By Fred Albert
The wine was flowing (though not fast enough for some) at the April 24 opening of the 2015 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Elbowing their way through the crowd, a swanky assemblage of designers and their admirers surveyed the transformation of a 1917 Julia Morgan home into a stunning demonstration of decorative derring-do.
The Elizabethan-style home at 3630 Jackson Street in Presidio Heights proved to be an ideal subject, offering splendid views and three floors of design possibilities. Judging by the results, the ’70s are back with a vengeance, with Phillip Silver’s living room and other spaces evoking the plastics and patterns of the era. Lacquered walls were a recurring theme throughout the house, as were the use of enormous photographs, replacing the abstract expressionist canvases of yore.
Cecilie Starin raised more than a few eyebrows with her provocative dining room, where glamorous furnishings were juxtaposed with walls covered in “street art” (that’s graffiti to you and me). Personally, I couldn’t stop swooning over Kathleen Navarra’s expansive
kitchen/family room, which was pretty, playful, and extremely inviting. Loved the plaster-white chandelier over the cerused oak island, the mosaic backsplash, and the glossy gray-blue ceiling that evoked a San Francisco sky.
The Best Bang for the Buck Award goes to Eche Martinez, who confided that his sultry gentleman’s private lounge only cost $1,500 to decorate. Normally, you’d be hard-pressed to score a sconce for that little money. But necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. And sometimes that mother can rock.
The San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs through May 25; go to decoratorshowcase.org to learn more.