Full disclosure: everything in this post is from the neophyte-eye view! As a first time attendee of a Decorator Showcase there was a lot to take in, consider, make snarky comments about, and make genuinely amazed comments about. I even got my Silent Auction joke shut down! A quick, verbal re-enactment:
“Would you like to know more about the Silent Auction?”
“Aren’t you breaking the rules of the Silent Auction right now?”
“Yeah, that’s not how Silent Auctions work.”
Even fuller disclosure: there may or may not be a Prince joke somewhere below. Still though, design aesthetics strike deeper than the cornea, and this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase had much for the heart and mind, as well as the eyes, both keen and untrained.
The Showcase has a 38 year history full of gorgeous San Francisco vistas and progressive interior designs. This year’s Showcase house is located in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, with four impressive floors of design flair. We kept an eye out for rad, unorthodox designs in lighting, and were not disappointed.
Phillip Silver’s Living Room on the Main Level showcases a ceiling pendant and a wall installation that shine with an organic sensibility. Evoking icy droplets on tree branches, the ceiling pendant has remarkable light splash, and a soft, cooling ambiance in daylight. The wall installation is composed of dozens of gold leaf clover shapes, with the light source emanating from above.
Major, major props to Cecilie Starin for putting together the edgiest, most stylistically striking room in the entire Showcase house, in my humble opinion. A fantastic, ringed ceiling fixture from NIDO Living illuminates the room. The fixture is composed of four burnished brass rings; the bottom two have LED strips shining on the bottom, while the top two emanate LED light from the top. This creates an impressive cast of light toward the ceiling, as well as the dining table the fixture hangs above. While we were clapping for the lighting, the patterned black and white murals on the walls and the multi-colored spray paint can installations, both by artist Ian Ross via the Rocha Art gallery, popped the entire room into another stratosphere. The original mural is on 41 Freelon St., San Francisco.
The upstairs adds to the variety of aesthetics, and showcases a more futurist flavor in lighting. In the Gentleman’s Private Lounge, we took in a postmodern lounge area, replete with a teal mannequin. Designed by Eche Martinez, who took inspiration for the concept from John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Samuel Jean de Pozzi, the room evokes the sensibilities of a 21st century gentleman. The ceiling pendant by Restoration Hardware gives the space a sturdy, modern-industrial feel, which is echoed by the Bubble Table Lamps by Sylvan and the teal-shaded sconces by The Urban Electric Co., albeit a bit more dreamily.
The Pent Room, designed by Jeff Schlarb of Green Couch Design, embodies a sultry vision of a game room, accentuated with varying shades of mauve. Imagine if Prince called you up and asked you to design his pool room. I mean, imagine if Prince called you up period, that has to be a weird conversation. But even the Artist currently known as himself would have his eyes drawn above the pool table, littered with pool balls painted intricately with splashes of red, deep purple, black and mauve, where there hangs maybe the most interesting fixture in the house: a somewhat crocodilian skeleton with orange nostalgia lamps and burnished brass strands hanging from the indentations of vertebrae. Simply awesome.
Next, we descended the stairs to The Gallery, designed by Lizette Marie Interior Design. It is a wonderfully strange setting, atmospheric and decadent. The first thing you notice is the ceiling fixture, entitled “Golden Grip,” which consists of a series of gold-casted forearms gripping the long fixture’s canopy, nostalgia lamps oozing sepia-toned light below. I couldn’t decide whether it looked more like the inhabitants of utopia were holding up the light of discovery, or the citizens of dystopia were desperately reaching for the light of hope. Either way it was jarring, and amazing.
The Showcase wouldn’t have been complete without a dash of Boyd in the mix. We have been rocking illuminative artistry for 94 years, and 2015 is fast becoming a symposium of design mastery. This is seen wonderfully in our new Alhambra Series, by designer Fiyel Levent. In one of the more affecting and lovely rooms at the Showcase, Tineke Triggs‘ En Vogue Salon, it is all verve. A stark portrait by Danielle Mourning above the luxurious bathtub places you in the sensuous center of the space, while Boyd’s Alhambra Sconces add that indefinable delicacy, glowing above the grand, waving designs of the black and white floor. You left feeling the designer had imbued a truly singular emotion to the space.
The 2015 San Francisco Decorator’s showcase will be open until May 25th. Please take the time to check out all the work these wonderful artists have put in to this amazing spectacle!