Shannon and I just finished a really fun project in North Beach. Our client lives in a flat with her husband and their two children. They have an extensive art collection along with a myriad of beloved textiles and found objects. They have adorned their space with exotic and interesting pieces but felt overwhelmed by a few of the rooms they used the most: their living/family room and their office/guest room.
Lets start with the family room. Having young children ourselves, Shannon and I know a thing or two about how your space gets invaded with castles and legos, trinkets and airplanes. In their family room, a train table served as the coffee table and they had a series of cabinets/dressers holding everything from the television and DVD's to legos and dinner linens. Our first goal was to de-clutter the space and re-arrange the furniture. She owned a great orange sofa and had an old leather chair that she wanted to keep, so from a furniture standpoint we wanted to get rid of the assemblage of smaller furniture pieces that peppered the room and add a few functional yet cool pieces (all vintage) that allowed for adequate storage and would also create the illusion of more space. Storage and space are two luxuries in San Francisco so we always keep these front of mind.
We kept the sofa, the chair, the trunk and the ever so important record player....the rest had to go. We ditched the old rug in favor of this West Elm dhurrie in iron which makes a statement but does not compete with the kuba cloth drapery. We found the brass tray top table on Chairish and sourced the hand-carved side tables from a local collective. The Harvey Probber credenza was a total score. These sell for thousands and thousands of dollars and we got this one for a fraction of that. It is a beautiful piece with ample storage for her children's DVDs and for her dinner linens. The combination of the woven doors with the black trim is a perfect anchor for the prints on the rug and the drapes. The vintage brass lamps were sitting in her basement and we replaced some of the fittings and added black lampshades from Restoration Hardware. The sofa was a little too short for the width of the room so by adding the side tables and the lamps, the sofa feels elongated and the whole wall space is visually used. We loved incorporating the cool items she already owned and adding a few others to round out the space. The room is chic enough for a candlelit cocktail party (records playing of course) and open enough for her children to build a Lego creation on the floor. Win win.
Now....on to the Guest Room/Office. Wow!
We don't need to say much about why this wasn't a functional room for this edgy young family. The elaborate bed was way too big for the room and too busy. There was another small assemblage of racks, cabinets and dressers to hold shoes, clothing and bedding and you could barely walk through the room to reach the closet. Our client said the room was used a handful of times each year as a guest room, but primarily she wanted to use it as an office, and dressing room (IKEA hack to follow in the next blog...it's RAD). First things first, remove all the clutter. We were left with the cool Mexican oil cloth that she had purchased to cover the walls, and a small but very functional space if decorated properly.
She wanted a futon to act as a sofa during the day, and roll out to a bed on the occasion she had overnight guests. Although we are not huge futon fans, we purchased a black one so that it would blend in with the other pieces and not make too much of a statement. We used her existing art to act as a "headboard" of sorts and frame the futon/sofa. We scored an awesome Paul McCobb dresser on Craigslist that had ample storage for some personal items and a set of bedding. The oversized glazed ceramic lamp was another basement treasure we had re-wired and we added a shade. The moroccan rug is the perfect complement, not competitor, to the Mexican oil cloth. Sometimes people are scared to mix patterns, but if they are of similar scale they can add a lot of dimension and interest in a room. And clearly, this client embraces anything bold. Boring she is NOT.
Their family went away to Mexico for the week and Shannon and I got down to business. She is thrilled and so are we. It was such a fun project to work with someone so daring and edgy and it was awesome to find such major scores on awesome mid-century pieces from really influential designers. Can't wait to be invited over for one of their infamous dinner parties...lights dimmed, records playing.