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Exterior shot of Pac Heights mansion, gray. Photography by Patricia Chang

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Your first look at the 2017 San Francisco Decorator Showcase

Bay Area designers take their talent to another level

Compared to last year’s color-studded affair, the 2017 Decorator Showcase, high atop Pacific Heights, is rife with subdued tones and darker designs. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, perhaps it’s a response to last year’s unabashed vividness. But this year’s more restrained looks don’t make the showcase any less grand of an affair.


Exchanging Telegraph Hill’s Villa de Martini for an opulent for a Classical Revival mansion at 2698 Pacific Avenue, the stage for this year’s showcase kicks off to a rousing, breath-snatching start.

“A Muse’ing April in Paris” by Jonathan Rachman.
“A Muse’ing April in Paris” by Jonathan Rachman.

Jonathan Rachman’s living room, inspired by the close friendship of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, is reason enough to make this year’s showcase a must-see. Rachman uses the color green with restrained abandon, from the emerald sofas and seats to the hand-embroidered de Gournay wallpaper.

Also of note: the coffered ceiling that sets the stage for a gold drip chandelier. “The entire space is a modern interpretation of Givenchy’s green salon in Paris,” says Rachman.

Another highlight of the Decorator Showcase is the new stair landing envisioned by Elan Evans. Her hand-cut painted birds (mercifully not of the Portlandia variety) can be found inside the five soaring arches against a teal backdrop.

The origami flock rises from a triangular pattern that pairs beautifully with Andy Freeberg’s “Guardians,” Russian portraiture used beautifully by designers Evie Simon and Stephanie Breitbard along the landing.

Beth Martin’s master bedroom.

Beth Martin’s master bedroom, inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost, doesn’t feature much in the way of classical literature. What it does have is ample room to show off a concise and cohesive minimalist vision of a perfect night’s sleep, replete with fabric walls and a mirrored fireplace mantle.

As far as the home’s other chambres, Jaimie Belew’s bedroom and loggia, boasting a living wall in lieu of a headboard and a series of gold-topped mannequins on the balcony, provide a whimsical, humorous twist.

The third-floor hallway, by Diane Rosenblum, features a series of artworks in gold and silver mounted on the wall, bringing a lovely sense of control and polish to an otherwise difficult space.

Speaking of being difficult, the teen bedroom space, inspired by the joy/hell of being a 13-year-old girl, was conceived by Kristen Peña. The room is fit for anyone with an eye on chic, regardless of gender or age.

Teen bedroom by Kristen Peña.

The patterned wallpaper meshes beautifully with the stark adjacent wall. Special highlights, in addition to the Taylor Swift music piped into the room, are the handwoven Peg Woodworking headboard and San Francisco-based artist Windy Chien’s rope lights.

Adele Salierno’s “Thousand-Watt Bathroom” with hundreds of drinking glasses.
Dramatic Kohler faucets.

Next to the teen bedroom is Adele Salierno’s “Thousand-Watt Bathroom,” which takes ordinary drinking glasses and uses them for a backlit wall. Turned on their sides and embedded in the wall, their texture is something special in this era of modern, stripped-down bathrooms.

Dina Bandman’s “Laundering in the Lap of Luxury”

Designer Dina Bandman takes top honors for having the most precious space—the “Tumbled in Thousand Li” third-floor laundry room. The tiled doggy wash is a treat to behold. But the real star of this space (and of this year’s Decorator Showcase overall) is the hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper.

(This is where we stop everything to tell you that de Gournay wallpaper is, well, everything. They recently opened shop on Presidio Heights. And in a just world, they would have lines coming out the door a la Tartine Bakery.)

“Penthouse living room and bar” by Catherine Kwong.

“Penthouse living room and bar” by Catherine Kwong.

Over to the penthouse living room and bar, designed by Catherine Kwong, where the theme of effortless elegance can be found everywhere from the George Nakashima cocktail table to the Kravet upholstery fabric.

Other notable spaces this year include Chloe Warner’s dining room, featuring a solarium for winter plants; Jon de la Cruz’s “Mise En Place” kitchen, an award-winning room that uses several pieces from the Butler and the Chef; Kari McIntosh’s creative office space that boasts a tattered chandelier from Bolt Textiles covered in drapery fabric scraps; and Martin Kobus’s library/”bibliotheek,”a Gothic space with illuminate silk screen imagery.

Kari McIntosh’s “Balancing Point” office space with chandelier in cut-up drapery fabric.
Krista Hoffman’s Curio Closet.
Krista Hoffman’s Curio Closet.

The 2017 San Francisco Decorator Showcase will be open to the public until May 29, located at 2698 Pacific Avenue. Tickets run from $30 to $35, and you can purchase them at the door or online. The money raised benefits San Francisco University High School’s financial aid program, which has received over $14 million since the showcase’s inception.

Check out the entire abode to see what’s in store for you.

Ian Stallings’s “The Age of Innocence”
Ian Stallings’s “The Age of Innocence”
Mead Quin’s “Guest Bathroom”

Jon de la Cruz’s “Mise En Place” kitchen.

Chloe Warner’s “Dining Room”

CME Interiors, Chris Eskra’s “Executive Refuge”
Sherry Hope-Kennedy’s Great Exploration Kids Bedroom
Stephen Stout and David Bjørngaard’s “Powder Room”
Martin Kobus’s “Library/Bibliotheek”
“Moody Blues” by Benni Amadi Interiors and Courtney Springer Interiors
“Moody Blues” by Benni Amadi Interiors and Courtney Springer Interiors
Catherine Kwong’s penthouse room balcony.

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