Author: Anh-Minh Le

The collaboration between RMHS, San Francisco Design Center and SFC&G was about more than selecting furnishings and finishes. It relied on a sense of community and compassion that manifested itself in the time and talents contributed by four dozen interior designers.

Goods range from antiques found around the world to his eponymous new line of Italian-made leather bags and accessories.

In the hands of Llane Alexis, the age-old craft of braiding has been reimagined, yielding artful, one-of-a-kind objects. While the method may be familiar, his applications are unexpected and a testament to his ingenuity. Functional art is one category of Alexis’ work.

Tucked into a serene, wooded enclave, a quietly grand Atherton residence embodies Coco Chanel’s maxim: “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” The home’s minimal, elegant interiors, created by San Francisco designer Matthew Leverone, unfold in tranquil colors, simple lines and refined details.

Tucked into a serene, wooded enclave, a quietly grand Atherton residence embodies Coco Chanel’s maxim: “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” The home’s minimal, elegant interiors, created by San Francisco designer Matthew Leverone, unfold in tranquil colors, simple lines and refined details.

When relocating from New York to California, a couple and their three children were prepared to embrace a new lifestyle. Thanks to San Francisco–based interior designer Heather Hilliard, however, transitioning from a SoHo loft to a Hillsborough estate didn’t mean abandoning their downtown aesthetic.

When relocating from New York to California, a couple and their three children were prepared to embrace a new lifestyle. Thanks to San Francisco–based interior designer Heather Hilliard, however, transitioning from a SoHo loft to a Hillsborough estate didn’t mean abandoning their downtown aesthetic.

At first glance, one might see Silvia Song as a woodworker or a woodturner. But neither moniker, says the artist, is quite accurate. Instead, Song often describes herself as a “wood potter.” At her studio in the East Bay, she hand-lathes maple, cypress, redwood, white oak and walnut into exquisite bowls, serving boards and butcher blocks that showcase materiality and purity of form.

Eight years ago, when Flora Grubb moved her namesake nursery from the Mission to outer Dogpatch/Bayview, the decision elicited some bewilderment. How times have changed. With its expansive indoor and outdoor spaces, ample parking and the development of the Third Street Light Rail—along with its sunny and mild climate—the southeastern part of the city has bloomed into an emerging Garden District.

For San Francisco–based fashion designer Lan Jaenicke, shooting the short film Shadows and Light near Beijing’s Summer Palace yielded a work that not only garnered praise, but also an experience that influenced her eponymous women’s wear collection.

After stints living in Japan and on the East Coast, Roth Martin was “ready to call San Francisco home again,” says the native of the City by the Bay. For his maiden real estate purchase, he didn’t buy just any home.

After stints living in Japan and on the East Coast, Roth Martin was “ready to call San Francisco home again,” says the native of the City by the Bay. For his maiden real estate purchase, he didn’t buy just any home.

When Bruce Gilbert first came across an Ernest Coxhead-designed Mediterranean in Berkeley—the last house designed by the famed architect—his wife, Susan Becher, was traveling. A public-relations maven with notable clients in the design and architecture fields, Becher was en route to Milan. But once Gilbert emailed her photographs of the 1930 residence, she encouraged him to submit an offer though she had never set foot inside. The couple (who have two sons—David, a Los Angeles–based artist, and Marc, an editorial producer for CNBC in New York) moved in on Memorial Day, 2012.

When Bruce Gilbert first came across an Ernest Coxhead-designed Mediterranean in Berkeley—the last house designed by the famed architect—his wife, Susan Becher, was traveling. A public-relations maven with notable clients in the design and architecture fields, Becher was en route to Milan. But once Gilbert emailed her photographs of the 1930 residence, she encouraged him to submit an offer though she had never set foot inside. The couple (who have two sons—David, a Los Angeles–based artist, and Marc, an editorial producer for CNBC in New York) moved in on Memorial Day, 2012.

Isabelle de Borchgrave was first inspired upon seeing numerous collections within New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. "I wanted to possess each and every one of those costumes," she recalls. "I wanted to recreate them, to make them mine." She decided that "the easiest way was to make sculptures with the first media I ever used: paper." Today, de Borchgrave is best known for her meticulous interpretations of historic costumes that she crafts with paper and paint.

I am still in my color phase,” says interior designer Kelly Hohla, standing in her dining room beside a pair of chartreuse chairs with plaid seat cushions and floral-pillow backs. “When I was younger, I did a lot of drawing and painting. I’m sure that influenced how I think about color—its layering and pairing, texture and pattern.”

Certainly, Book/Shop, in Oakland’s Temescal Alley, stocks books, but its literary connoisseurship extends beyond reading material. Launched by proprietor Erik Heywood in 2013, Book/Shop showcases a highly curated selection of reading-related goods designed to quicken the heartbeat of all who love the printed page. Among its wares are home goods like tabletop bookshelves and bookends and personal accessories including a Shakespearean iPhone cover and a signature canvas and leather Ballast Bookbag designed specifically for toting tomes. There’s even a library-scented perfume that is a blend of an old novel, leather bindings and worn cloth (along with a hint of wood polish).

Anyone who insists that there’s an absence of seasons in the Bay Area should talk to Michelle Pereira. “It’s a myth,” says the textile designer, whose palette is heavily influenced by her pastoral environs and their seasonal imagery. “One of my staple colors is metallic umber, which was inspired by the rolling, grassy hills of late Sonoma summer.”

To achieve an interior that was classic and tailored yet modern (a Free signature), the designer relied heavily on subtle colors and textures. Throughout the home, walls and ceilings were treated to soothing, contemporary paint colors; the blue-gray palette evokes the foggy neighborhood. “There’s a seamless flow between the indoors and outdoors,” notes Free.