IN THE BAY AREA, things change rapidly,
which simply presents an invitation to change
the norm. Despite the push for bigger, more
technologically advanced, highly decorated,
lavish homes, the designers we feature in this
issue say that’s not the only way to go.
Smaller, unusual forms and simple devices
can be as effective.
For distinction on a suburban Peninsula tract
tightly surrounded by neighbors, San Francisco
architect Craig Steely has formed a sculptural,
seemingly roofless, amoeba-shaped wood house
with a high perimeter wall that is open to a
pageant of sky views.
is a spa-like wing separated from the old house
by a small room-size bridge — yet it provides
the owners with a sense of truly getting away.
To elevate its spare Japanese aesthetic, Bernstein
painted the exterior with joyful patches of
California poppy yellow.
The Pacific, a new modern San Francisco
apartment building with unusual faceted bay
windows, is now home to a collector of eclectic
art who moved there from a larger, Spanish
Revival home. San Francisco interior designer
Eche Martinez added modern chandeliers to
echo the windows and skillfully edited the
art collection on display. Now the American
impressionist works grouped on the living room
wall have a doubled and tripled effect when
reflected in mirrors on the opposite wall.
For a Napa Valley garden, Surfacedesign
devised unique parterres with kitchen herbs
and light-catching grasses that form patterns
and shapes evoking the surrounding vineyards.
In this season’s issue, look for two new columns. Tableside focuses on stellar restaurant
design, and Showstopper highlights a decorator
showcase room. Our regular departments also
take new turns: in Landing, we ride trains from
Vienna to Krakow; On the Rise looks at second
homes in natural settings with equestrian and
viticultural attractions rather than golf courses;
Rear Window pokes around the Marin Art &
Garden Center, now nearly 75, and uncovers a
rich history. In San Francisco, despite a major
makeover by Red Dot Studio, a Glen Park
cottage — in deference to the neighborhood
— still succeeds in looking like one. And while
furniture maker Florian Roeper digs deep to
uncover heartwood, designer Pablo Pardo voices
a career-long passion for table lamps, and artist
Jim Campbell reveals simple secrets about his
monumental LED light sculpture high atop the
mighty Salesforce Tower.
We hope the issue is illuminating.
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In the wine country, Norwegian architect
Casper Mork-Ulnes, working from an office in
San Francisco, created a guesthouse where every
visitor is equally accommodated. The geometric
democratic solution: three identical trapezoidal
board-formed-concrete cabins, angled so that
each has a triangular glass front that faces wide
valley views. Celebrated Sausalito-based interior
designer Charles de Lisle picked the identical
furnishings for each room. You can see this
designer’s own understated, comfortable-as-an-old-shoe Sonoma cabin in this issue as well.
San Francisco architect Cary Bernstein’s master bedroom addition for a couple in Tiburon