Earth Day: 3 Ways to Make a Difference

Posted on April 22nd, 2014

Happy Earth Day! As interior designers we’ve been given the opportunity to play our part in helping the environment. The furnishings, materials, and finishes that we source have far-reaching impacts on the health of the local and global environment as well as the health of our clients. Here are three small choices you can make that will have a very large impact in conserving our planet’s resources.

sustainable wood flooring

1. Opt for FSC certified or reclaimed wood flooring, cabinets, and furniture. Forests create oxygen, protect biodiversity, filter pollutants, and help mitigate global warming. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international agency that tracks and certifies sustainably harvested wood. By purchasing FSC certified wood, you are supporting responsible forestry practices that help protect forest ecosystems.

contemporary armchair

2. Invest in quality furniture.  Avoid poorly constructed furniture and invest a little more in pieces that will stay with you for many years. You’ll prevent adding to our rapidly growing landfills, and will also avoid using additional resources to replace your original purchase. Don’t have a big budget? Consider vintage! Sometimes all it takes is a new fabric or wood stain to give a piece new life, for a fraction of the cost of new items. The Alameda Antiques Faire and vintage shops such as Past Perfect are fantastic places to start your search.

vintage modern dining room

3. Shop local. Ask showrooms where their furniture is made and consider the fossil fuels required to bring a large item from overseas. There are so many quality furniture companies that still manufacture right here in the United States, such as Plantation, A. Rudin, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to name a few.

Looking for more guidance? Contact us to learn more about our green interior design services!

Niche Interiors is Hiring!

Posted on April 14th, 2014

pacific heights interior design

We’re on the hunt for a Junior Interior Designer to join our team!

Are you excited by the latest in green, eco-friendly design?

Is Elle Decor  your bible?

Do you have a degree in Interior Design and a passion for details?

If this sounds like you (or someone fabulous that you know) please email us your resume!

Bring on the Color!

Posted on April 9th, 2014

Our latest project, a bachelorette pad in One Rincon Hill, inspired us to share our tips for bringing color into your home – from daring, vibrant upholstery to accent pillows and flowers.

modern interior design san francisco

Re-think the painted accent wall.  A grasscloth accent wall is a great way to add both color and texture to your space. In this master bedroom we chose a paprika shade to spice up a mostly neutral room. Try combining various shades of a warm color with a cooler hue across the color wheel from your main color. In this room we opted for orange with aqua accents.

vintage furniture san francisco

Feeling adventurous?  Consider a vibrant fabric for your next armchair! We snatched up these vintage Milo Baughman chairs from a dealer and had them re-upholstered at our local San Francisco workroom. Bonus: The new latex inserts are non-toxic and eco-friendly.

interior decorator san francisco

Commitment issues:  Using bold color in large (and more permanent) ways isn’t for everyone. Starting out with accent pillows and flowers is a safe way to venture into the world of color. We like to stick to one type of flower or one color for unfussy, contemporary arrangements.

Style Quiz: Floral Personality

Posted on March 17th, 2014

There is nothing like fresh flowers to enliven a space and add just the right amount of color and texture. With so many options it can be hard to decide what to choose. Take our style quiz to see which type of arrangement is the perfect fit for your home!

interior styling san francisco

Do you have an affinity for the unconventional? Unfussy, unstructured arrangements using branches or dried flowers add interest without looking like you tried too hard.

Classic flowers San Francisco

Would you describe your home as traditional? Classic architectural details and furnishings call for roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. We prefer sticking to one flower and adding simple greenery as an accent.

Succulent centerpiece

Au Naturel
For the outdoor adventurer living a casual lifestyle, these arrangements include rough and earthy elements such as succulents, rocks, moss or wood.  These low to no maintenance plants add instant texture to a setting without competing with existing color palettes.

modern interior design san francisco

The widely renown aphorism, “less is more” from architect Mies van der Rohe resonates for minimalists.  Flowers with sculptural, almost architectural qualities are showcased in a single glass vase.

Coming Soon: Madeline Weinrib

Posted on March 3rd, 2014


The new Madeline Weinrib showroom in the San Francisco Design Center caught my eye yesterday – those patterned Swan chairs are so fun! The showroom was gracious enough to let me snap a few photos before their official opening next month.


Known for her vibrant color and bold patterns, Madeline Weinrib puts a contemporary spin on global motifs. Her New York-based line includes hand-woven textiles, carpets, and home accessories – many of which can be seen in our projects! The new showroom is located on the first floor of the Galleria building in the San Francisco Design Center at 101 Henry Adams Street.

Flame Retardants: Going, Going, Gone?

Posted on February 20th, 2014

After 39 years of living with toxic sofas, we finally have cause for celebration! The new 2013 update to the California TB 117 flammability law just went into effect last month. Furniture manufacturers are no longer required to add flame retardants to the foam in upholstered furniture. That is AMAZING news – one big step in the right direction towards creating greener, healthier homes!

eco non toxic sofa san francisco

Eco-friendly sofa designed by Niche Interiors and built locally in San Francisco

The chemicals found in flame retardants have been shown to cause a number of health problems including cancer, reproductive issues, and impaired IQ. Sadly, the use of these chemicals has not proven to be effective in slowing ignition or preventing fires. The new HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat” does an excellent job of examining the history of this law, and the forces that big tobacco has had on it’s creation.
eco friendly custom sofa bay area

Eco-friendly sofa with latex foam and organic wool

How does the new law affect your furniture options? While the new law is a huge step forward, it still doesn’t ban flame retardants from being added to foam, it simply doesn’t require them. We are hopeful that manufacturers will start making the switch soon, but we’ve been told that foam companies are planning to unload all of their current inventory before investing in new technology.

What should I look for when shopping for a non-toxic sofa? First, be sure it has the TB 117-2013 tag. Second, ask the sales associate if the foam has been treated with flame-retardant chemicals. If they don’t know or can’t provide concrete information it’s best to look elsewhere. Companies such as Cisco Home already offer better alternatives that are made with soy foam.

Ready to go 100% green? An essential part of Niche Interiors’ eco-friendly design services are our custom non-toxic sofas made of natural latex foam wrapped in organic wool, which has natural flame resistant qualities. Contact us today for more information.

Best of Houzz 2014: Customer Satisfaction & Design

Posted on February 10th, 2014

We’re thrilled to win the Best of Houzz award for both Customer Satisfaction and Design for the third year in a row! As most of you already know, is a fantastic resource for finding and sharing inspiration photos for all your interior design projects.

san francisco interior design projects

“The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz.”

A huge thank you to our amazing clients for taking the time to write testimonials and to Houzzers for continuing to find inspiration in our work!

New Digs: Design Within Reach

Posted on January 29th, 2014

We had a fabulous time celebrating the new Design Within Reach showroom last week at their opening soiree!  The new 20,000 square foot showroom is in the heart of the San Francisco Design Center on the corner of Kansas and 15th Streets.

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There are over 20 room vignettes, vibrant light installations, and a catwalk display of dining chairs called the Dining Test Lab…Genius! Finally, we have a place to test out all of our favorite modern classics in person!


Mixing Vintage in Your Modern Home

Posted on January 21st, 2014

As regulars at San Francisco antique shops and local flea markets, we know that vintage furniture is a fantastic way to create one of a kind spaces. Naturally, we were thrilled when one of our clients expressed interest in looking for mid-century pieces for their new home on Telegraph Hill.

vintage contemporary design bay area

The first treasure found in our hunt were molded plywood Prouve-style dining chairs in need of a little TLC. Powder coating the bases, touching up the wood, and reupholstering the seats will return these chairs to their former glory.

milo chairs

Next up: Milo Baughman armchairs from the 1970′s! These showstoppers will feel right at home in our client’s family room with kelly green velvet upholstery and new, eco-friendly cushion inserts. Not sure how to incorporate vintage pieces into your home? Read on for inspiration photos and quick tips.

vintage eclectic interior design san francisco

Tip: Mix in the old with the new for a look that doesn’t feel too matchy or stuck in one era.

mid century interior design san francisco

Tip: Let your vintage finds become the focal point of a room. Don’t be afraid to go bold with color!

transitional interior design

 Tip: Use sculptural chairs and tables to add interest to rooms with minimal color and pattern.

Custom Bedding to the Rescue!

Posted on January 7th, 2014

Have you spent hours searching for the *perfect* duvet cover and shams and came up empty handed? Unfortunately, there is a void in the marketplace for unique bedding with a wide range of color options. Our solution? Go custom! It’s a surefire way to create the exact look you envisioned.

1. Pattern Play & Scale. We love a matelasse but retailers don’t offer many options beyond the usual diamond, circle or basket weave design. Our clients fell in love with an organic puzzle piece patterned fabric, but the 3″x3″ repeat felt too small for a king sized quilt. Solution: With the help of our seamstress and CAD program, we recreated the inspiration fabric with simplified curves and a larger pattern.  The end result is impactful, fun and unique!

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2. Hue & Tone.  Bedding retailers lack color diversity, especially in the warm tone spectrum.  When hues like maize, terra cotta, or brick are impossible to find, custom is the way to go.  Fabrics from Lee Jofa, Schumacher, Clarke & Clarke, and Romo Group fill this color void and allow us to design warm, cozy bedrooms.

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3. A Little Goes a Long Way.  The clients in our recent East Bay project already had a soothing bedding collection consisting of pale teal, sand and parchment.  At the end of the design process, we agreed that the bed needed a jolt of unexpected color.  We searched the design center for the perfect fabric to inject a pop of persimmon to the ensemble. It’s amazing how just two small custom pillows can tie a space together!

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Ready to re-design your space? Contact us for more information about our San Francisco Interior Design Services!