PEople ignore design that ignores people."
— FRANK CHIMERO
C O M P L E T E C O N V E R S I O N
Standing with the client in the entryway of this newly acquired property, she looked at us and said " I'm not crazy about this house.
It's cold, and dark, and it's your job to make it feel like home. I want to love this house when it is finished" With that somewhat daunting request, we began the task of transforming this cold 10,000 sq ft mansion into a warm, inviting home of timeless, classic design that would reflect their personal taste and style.
Because the property was a Decorator Showcase house in an earlier life, and a bit neglected over the years, it lacked any design continuity.
In an effort to restore some of its character, we stripped the house down to the bones and focused on the architecture and design elements that needed to be brought back to life.
An artist was hired to paint faux marbre and faux bois on the columns and coffered ceiling in the foyer. This area, once beautifully carved wood, was ultimately painted glossy white sometime in the 90's.
A dark and gloomy powder room also received a hand painted floor to ceiling chinoiserie mural, with fish scale detailing on the ceiling and door casings, and an antique Italian commode was refitted to serve as a vanity. The groin vault style ceiling in the library contained charming carved plaster details of miniature books, long since covered up by glossy white paint. This ceiling was brought back to life by the same artist by detailing the miniature books, and painting the rest of the ceiling in the style of an illuminated manuscript.
Bleached and damaged wood floors were replaced throughout with beautiful walnut parquet, mosaic tile, and natural stone. A structural engineer was brought in to oversee the addition of more windows on the top floor of the house to maximize Golden Gate Bridge views, while retaining the integrity of the architecture on the exterior of the house. By showcasing various English antiques along with rare Tibetan Tankhas, an antique Baccarat chandelier, and hand painted De Gournay silk wall covering for the dining room, the house emerged reborn with a beautiful new pedigree.
Success in the form of a 10,000 sq ft masterpiece. Standing in the solarium sometime after move in, looking out at the bronze sculpture that once claimed the Musee D' Orsay in Paris as it's home, the clients looked at us and said " We can't tell you how much we love this house. It's perfect, and we love living here". This project was a true culmination of custom-design, collaboration and taste!