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A Grand Renovation


May 7, 2017

The story of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase began in 1977, with local interior designer Nan Rosenblatt and the first president of the San Francisco University High School’s Parents Assn., Philip Fernandez. Rosenblatt was a former San Francisco University High School parent, and together she and Fernandez conceived the first showcase to raise funds for the university’s financial aid program.

Within its first year, the showcase raised about $26,000, and over the past 40 years the event has netted more than $15 million to benefit the program. Almost one quarter of the school’s students receive financial aid, with the program providing more than $2,600,000 in grants annually.

With such a history, it only makes sense that the showcase itself would take place in a number of historical buildings in the city. This year’s took place in a Classical Revival mansion in the heart of Pacific Heights. Architects Newsom and Newsom designed this 11,000-sq.-ft. residence in 1904 – outfitting it with grand entertaining rooms and 12-ft.-high ceilings.

View a gallery of two baths in the showcase here.

An Unexpected Powder Room
Among these grand rooms, some of the most creatively done are the smaller spaces – like the powder room.

“Our goal was to create a space with an interesting contrast between traditional elements that one would expect in a historic home with more modern designs that we both love,” said Benni Amadi of San Francisco-based Benni Amadi Interiors, who partnered with fellow designer Courtney Springer of San Francisco-based Courtney Springer Interiors on the powder room. “We wanted to create something elegant and exciting with a bit of the unexpected.”

The ceilings in the bathroom were more than 11 feet high. To make them stand out in the small space, the designers decided to use wallpaper on the ceiling. The wallpaper was also continued down two feet off the ceiling to envelop the room and add in an unexpected design element.

“We chose several dark and dramatic materials,” said Springer, explaining that highly reflective elements were used to increase the theatrical feel in the room.

The woodwork and moldings are high-gloss black, and brass fixtures contrast a marble sink in the vanity. The sink faucet is in a French gold tone, which pops off of the black walls. Even the toilet is histrionic with its black color. For a final touch of bold color, the designers chose floor tiles in rich blue tones.

When we saw how these blue tiles popped against the black walls, we knew they would be terrific for creating the modern juxtaposition and contrast we were looking for,” said Amadi.

Elegant Sanctuary
The drama in the mansion continues in the guest bath, which was designed by Molie Malone of Sausalito, Calif.-based Molie Malone Interior Design.

Our goal in this space was to create an elegant and inspired bath that would be fitting for such a dramatic and historically important home,” said Malone.

She was given a long, narrow room in which plumbing placement was already determined. Malone wanted to create as much volume and airiness as possible without over-furnishing the space, so she combined oversized, separate vanities and reflective materials to create a sense of openness. Steel-like porcelain tiles, a high-gloss ceiling and a glass-enclosed shower allow light to fill the room.

Inspired by the portico at the entrance of the home, Malone chose a Grecian urn wallpaper by Voutsa as a nod to the home’s architectural lines. The room’s striking Lucite sconces and chandelier were meant to give the space an unexpected touch of modern design while still holding onto traditional lines.

She chose Kohler for all of the plumbing fixtures in the space, including the oval freestanding tub, the sinks, faucets, showerhead and tub filler. Cambria’s Brittannica was chosen for the shower slab walls and tub surround, and their white stone was used on the vanity countertops. The Ironworks Collection by Artistic Tile was used for the room’s floor tiles and shower pan.

“But our favorite part was a lastminute decision to add a billowing, single swag drape as a luxurious window treatment,” said Malone. “A surprising pop of orange, peaking from behind the drapery, echoes the custom paint color we created for the bathroom’s ceiling.”

The San Francisco Designer Showcase will run through May 29. Among the sponsors are Kohler, C2 Paint and Chairish, as well as media sponsors House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, HGTV and Modern Luxury magazines Interiors California, Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

Interior Design by Benni Amadi Interiors and Courtney Springer Interiors.  Photography by Christopher Stark.

benniamadiinteriors.com  | @benniamadiinteriors
courtneyspringerinteriors.com | @courtneyspringerinteriors
christopherstarkphoto.com  | @christopherstark