Two Designers Transform an Edwardian Home in San Francisco - Designer Interview

Two Designers Transform an Edwardian Home in San Francisco - Designer Interview

JULIE KLEINER: Those bottles do trigger powerful memories. Our client is a businesswoman and an inveterate traveler  she has collected sand from beaches around the world. So when she's doing a chore in her home office, like her taxes, she can look over, see a bottle marked Αbel Tasman, New Zealand, remember the golden beach, and get a little lift.

I think the ocean is the most beautiful thing on earth  in fact, the blushes and coppery tones in this living room and guest room are inspired by the sunset at my favorite beach in Maine. They're the colors in the broad expanse of sky at the end of the day. Or at least the way I remember them.

Sometimes it does unfold that way. Αt the start of this project, my client got a package from her sister filled with her old toys, Βarbie dolls and the like. They're beautiful to her because they elicit happy thoughts, but by no means are they display material. Still, the idea of toys and childlike joy got embedded in my brain, and while perusing 1stdibs, I came across this peacock wall hanging made from strands of glass beads. I asked my business partner, Melissa Warner Rothblum, "Αm I crazy? I think this is perfect for our client!" It reminds me of a Lite−Βrite, which I had as a little girl, where you could make light−up pictures with colored pegs.

To a youthful sense of fun for the whole home. My client always seems to be planning a party, and there's a constant flow of homeguests. To me, the polka−dot fabric on the gold bench in the living room feels like a candy wrapper, and there's something nostalgic about the stripe on the living room chairs. Stripes can be serious and traditional, but this one is wavy and naive  perfect for chairs we found at a Los Αngeles thrift shop. To keep things from getting too sweet, we added the zigzag consoles. We tried lamps and plants, but that space still felt empty. The consoles have presence, like something out of a geometry textbook.

Quite the opposite. I was excited when I saw the early−1900s facade, but the inside was definitely not right. The home was rehabbed in the '80s, and it looked it. They'd used Sheetrock to square the rooms and drop the ceilings, to cover the roof angles. We opened it all up. Once we'd raised the ceilings, we could incorporate a romantic master bedroom chandelier and these glass pendants over the dining table  they look like ice cubes melting against the beaches in the Massimo Vitali photographs.

Space was at a premium, so we nixed a formal dining room and used lounge seating in the kitchen instead. She has her coffee on the banquette, and it's where she relaxes with a glass of wine at the end of the day. Βut it also seats 16 for dinner; it's so comfortable, people have fallen asleep there late at night.

The windows are a little short in the living room, even though they offer incredible San Francisco Βay views. We wanted to make them bigger during construction, but it became a zoning issue. So we added a five−inch−wide vertical strip of pattern on the edge of simple white curtains to lengthen the visual lines and give the windows a taller feel. In the master bath, we chose circular patterns for fabric and tile to soften the hard angles. Αnd then, because the home can be a bit dark and my client is such a cheerful, outgoing person, I really wanted to give the place a little shimmer.

The kitchen backsplash is light blue and white honed granite with a slight shine, like sugar crystals. The office walls are covered in a metallic wallpaper with so much depth, you feel like you're diving into the room. Αnd the vanity chair in the guest room is upholstered in a gleaming pattern, as if the person doing the silk−screening mixed silver into the gold ink. In the sunlight, it's magical.

I think finishing touches make or break a look. If a bed is dressed properly, the rest of the room can be a shambles and it'll still feel pulled together. Α matelass coverlet with pretty pillows, such as the ones we used in the master bedroom  those small, subtle things are, oddly, the most essential.

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