Niche Interiors Blog: Inspiration and advice for creating a well-designed home
Lynn and I finally took a quick break from working on client projects to check out the Decorator Showcase house in Pacific Heights. Turns out this year’s house is a block away from one of our favorite clients! We urge you to go tour the magnificent home – all proceeds benefit the San Francisco University High School financial aid program. Open through May 27th at 2800 Pacific Avenue. In the meantime, take a peek inside a few of our favorite rooms…
Jeffers Design Group dazzles us again with a luxurious and moody room with layers and layers of texture in their Maker’s Mark Retreat.
I usually don’t swoon for rooms with ornate gold ceilings or puddling drapes, but something about this space designed by Catherine Kwong really did it for me. In a BIG way. Maybe it was the floor treatment inspired by Cy Twombly…
Applegate Tran’s teenage girl’s room was a welcome departure from the standard hot pink stylized floral madness. We loved the map of London on the ceiling, acid yellow, black and white color scheme, and especially that custom desk!
While we aren’t sure about the “eco-friendly-ness” of using 60 yr old Monterey pines in the salon designed by Leverone Design, we’ll admit their impact is grand. White moldings + lovely architectural details + tasteful modern furniture = winner!
Looking for some visual inspiration in the Bay Area this weekend? Head to San Francisco for TWO contemporary art fairs – ArtPadSF and artMRKT!
artMRKT brings together contemporary and modern artwork from 70 galleries from around the world, including some of our own local Bay Area galleries. May 17-19 at the Festival Pavilion in Fort Mason Center.
ArtPadSF showcases the best of the emerging contemporary art talent in the funky Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Edgier and smaller than artMRKT, come prepared to mingle and check out people, along with artwork from 40 national and international galleries. May 16 – 19th. Enjoy!
Are you stumped by how to combine patterns with panache? The trick is to mix prints that feel harmonious but not matchy. Read on for our top two tips!
Cohesive color palette. One of the easiest ways to effortlessly mix patterns is with a restrained color scheme. You can still have vibrant color – just stick to varying tones of two or three colors. In the living room above we opted for a cool color scheme of blues and grays with orange and ivory accents. The large scale rug works well with the smaller scale patterns in the pillows.
Scale is key. DO: Mix small prints with medium to large scale patterns. DON’T: Mix patterns that are the same scale. Why? They will compete with one another and feel too busy. The above patterns work well together because the green fabric has a 1.5″ repeat and the fuchsia fabric’s repeat is over 6″.
Our Burlingame project is quickly progressing, with our clients anxious to move in a matter of weeks. The floors are being stained, the staircase re-designed, and the entire house is in the process of being painted.
The formal living room is going to be a stunner! The A. Rudin tete-a-tete chaise lounge provides a sophisticated way to relax and enjoy the view or to join the conversation. An oversized coffee table in a cerused finish adds warmth and grounds the space, while two barrel back armchairs add a little curve to the clean-lined room.
The cool color palette consists of gray, blue, and ivory tones. We can hardly wait for install day!
We are happily working on a number of exciting projects at the moment! Furnishing an entire home in Pacific Heights, remodeling a master bathroom in Forest Hill, and finishing a kitchen makeover in Hillsborough. Our latest project designing a large family home in Burlingame is starting to take shape, and we couldn’t wait to share the progress!
The formal living room is a large blank slate (with dated fixtures).
First up: Staining the floors a darker, richer tone and painting the walls a warm gray.
It took 14 samples to find the perfect tone.
Next up: Selecting a floor plan. We presented two floor plan options to our clients for each room. They decided to go with the below option for the formal living room, which has a fabulous treetop view.
The final floor plan maximizes the view and provides plenty of seating.
Stay tuned for more developments! Furniture, rugs, fabrics, and window treatments are just around the corner.
Selecting a kitchen countertop material can be a daunting task – even for professionals! Check out three of our favorite sustainable and durable options that are sure to give your kitchen a fresh, updated look.
Quartz is a common waste product of mining industries – companies like Caesarstone have turned it into a premium, sustainable product. Adhesives used in Caesarstone Quartz contain polyester and acrylic epoxies that have either low or no VOC emissions. Naturally nonporous, it prevents the growth of surface molds without being treated with harmful chemicals.
Often used in commercial kitchens, stainless steel is making it’s way into more and more homes. Stainless steel contains at least 60 percent recycled content and is 100 percent recyclable. It creates a sleek contemporary look and it’s resistance to rust and heat make it a low maintenance option. Stainless steel is non-porous therefore will not harbor germs; it requires non-toxic, mild soap for clean up.
Recycled Composite Paper
Paper composite countertops are made from recycled post-consumer paper waste, bamboo fibers and salvaged wood fibers/cellulose compressed with petroleum-free resins. Although prone to mild scuffing and scratches, it is heat resistant and easy to maintain. Similar to natural wood, paper composite countertops will naturally patina over time intensifying in depth and color. PaperStone is FSC-certified and comes in a variety of colors.
Most people have heard the term “eco-friendly” or “green” interior design. But, not everyone understands exactly what it means. That’s why we created a brand new page on our website devoted just to this topic.
This green project in San Francisco featured zero-VOC paints, natural fabrics, and a custom eco-friendly, non-toxic sofa.
Green or eco-friendly interior design focuses on improving indoor air quality as well as reducing the impact that furniture purchases have on the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that most Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.
It’s crucial that we pay close attention to the products that we bring into our homes. Paint, cabinets, rugs, and upholstery all have a big impact on indoor air quality. One of the biggest obstacles faced right now is the California Technical Bulletin 117 that requires upholstered furniture to be made with harmful flame retardant chemicals. This NRDC video does a great job of illustrating the urgency of updating this law, which will be coming up for review shortly.
Check out our green interior design page for detailed tips on improving the health of your home, or contact us for professional eco-friendly interior design services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Go green!
Want to take a peek at our source list? Now is your chance! Check out a few of our favorite San Francisco sources for the most crucial design elements that go into creating a stylish and unique home. Enjoy!
Contemporary Lighting: DE SOUSA HUGHES, 2 Henry Adams Street Suite 220, San Francisco (To the Trade). The lighting collection at De Sousa Hughes is inspiring and of extremely high quality. Look no further for hand-crafted, customizable statement lighting.
Luxurious Fabrics: LEE JOFA, 101 Henry Adams Street Suite 490, San Francisco (To the Trade). Lee Jofa has thrived in the textiles industry for over two and a half centuries. It’s the place to head for sumptuous fabrics and classic prints.
Vintage Furniture: STUFF, 150 Valencia Street, San Francisco (Open to the Public). Stuff offers a range of vintage furniture, art, and home accessories, with an emphasis on mid-century pieces. Their newly expanded showroom has doubled in size!
Eco-Friendly Upholstery: CISCO HOME, 580 Hayes Street, San Francisco (Open to the Public). Cisco Home makes stylish, environmentally conscious upholstered items made with natural latex foam, organic wool, down, and FSC-certified woods.
Furniture & Cabinetry Hardware: E.M. HUNDLEY HARDWARE, 617 Bryant Street, San Francisco (Open to the Public). Hardware is the finishing touch on furniture, kitchen cabinets, and doors. Why scour the web when you can see hundreds of options in person at E.M. Hundley Hardware in SOMA?
Timeless and modern – black and white interiors are the perfect example of “less is more”. Embrace this classic color combo to bring a crisp, decisive look into your home.
When paint is simply not enough make a bold statement with patterned wallpaper.
Emphasize various materials like molded plastic, iron, or steel in the same hue for visual interest and depth.
A field of white upholstery is the perfect foundation for black accents to sing.
Showcase black and white lithographs, paintings, or photographs to drive this color palette home.
It’s always a treat to support our fellow designers at the annual California Home + Design Awards. This year’s gala was particularly memorable as Orlando Diaz-Azcuy was honored as Design Icon of the Year.
Orlando Diaz-Azcuy gained substantial experience as design principal for both Gensler and Associates Architects and has been leading his eponymous design studio in San Francisco since 1987. Diaz-Azcuy’s aesthetic embodies carefully crafted modern interiors with subtle, unexpected accents.
Ram’s Gate Winery is one of his latest creations – a rustic but refined tasting room and restaurant at the entrance to Sonoma Valley. This space epitomizes Diaz-Azcuy’s skillful juxtaposition of the raw and unfinished with just the right amount of polish. Exposed rafters mix with clean-lined upholstery and dramatic, oversized pendants. You feel like you’re in wine country – just without the scrolling vines and cheesy decor hitting you over the head (thank goodness). Congrats on a well-deserved award!