimate, comfortable, and cozy that appealed not only to me but to many of the other visitors. The use of natural materials, hand blocked prints on linen, texture, patterns, and “antiques ranging from Baroque to mid-century mixed with modern artists” provide a very eclectic and cultured look and feel to the space. Neutral tones combined with muted blues and rusted orange fill the study. Even though the study comes across as more of a masculine design to me, the room was created and pulled together in a way that appeals to both men and women as noted by the many wonderful and positive comments regarding this study. This was clearly one of the highly regarded rooms in the entire house and one of the top favorites among most visitors.
Another one of my favorite rooms was the Garden House on the mezzanine designed by Heather Hilliard Design. The design concept was “A graceful room that blurs the boundary between indoor life and the outdoors, with textures and colors representative of the garden beyond the French doors”. Neutral and green colors reminiscent of nature, a large wood dining table with beautiful imperfect knots, a wood-burning fireplace, large lanterns, and plants and flowers fill the room that is perfect for informal entertaining. Beautiful beams accentuate the high ceilings and reflect the spaciousness of the room. Compared to Stephan Jones masculine study, I felt the garden room exuded a feminine elegance even with the use of natural materials such as wood with neutral tones and textures.
Speaking of blurring the boundary between indoor life and the outdoors, the Cloud Terrace: A pollinator-friendly garden designed by Chang from SWA is truly a breathtaking experience. Located next to the bar and outside the master bedroom, this “delightful and intimate garden features pollinator-friendly planting, cheerful bubble armchairs, a 3D printed design, and a sculptural acoustic sound system” providing a private and intimate experience. You might have heard of SWA as they are a well renowned landscape architectural/planning/urban design firm responsible for the living roof design at the California Academy of Science. The use vibrant colors, texture, and various shapes seen in the cloud terrace display SWA’s creative expertise and knowledge.
From the cozy and comfortable, to the pollinator-friendly garden, we now come to monkeys in a bathroom. Not real monkeys of course. The mezzanine bathroom designed by Shelley & Company is probably one of the most talked about designs at this year’s showcase. The theme is the year of the Monkey, which is a tribute to the Chinese zodiac sign of 2016. The custom monkey wall covering is by De Gournay and the decorative art mural is hand painted by Shannon Geis. Vibrant colors, opulent metals, and playful textures evoke a revitalized spirit full of happiness and joy in this design. I think this bathroom is very creative and artistic, but also impractical and not quite functional when it comes to the shower stall. The shower stall has a beautiful brass chandelier that resembles a shower head with water trickling down the hanging light fixture. It’s very artistic but if this was an actual design in a bathroom, it would be impractical and not functional with the fixture in the way of someone showering.
Whether or not you like the designs, art and design in general is subjective. One person may love the geometric rainbow patterns in a child’s room and another person may think it’s too much and overwhelming for a child. Regardless, I hope you get a chance to visit the SF Decorator’s showcase if you haven’t done so as it’s coming to a close soon. It’s so inspirational to see all the creative and artistic visions of these talented designers come to life and all for a good cause as the proceeds benefit the students of SF University high school. Check out some more inspirational designs from this year’s SF Decorator’s showcase and let me know what you think!