Rising Design Star Lauren Geremia Designs a Woodsy Nest in Hillsborough for a Bi-Coastal Couple

Glass Box San Francisco living room with custom sofa with a low, backless bench from HD Buttercup

Lacing recycled tree bark across the dining room wall and placing a live-edge redwood table at its center, Lauren Geremia claimed the interior of this Hillsborough home for nature. With this arboreal gesture, the designer set the stage for a house that would embody the Bay Area’s indoor/outdoor sensibility for its bicoastal owners who, charmingly, travel with their pet birds. The space’s organic materials and focus on exterior views keep the human and avian residents connected to the landscape—key when they’ve just arrived from New York. “This is their West Coast residence,” says Geremia, “and when they’re here, friends and family come up, and they entertain inside and outside. It’s like a Tahoe home on the Peninsula.”

A rugged table from Coup d’Etat contrasts with luxe travertine floors

To ensure the residence was grounded in the Bay Area aesthetic, Geremia commissioned custom furnishings from local artists and furniture makers. For the dining room, for example, she hand-selected the redwood slab and tapped Oakland designer Eli Berland to transform it into a sinuous seven-foot table. She also collaborated on the trio of pendant lights with another Oakland talent, glass artist Jess Wainer, who contributed the translucent hand-blown globes. And Potrero Hill’s Dogfork Lamp Arts provided the industrial-chic pendant lights in the living room and sitting area.

The walls of the home are no less localized, featuring photography by Bay Area artists including Catherine Wagner, Brion Nuda Rosch and Tammy Rae Carland. Anchoring a dining area is San Francisco artist Andy Diaz Hope’s Centering Device, a faceted mirror piece that Geremia selected to play on the angles of the modernist home. “Because the house has some asymmetry—the oddly pitched ceiling in the living room, for example—I wanted to emphasize it in a positive way,” she explains.

The quirky living room also offers a seamless connection to the landscape thanks to a dramatic banks of windows. The nearly floor-to-ceiling glass lends a conservatory-like feel to the room, giving it an airy transparency and framing the exterior plantings. Geremia kept the furnishings minimal to maintain the flow of the open floor plan, centering the space with a custom two-piece sofa. And because the sofa, tufted bench and side tables can all be easily moved and regrouped, its perfect for entertaining. “It’s a fun and flexible space,” she notes.

 In a restful corner of the master bedroom sits an antique beaded African chair from Battersea.

Geremia maintained the laid-back atmosphere in the bedrooms. In the master, a low-slung, antique chair is paired with a petrified tree stump to create a cozy reading spot. In a guest bedroom, in lieu of a headboard, the designer suspended a natural-hued textile from oversized nailheads, and covered the bed in red- and white-striped ticking. In a second guest bedroom, which Geremia wanted to feel “antique and organic,” she kept things soft and textural, topping a weathered vintage bedframe with plump white cotton bedding.

Now, when the homeowners arrive in the Bay, there is no mistaking where they’ve landed. When both the couple and the birds take their perches among the assemblage of landscape-inspired pieces, there is a view of nature from both sides of the glass.

A version of this article appeared in the May 2014 issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens with the headline: The Aviary.