I’ve just come back from the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. It’s in a stunning four-storey mansion on Pacific Avenue. Since I used to live on the same street (several blocks away, in a far less posh area, I might add!) I’ve passed the house many times and often wanted to look inside.

It certainly lived up to expectations. The house has beautiful high ceilings, wide stairways, moldings and lots and lots of natural light. It’s hard to imagine anyone ever living there – but then that’s kind of the point, it’s supposed to be slightly dream-like.

You can’t take pictures in the house so I found some on other sites. In particular, Anh-Minh has a great sneak preview. I hope they make more photos available after the event though.

This is the family room, designed by Michael Leverone. This was probably my favorite room in the house. It somehow manages to be extremely special, while also being comfortable and eminently livable. I think that’s because of the proportions of the furniture. The coffee table, for example, is enormous. It’s made of teak – apparently the trunk of six trees that fused together. I can’t imagine how heavy it must be. Then there’s the sofa which is about twice the length of a normal sofa. Because Leverone has chosen fewer pieces, but on a larger scale, the result is a much more simple space. The other thing I loved about this room is all the texture – again it makes you want to actually sit down and stay for a while. The stools are covered in fluffy mohair, the teak table is smooth as silk, and the sideboard by the window is covered in linen with a pattern in brass studs. Oh, and those little glass ornaments under the wall light are old fashioned electric bulbs!

Family room

Photo via Anh-Minh.

Leverone also did the breakfast room. I could definitely enjoy a morning coffee here…

Breakfast nook

Also via Anh-Minh.

The kitchen is by Jennifer Weiss. I learned in this room that stainless steel countertops don’t have to feel cold and industrial. [UPDATE: I’ve just had an email from Jennifer and they are actually zinc, which explains why they seemed much lighter and warmer than steel]. I also love the white tiles with oval reliefs on them. I’m going to think about that for our kitchen (if we ever get it done). Photo via Apartment Therapy.


This is the dining room, by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy. I forgot to count how many you can seat at this table, but it has to be about 14. I’m really into white ceramics at the moment so this was a fun room to browse in. Photo via Anh-Minh again.

Dining room

Here is one of the bedrooms, by Cecilie Starin. I like the gray and lilac. The Louis sofa and the screen behind the bed are both really pretty. It looks a lot more serene here than when I was there, though. Probably because there weren’t 15 people all crammed in when this pic was taken! Photo via Apartment Therapy again.


Palmer Weiss did the teenage daughter’s bedroom. This was one of the brightest rooms in the house. I would have loved this as a teenager. She really hit the nail on the head with this. You can’t see it, but there’s a black (I think) leather Louis chair in this room too!


On the top floor is the penthouse, by Heather Hilliard (photo from her web site). This is a much smaller space, but I really liked it. It felt much more like home. The views, though, are incredible – right across the bay. Heather has done a wonderful job: those peacock blue chairs against the orange flowers are great.


In the basement there’s a silent auction. If you want to buy the shooting script from Milk, signed by Sean Penn, this is the place to get it. Last bid is $1250 though…

I’ll post some more on the Showcase later. Meanwhile, enjoy!