Author: Photographs by Matthew Millman

When you can see four bridges,10 church spires, mountains, ocean and most of San Francisco’s architectural landmarks from your 17th-floor apartment in Russian Hill, the sky’s not the limit—it’s the starting point.

Gregory Mottola, a principal at San Francisco-based Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, transformed the wine country farmhouse into a modern residence.

The surrounding landscape was the inspiration for this modern home by Aidlin Darling Design.

Architect Charlie Barnett fulfilled the homeowner's dream of a spacious, light-filled retreat inspired by International Style architecture.

One of the Bay Area’s most respected exhibition designers, Ted Cohen has been creating inspired museum, gallery and private art environments for more than 56 years. He has designed hundreds of shows for institutions across the country, from the Oakland Museum—where he was an in-house exhibition designer for more than 26 years—to the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now Museum of Arts and Design) in New York. In 2000, the American Craft Council named him an Honorary Fellow, a distinction awarded to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the crafts in America.

A designer’s studio is a staging ground for his or her identity: It’s a venue that enables them to communicate to clients and colleagues a pure version of their sensibility, before it’s adapted to a particular homeowner’s program. Here, five leading designers share the thinking behind the design of their distinctive offices.

Next generation Tahoe has set up camp and younger, fresher design is following in its wake. This look is what drew a young Bay Area couple with three small children to Martis Camp, a nine-year-old luxury development that has helped define the new Tahoe with its range of architectural styles. The couple hired architect Brendan Riley of Ryan Group Architects to help establish its design guidelines, also calling on Jay Jeffers to craft their urban-inspired interior.

Next generation tahoe has set up camp and younger, fresher design is following in its wake. This look is what drew a young Bay Area couple with three small children to Martis Camp, and the couple hired architect Brendan Riley of Ryan Group Architects. Transforming the lake into a destination for contemporary architecture and interior design.

Achieving a meaningful connection with the site of a future home is more than lip service for San Francisco architecture firm Aidlin Darling Design. A recent project saw co-founder Joshua Aidlin and associate principal Kent Chiang camping out on the property in order to truly understand it.

Achieving a meaningful connection with the site of a future home is more than lip service for San Francisco architecture firm Aidlin Darling Design. A recent project saw co-founder Joshua Aidlin and associate principal Kent Chiang camping out on the property in order to truly understand it.

Interior designer Melanie Coddington’s perfectly suited refurbished Victorian setting showcases various motifs. The rosy-blush palette honors the early 1900s space while giving it quiet glamour.

Noted architects and designers—Michael Merrill, Geoffry De Sousa, Alden Miller, ODADA, Nicole Hollis and Decorist—transform six bay area bathrooms from ho-hum spaces into innovative spa retreats. Awash in modern style, palettes of white, black, gray and beige create seamless connections to San Francisco’s foggy skyline. Marked by craftsmanship, the spaces include materials by such manufacturers as Caesarstone, Waterworks, Kohler, Hansgrohe and Duravit.

Interior designer and Northern California native Gary Hutton has been at the creative cutting edge for more than three decades. By bringing conceptual thinking and material innovation to his projects, the San Francisco designer creates singular, dynamic spaces for residential and commercial use. Most recently, Hutton designed the interiors for the new San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design and a leading art collector’s Los Angeles residence, and is currently at work on a 9,000-square-foot LEED platinum home.

"Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens by Charlotte Frieze offers so many inspiring spaces where hard and soft, smooth and textured, and organic and architectural elements are juxtaposed to create beautiful compositions that strike a balance.” —Kate Webster, landscape architect

There is no shortage of multimillion-dollar estates in Napa and Sonoma. But for those of us longing for a sunny wine-country weekend getaway under seven figures, we asked local Realtors where it might still be possible to buy a luxury home in that range.

When you can see four bridges,10 church spires, mountains, ocean and most of San Francisco’s architectural landmarks from your 17th-floor apartment in Russian Hill, the sky’s not the limit—it’s the starting point.