San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2014: Back to Front (and Book Giveaway Winner!)

Time again for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, and this year it quite a special one! First of all, 2014 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year designed by Steven Miller is part of the festivities this year. And then there is an amazing display of talent throughout which I am excited to show you!

But first, I have to say the day was just spectacular. I decided to approach the city by driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. For those of you who know San Francisco, it is much faster to take the Bay Bridge when driving from the Valley, but since the Showcase house was right next to the Presidio area, I knew I would get to it right off of the Golden Gate Bridge. And there is something about entering San Francisco this way that never fails to fill me with awe. What a day!

I quickly found the house and made my way inside. The Showcase house is a 1908 Classical Revival owned by Alfred and Rose Sutro located on Jackson Street overlooking the Presidio and San Francisco Bay. Designed by the architectural team of Walter Danforth Bliss and William Baker Faville, the red brick home with Palladian style windows is 8,820 sq. ft. with six bedrooms, six and a half baths, and six fireplaces. There is an entry foyer, and then another much larger formal foyer....a sitting room, and then a much larger Living Room.....get the picture? This scenario sort of repeats itself throughout. 

Before I inspire you with all of the beautiful work by the very talented interior designers, I wanted to show you the exterior. After does seem that Mother Nature has a way with providing limitless amounts of inspiration....... 

As I mentioned, the day was perfect and the views spectacular. Sunny, warm but not hot, and Spring is in its glory. The gardens at the Showcase were enhanced by the talented team at Living Green Design. They added the eye catching red bench and Alice in Wonderland scaled snail sculpture, as well as the sculpture of Hercules. They also enhanced the Formal Gardens with new plantings. Take a little stroll...

Dunkirk and Associated provided the red bench by McKinnon and Harris

Hercules torso by Luciano Tempo
Rhododendrons were in full bloom!

Team from Living Green Design, principal Davis Dalbok

These two have been involved with quite a few of the recent Showcase houses, and every time I see their work, I do stop and stare. Just beautiful!

Another team who came together to create a special space outside is comprised of landscape designer, Katharine Webster and Thayer Hopkins Architects. These two took an otherwise unusable space and created a wonderful little wonderland. One enters from the back deck down a staircase and around the side of the house, passing white flowering plants, white roses and variegated greenery. The deck was constructed from reclaimed wood and leads one through the white garden into a space under the kitchen deck......

 The designers continued the decking underneath creating a space that could make a wonderful setting for an informal garden dinner! They lined it with boxwood and added a couple of fun swinging chairs.....

Just past this "indoor" space, one is drawn into a fanciful rhododendron tunnel lined with chartreuse ground cover that is sprinkled with shards of broken mirror and lined with undulating silvery ribbed fencing.....

Up the stairs, there is a courtyard with mirrored columns creating a multidimensional garden reflection. Fantastic!

As one comes all of the way around back to the front of the house, it is time to re-enter and start tour on the wonderful inside! I hope you will join me.

I will be back with more in days to come!


The Winner of the book:

Courtesy of Rizzoli

Janet Rose

(Janet, I hope you see this because you did not leave any contact information. Please email me at or comment again with your contact email so I can send your book to you! I will pick a new winner in a few days if I do not hear back.)