I’m excited to share some photos of my latest design project: furnishing an open plan living and dining area of an apartment in San Francisco.
My good friend Cynthia wanted to turn her place into a sophisticated refuge from her busy job running her own daycare. The space needed to be restful, pretty and most of all, completely grown up.
We settled on a transitional, eclectic style combining Asian pieces and Chinoiserie with a splash of mid-century modern. The palette was gold and blue, with strong contrasting backdrops in black and white.
The centerpiece of the design is this Chinese screen, found at Alameda antique market. We had planned to use a gold chinoiserie decal, but when we spotted this we just had to use it. The black walls set off the screen and a brass Sputnik chandelier ties it all together. I used a table found on Craig’s List and white Eames-style chairs.
The plan was for the living room to be more quiet and airy than the dining room, so we chose white walls and added coziness with gray linen curtains.
We kept the gold and brass tones in the drapery rods and, most importantly, in the Chinese drum stools which act as a coffee table, side table or extra seating depending on the occasion.
Mixing styles and periods was an important part of the scheme. So the tufted chair from Overstock is inspired by English wing chairs, while the curved wood chair is an original American mid-century piece. The round table is vintage Lane, while the ottoman was a Gilt find, and much-loved for its chinoiserie design.
The room features a corner fireplace, which can be tricky for furniture arrangements. But we decided to make a feature of it by painting the entire wall and mantelpiece in Pavilion Gray by Farrow and Ball. A mix of mid-century and handmade accents, such as the gold and black bowls from Etsy, made the fireplace look more welcoming.
Cynthia is a collector of Cucaro paintings. Cucaro was active from the 1960s through to the early 2000s so his work is a perfect fit for the mid-century pieces in this apartment. We used paintings with blues and greens to create a cohesive yet entirely personal scheme.