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The Best Residential Interior Designers in San Francisco

July 31, 2017 30 Min Read

The Bay Area has some of the world’s top residential architectural practices. (If there was any doubt, check out our list of the city’s Top Residential Architects). So it only makes sense then that the region would also be home to top-of-the-line interior designers to make those spaces into the perfect homes. Many of the designers included on this list have worked repeatedly with the top architectural firms. They work in San Francisco’s most fashionable neighborhoods and on magnificent homes set in the stunning landscapes that surround the city. Included are designers who have been invited to some of the country’s most exclusive showcases, two designers on the elite AD100, and multiple designers who have been featured on HGTV. Whether they are designing for clients where money is no matter, creating fun homes for active families, or cleverly making the most of small city apartments on smaller budgets – these eleven designers have been picked from hundreds as the best of the best in San Francisco residential interior design.

Soledad Alzaga Interior Design

239 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Soledad Alzaga Interior Design is a San Francisco-based residential and commercial design firm. Catering to global projects, it is recognized for creating timeless interiors with tailored designs catering to the needs of each client. The firm’s team of highly experienced experts with meticulous attention to detail and a knack for layering materials to create beautiful and functional spaces. It collaborates with clients, architects, contractors, and local and international artisans to create purposeful curated projects. The team is led by founder Soledad Alzaga, who has completed countless projects in the USA, Mexico, and Argentina, and personally oversees every project. Her work has been featured in Luxe, San Francisco Chronicle, California Home and Design, and Sunset Magazine, among other publications.

The clients of this home are initially from New York, then moved to Pacific Heights, San Francisco, bringing their extensive art collection. They requested to creatively incorporate the art pieces with the home’s sophisticated style, as well as the client’s appreciation of modern Italian furniture and unique antique pieces. To achieve the remarkable mix, the Soledad team used B&B Italia sofas with tailored slipcovers in the main living room, added an oversized Maxalto swivel chair, and used an Indian wood antique bed as a coffee table. The kitchen opens into a beautiful sitting and dining room space with a fireplace, high ceilings, and a view of the entire Bay. It also has a breakfast nook with a built-in banquette, making this a room with multiple areas. The team also designed a sturdy quartz top picnic table that can withstand heavy use for the nook, and in contrast, put an antique wood table in the dining area with modern white chairs and an oversized picture of Mohamed Ali, whom the client admires and had blown up to fit the room’s big scale.

Form + Field

421 Townsend St Ste 305, San Francisco, CA 94107

Form + Field is known for creating original residential and commercial interiors that honor the identity, history, and surroundings of their clients. With an emphasis on art, architecture, and eclectic modernism, the firm cultivates every project as a partnership. Form + Field’s work and expertise has been featured in California Homes, Hospitality Design, Domino, and the New York Times.

Led by Christine Lin, a multi-disciplinary creative with degrees in architecture, engineering, and business from MIT and UC Berkeley, Form + Field believes that well-designed spaces help people live their best lives. Their goal as a full-service interior design firm is to collaborate with clients to create original, one-off spaces that support the clients’ goals. Along the way, personalized service and an efficient, process-oriented approach saves clients time and stress.

Home Design by Form and Field

The firm renovated and furnished a historic Tudor in Atherton, CA for a multi-generational family. Because the estate was last updated over 30 years ago and was damaged by heavy rainfall a few years ago, a lot of work was needed to create a comfortable and welcoming home for the owner’s adult children and young grandchildren.

Respecting the architecture and the varying style preferences of the extended family, Form + Field blended traditional and modern styles seamlessly throughout the home. Spaces were reconfigured to reflect the needs of the younger generations – turning the home theater into a guest room, the formal living room into the media room, and the sunroom into the play room. A custom bunk bed to sleep six was also designed and built to accommodate the growing number of grandchildren!

Applegate Tran Interiors

34 Woodward St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The award-winning design studio Applegate Tran Interiors (ATI) has been creating beautiful residential spaces across the Bay Area and as far as New York, Hawaii, Panama City, France, and Vietnam since 1999. Their work has been featured in many prominent society and design publications, including California Homes, Trends Magazine, Gentry Design, The Robb Report, Traditional Home, CA Home + Design, and on HGTV. And they have received Awards of Distinction and Excellence from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Led by the creative genius duo Vernon Applegate and Gioi Tran, ATI has become renowned across the country for their upscale designs and attention to detail. The pair is known for pushing the conventional boundaries of design and using materials and color in new and innovative ways. Their designs are always distinctively personalized for each client, and they have proven to be proficient at a broad range of aesthetics, from classic to modern and everything in between.

Project by Applegate Tran Interiors

For a couple downsizing from a large waterfront home in the Marina District to a two-story flat in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle, Applegate Tran Interiors were trusted to create a high-end, playful, and fearless home. Having worked with these clients previously, Applegate was given a broad freedom to design. He embraced his love of color and experimenting with patterns and texture and, in his own words, took cues from “a sexy nightclub from the 1970s.” This quirky approach paid off in loads of fun details: from the mismatched dining room chairs with glossy white trim and matching purple upholstery, paired with four purple and white abstract paintings done by Tran to the vivid fuchsia, purple, and amber curtains used in the living room.For balance, the practice created a softer, warmer, neutral toned master bedroom. The result was featured in CA Home + Design Magazine.

And on a terribly outdated 1980s modernist Ladera home, the design studio was enlisted for a complete makeover. Their clients, a tech investor and entrepreneur, requested an understated, yet luxurious, oasis with indoor-outdoor living. Applegate and Tran used bold and contrasting texture to the home to bring it back to life and created a sense of Zen with a restrained approach to furnishings. They paid attention to the smallest of details, even ensuring that each piece of living room furniture was at a height of 30 inches or less so as not to disrupt the treetop views. The design studio created custom living room accessories, such as a rug and ottoman, and even an abstract painting, for this home. This modern and airy home was featured in Modern Luxury Interiors California magazine.


175 De Haro Street San Francisco, CA 94103

LOCZIdesign is a full-service Bay Area design firm dedicated to making unique spaces. The firm received the reader’s choice award for Room of the Year from California Home & Design and was named by LuxPad as a top 25 designer in California. The firm has worked on an eclectic mix of residences, from re-imaging the classic Victorian, designing a strikingly fun and modern home in SOMA, to creating a one-of-a-kind Bohemian boathouse.

Home by LOCZIdesign

The firm re-imagined Mid-century modern classics in a new light for an Urban Haight Street Loft. Their design was inspired by their clients’ collection of Eames & Noguchi collectibles. LOCZIdesign remodeled nearly every part of this home, removing walls and reconfiguring the stairs. They also modified the square-footage in the master bathroom, added a custom closet suited to their client’s needs, a gorgeous and clever custom library. They worked with local artisans to create furniture, accents, and accessories of using walnut, ceramic and steel. The sleek, timeless loft is full of rich, luxurious tones.

And on top of a hill in Pacific Heights, LOCZIdesign remodeled a Victorian pied-a-terre into an opulent, re-imagine classic home. Their design showcases the original vaulted-ceilings of the historic home and added grand chandeliers that refract the abundance of light that enters the home and throws it across the walls in dynamic patterns. Of the home, LOCZIdesign says: “Black and white, angled and curved, classical and modern all coexist in this little gem.”

They also created a contemporary home in the Castro District of San Francisco. LOCZIdesign played with textures and patterns throughout the home for a one of a kind result – wood is mixed with steel, lacquer with leather, and wool with hide. The inspiration for this home came from Alexander McQueen, including a cascading stone fireplace wall that was inspired by McQueen’s razor clam dress. And an installation of softly toned wood blocks covers one wall and wraps around the ceiling to define the dining space and serve as a magnificent talking piece. Although the home is refined and upscale, it has a comfortable and relaxing feel.

Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc.

3701 Sacramento Street #431, San Francisco CA 94118

Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc. is known for classic, well-edited residential spaces. They have received significant press, including in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, 7×7, California Home and Design, and on HGTV. In 2009, Domino Magazine selected Grant K. Gibson as one of the “10 Designers to Watch” and in 2010, Elle Decor magazine named him one of “5 Designers to Watch.” The practice has participated in two San Francisco Decorator Showcases.

Originally founded in New York in 2002, Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc. is now based in San Francisco and works on projects around the country. Regardless of if they are designed a getaway-home in Palm Beach, a high-end condo for a financial boss in New York City, or a luxury family home in Los Angeles, their work is fresh, eclectic, and always highly livable.

Home by Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc

“Our philosophy is that a home is the ultimate reflection of personality: interiors are about the people who inhabit them and each interior is unique.” –Grant K. Gibson Interior Design

Gibson had the challenge to design two separate homes in a Castro duplex for two adult sisters, their husbands, and a combined five children. To help make this arrangement practical and enjoyable, Gibson overhauled the 1965 building. The sisters, each inhabiting a separate floor, had almost completely divergent tastes. The downstairs has a warm, subdued environment with Japanese and Scandinavian influences, dominated by white and wood tones. The upstairs was made into “a jewel box…polished and bold in color and wallpaper.” Eclectic patterns adorn the walls and daring colors stand out at every turn. The downstairs kitchen, where large family dinners occur, is as beautiful as it was practical. With clean-lined white oak shelving and cabinetry and mismatched wooden chairs around a 15-foot bench, it is the perfect setting to gather the family of 9. The upstairs kitchen is more luxurious and dramatic, with large expanses of marble, brass fixtures and hardware, and saturated blue custom cabinetry. This fascinating duplex was featured in Modern Luxury.

And Gibson got creative with his own apartment in Presidio Hills. He loved the location and raw shell so much that an outdated design could not deter him, and he negotiated two months free rent if he renovated it. He challenged himself to refresh the rental with maximum style at minimum cost. He used a timeless, neutral palette layered with vintage furnishings to create a lavish, airy home. He even stained the floors walnut and built a hollow banquette beneath the living room’s bay window for extra seating. The result was featured in The New York Times.

Palmer Weiss Interior Design

1808 Wedemeyer Street, Suite 180, San Francisco, CA 94129

Palmer Weiss Interior Design studio is known for homes that are timeless, modern, and extremely livable. Weiss does not shy away from bold colors, loud patterns, or expertly mixing contrasting styles. She has participated in the San Francisco Decorator Showcase and the San Francisco Elle Decor Showcase. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Domino, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, California Home + Design, LUXE, Coastal Living, The San Francisco Chronicle, and HGTV.

Founder Palmer Weiss was raised in Charleston, South Carolina and credits her Southern roots as a major design influence. She places an emphasis on family heritage, formality, and tradition, mixed with a touch of eccentricity. Her interest and success in this field were curated early, with a father in real estate development and a well-known interior designer mother. In addition to making beautiful spaces, Weiss places a heavy emphasis on functionality and loves creating spaces for active families.

Project by Palmer Weiss Interior Design

“The creations of San Francisco-based interior designer Palmer Weiss, who expertly applies a neo-traditional aesthetic and reverence for antiques to luxurious yet livable family spaces, are in high demand.” – C Magazine, on Palmer Weiss

Palmer Weiss re-designed a Pacific Heights family home to feel expensive but comfortable for a client who arguably loved color as much as her. It has a cozy family room with different saturations of the blue ocean and sky that can be seen out the large bay windows, including a vibrant blue covering the built-in bookshelves and cabinets. And there is the dining room with a rich green lacquered wall and bright yellow chairs and a light-filled office with deep espresso and moss green tones. For balance, Weiss uses a clean black and white palette in the kitchen, where the walls are covered with classic white subway tiles and the oven hood is translucent with gold trim. The eating nook feeds off of the kitchen aesthetic with a loud beige and black patterned wallpaper and built-in booth seating to make the most of a narrow space.

And for a high-powered couple with two young children, Weiss created a highly sophisticated, but family-friendly, home. Her clients favored a muted gray color palette, to which Weiss added her signature pops of color, such as with a bright yellow custom made couch in the master bedroom, and playful patterns, such as with enlivened wallpaper with flower and bird patterns. Weiss created a lively kitchen by opening up the formerly cramped kitchen space for natural light and painting the walls and ceilings white to reflect the sunlight. The previously dark dining room was transformed into a bright, welcoming space for entertainment, complete with a wet bar framed by green glass tiles.

Ann Lowengart Interiors

223 San Anselmo Avenue, Suite 7, San Anselmo, CA 94960

Ann Lowengart Interiors (ALI) has become a favorite in the Bay Area for residential interior design, in part because of Lowengart’s bold use of color. ALI’s work has been featured in California Home and Design, Architectural Digest, the Huffington Post, Better Homes & Gardens, Modern Luxury Interiors CA, ELLE DECOR, Town & Country, Traditional Home, Luxe, and on HGTV. Additionally, Ann Lowengart was recently featured in the July-August issue of House Beautiful. Lowengart has participated in the exclusive San Francisco Decorator Showcase and the Traditional Home Magazine Napa Valley Showhouse.

ALI is a full-service residential interior design firm in Marin County, founded by Annie Lowengart in 2000. Lowengart does not shy award from bold and invigorating designs and has a truly ‘fearless approach to color.’ Her homes are strikingly vivid and her portfolio covers nearly every hue, style, and atmosphere one could imagine.

Project by Ann Lowengart Interiors

“While she can beautifully design a classic Victorian era home, she is also unafraid to splash walls with shades of Caribbean blue or shamrock green, breathing new life into the often “safe” world of interior design. She also uses geometric patterns in both textiles and wallpapers creating a look that is both modern and multi-dimensional. Her imaginative design spectrum can range from colorful and bohemian to classic and chic.” -The Huffington Post, on Lowengart

Prior to founding her firm, Lowengart worked for five years in the corporate world at Procter & Gamble and then designed wedding gowns for four years. She credits her aunt, an interior designer in the ‘70s and ‘80s, for her passion for design. She earned her Bachelor at the University of California, Berkeley.

ALI designed a family home, dubbed “Cozy with a Pop of Orange,” for a client who shared Lowengart’s passion for vibrant colors. The entire home is showcases “a sophisticated take on living with lacquer.” The family room is the standout area – the walls and built-in media cabinet and shelves are painted a brilliantly lacquered plant-green, set against a deep blue coffee table, bright shiny orange seats, and a mix of furnishing with sophisticated textiles that evoke animal prints. The kitchen is covered in a navy and white color palette from floor to ceiling, with shiny silver hardware, resulting in a space that is both unexpected and timeless.

And ALI designed a contemporary family home that carefully blended her two clients’ seemingly contrasting tastes. Architectural Digest, who featured the home in 2016, explains that Lowengart cultivated “a sophisticated mix of furnishings that combined the wife’s taste for glamour with the husband’s request for an organic, modern feel.” This blend is demonstrated in the driftwood chandelier bedecked in Swarovski crystals that hangs in the bright and airy formal living room. One-of-a-kind pieces such as this, which Lowengart tracked down from an artist in Portland, are put together to form a sophisticated and extraordinary home. The home is generally defined by soft and neutral hues but does not lack for fun. The media room has a custom wallpaper made from a blurry photograph of the family’s children at the beach. And in one daughter’s bedroom, Lowengart covered the walls with a hot pink marble motif wallpaper and added retro furnishings for a fun and glamorous room.

Coddington Design

550 15th Street, Suite M18, San Francisco, CA 94103

Coddington Design, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, is one of the most talented and creative interior design studios on the West Coast. Melanie Coddington has been named by the LuxPad as a top 25 designer in California and one of the country’s ‘top 20 interior designers to watch’ by House Beautiful. The firm’s work has been featured in Century Home, LUXE, CA Home + Design, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, SFGate, Chicago Tribune, HGTV, and Pottery Barn.

Coddington Design specializes in sophisticated residential interior design across the California coast and as far East as Nantucket. Although they focus on residential projects, the practice has also successfully designed smaller commercial interiors. The practice is known for creating fresh, polishes spaces that are as artful as they are functional. Coddington’s homes have a feminine but unfussy quality to them and are furnished with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.

Home by Coddington Design

California native Melanie Coddington tackles each home project with an elegant yet approached sensibility. She begins the design process by selecting a fabric as a point of inspiration and allows the colors and textures to direct the look and feel of each room, from the furniture to the lighting and accessories. She has participated in both the San Francisco Decorator Showcase and Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse.

Coddington Design worked on a 1930’s Mediterranean-style house in Hillsborough for a fearless client and the result was bold and fresh. Coddington layered statement antiques, mid-century pieces, and custom furnishings to create a sumptuous, tailored environment. The kitchen is arguably the most standout room – with burnt orange Shaker-style cabinets against cream walls and a large black and silver La Cornue stove. The inspiration for this room grew from the tile Coddington found for the backsplash, a simple hand painted pattern of paprika and black on cream. She even designed a slender and curvy custom island topped with walnut. The finished result was featured in House Beautiful.

The team also updated a lackluster urban Victorian in the Castro. Their client, a busy tech executive, requested a fresh, lively home. Coddington Design responded with glamorous and livable spaces, created with statement wallpaper, window treatments, and playful light fixtures. This project included multiple pieces of custom furniture from Coddington, such as a cerused oak bench upholstered in an embroidered floral print and a lacquered wood nightstand with brass hardware. Coddington even designed a custom rug that was inspired by the client’s most cherished painting. This home was featured in San Francisco Cottages & Gardens.

And of course, Coddington and her team designed her own Oakland home, which Desire to Inspire called ‘beautiful, timeless, playful, and colorful.’ As a busy working mother, with a dog, she needed her home to be comfortable and functional but still express her strong and sophisticated aesthetic. The mid-century property is modern and playful. She cleverly designed various seating and charming relaxation areas throughout the home. Typical of her designs, Coddington mixed and matched patterns and daring colors against neutral backdrops to create spaces that will remain relevant with changing fashions.

Jeffers Design Group

1035 Post Street, San Francisco, California 94109

Jeffers Design Group is an interior design studio known for creating ‘livable luxury.’ JayJeffers has created masterpieces throughout the Bay Area, across California and as far as New York, Texas, and Florida. Jeffers has participated in several exclusive showcases and is regularly featured in prominent publications, including ELLE DECOR, Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Forbes, The New York Times, InStyle, Modern Luxury, Haute Living, Cottages & Gardens, Wall Street Journal, Metropolitan Home, and Times of London.

Founded in 1999, the design group is now one of the most sought-after in the Bay Area. Founder Jay Jeffers personally oversees each project with his dedicated team of 10 staff members. The practice is accomplished with an assortment of aesthetics and is “equally adept at crafting a timeless gentleman’s den with the masculine air of a classic whiskey bar or a modern lady-of-the-house’s home office in shades of persimmon and Balenciaga pink.” But all of their designs have an air of luxury and richness. They are known for their harmonious mixture of contemporary, vintage and antique furnishings, and art.

Project by Jeffers Design Group

A remodel of a cosmopolitan Russian Hill home demanded a refined touch. Named ‘Sky High Glamour,’ this project called for a rich but simple design that would not detract from its quintessential San Francisco view and would highlight the owners’ high-end art collection. Jeffers’ answer was a clean and modern canvas of greys and whites that allowed the bold, sculptural forms of the furnishings to pop. To help showcase the art collection and open up the space, JayJeffers collaborated with Sutro Architects and Black Mountain Construction to take the home back to the studs and remove all interior walls.

Jeffer’s was also the interior designer for The Caterpillar House, a home by architect Jonathan Feldman who we featured in our Best Residential Architects list. Located in the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley, and the first LEED Platinum home on the central California coast, this home deserved a natural and luxurious interior design. Jeffers used a neutral palette, vintage furnishings, and organic fabrics. The result is a comfortable high-end home that blends the boundaries between the interior and exterior and creates a real sense of peace and balance.

And for a young family, Jeffers designed what he calls a “somewhat serious home.” The goal was to made the traditional home feel current, and Jeffers met the task. He mixed classic design elements with sleek updated pieces. For example, on the grand stairwell in the entry, he installed a contemporary carpet runner that perfectly juxtaposes the formal curly railings.

Other significant projects including being invited to create signature penthouses for the Ritz-Carlton Residences Lake Tahoe, designing the new Wild Hawk bar for the PlumpJack Group in the Mission, and being hired to create 3 model spaces for The Pacific, an ultra-luxury condominium project in Pacific Heights.

Kendall Wilkinson Interior Design

3419 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

Over the past 27 years, the award-winning Kendall Wilkinson Interior Design has completed hundreds of projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Wilkinson has been a contributing designer to the prestigious San Francisco Decorator Showcase, ELLE DÉCOR Showhouse, and LUXE Magazine’s Maison de Luxe Showhouse. Her work is regularly featured in leading design and lifestyle publications.

Although the firm specializes in full-service, luxury residential interior design, they also complete designs for hospitality, retail, and corporate space. Wilkinson has a line of signature furniture and recently launched her first collection of fabrics. And she helps clients create ‘Healthy Homes’ with her knowledge of sustainability and green-building. The firm has a wide range of stylistic expertise, ranging from classic to contemporary, and formal to playful, and have that rare ability to seamlessly mix modern pieces with timeless antiques.

Home by Kendall Wilkinson Interior Design

“With a respect for tradition and a passion for the modern, Kendall’s true expertise lies in her ability to artfully mix authenticity and contemporary design to match her clients’ tastes.” – Kendall Wilkinson Interior Design

Wilkinson remodeled a 1920’s Pacific Heights home to highlight impressive views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Palace of Fine Arts. The overall aesthetic is natural, with neutral tones and orange accents playfully incorporated. A sleek two-sided fireplace breaks up the entry/living space, while a floating white staircase with glass railings sits against a wall of reclaimed wood. Wilkinson also created a wall of wine storage and modern wet-bar, surrounded by exposed brick walls. The home is decidedly modern and sophisticated, and Wilkinson’s open design blurs the line between interior and exterior living.

And perched in the Seacliff neighborhood, Wilkinson delicately re-designed a classic home to evoke her client’s Southern heritage, with an updated West Coast feel. The relaxing atmosphere has a color palette influenced by the vibrant apricot tones of the Golden Gate Bridge and the blues of the ocean, both of which can be seen out the home’s large windows. The 19th century inspired design incorporates antiques from France, New York, and Atlanta. Wilkinson adds into the mix contemporary forms and playful fabrics to keep the home fresh and current. Fun and classic wallpapers are used in the bedrooms, complete with ruffled bed canopies, creating an elegant and dreamy environment. And the airy kitchen feels beachy with its soft white cabinetry, butcher block island, and sea-blue and white backsplash.

Lastly, in a high-rise far above the city, Wilkinson created a luxury condominium, mixing African American and Asian cultures to create a space that reflects her clients’ heritage. Earth tones are used throughout the furnishing and decor, making the home at once sophisticated and comfortable. True to her signature style, the condominium features interesting color transitions and graphic prints for a lively and contemporary touch. And furniture upholstered in mohair and linen add a warmth to the space.

Tucker & Marks, Inc.

58 Maiden Lane, Fourth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

Tucker & Marks, an interior design studio in San Francisco founded in 1986 by married couple Suzanne Tucker and Timothy Marks, has grown to be one of the largest of its kind on the West Coast. Their work has been featured in ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful, Town & Country, and numerous books. Co-founder Suzanne Tucker has been repeatedly honored as one of Architectural Digest’s prestigious AD100 Top Designers of the World and was named ‘The Best of the Best in Interior Design’ by The Robb Report.

Tucker & Marks work on everything residential, from large family homes, mountain lodges, and beach houses, to country villas and estates, and apartments in San Francisco’s top neighborhoods. They work up and down the West Coast and across the country on comfortable, luxurious high-end residential interiors. Suzanne Tucker is firm’s president and principal designer and is one of the country’s leading interior designers. She earned a BFA in Design from UCLA and worked in London before returning home to California to become the protégée of legendary designer Michael Taylor.

Home by Tucker & Marks, Inc.

“Known for her romantic approach to design, [Tucker’s] style is luxurious, sophisticated, sumptuous, elegant and inviting.” – Tucker & Marks, Inc.

Tucker & Marks remodeled a 1908 home with unbeatable views of the San Francisco Bay. This involved reconfiguring rooms, improving the overall flow, creating sightlines, and adding skylights. Although the home is decidedly classic, Tucker & Marks created a casual and contemporary way of living within it. They filled rooms with a mix of old and new pieces for a welcome tension between classic and contemporary. Carefully selected art pieces provide pops of color and seem to either enlarge rooms or make them feel cozy and intimate, as appropriate.

And on the 52nd story of a San Francisco skyscraper designed by Handel Architects, who was #2 on our list of Best Multi-Family Housing Architects, Tucker and Marks created a timeless home in a two bedroom apartment. The clients challenged the design firm to bring the warmth of their former Victorian mansion into the sleek high-rise. They started by gutting the space and reconfiguring the layout. The designers drew inspiration from the apartment’s endless vistas of water and sky and playfully incorporated shades of blue. In the classical kitchen, Azul do Mar quartzite on the counters and backsplash blend with the bright blues right outside the windows and the walls and intricate woodwork of the dining room are covered in a lacquered, vibrant blue.

Another significant project by Tucker & Marks was redesigning Napa Valley’s Auberge du Soleil resort, one of the nation’s more acclaimed resorts. This project was particularly special for Tucker, who was working as an assistant to Michael Taylor when he designed the original restaurant and guestrooms over 25 years prior.

Steven Volpe Design

550 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133

For over 20 years, Steven Volpe Design has helped clients live beautifully. Volpe has contributed to several showhouses, including the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, and his work has been featured in ELLE DECOR, Architectural Digest, San Francisco, and C, and included in numerous books. Volpe was recently included in Architectural Digest’s prestigious AD 100 2017, named one of Architectural Digest’s “Top Designers,” and one of ELLE DECOR’s “A List: 30 Designers We Love.”

Steven Volpe began his interior design firm 1987. Although the practice is based in San Francisco, Volpe works for clients in New York, Paris, London, Antwerp, and beyond. He has a finely-tuned eye and describes his style as “thoughtfully modern.” Volpe lived in Paris in his early twenties and immersed himself in European techniques, history, and theory, taking full advantage of this opportunity to study it first hand. This spirit lives on in his firm today. Along with his staff of eight, the firm constantly tries to bring new elements and inspiration to their work from their travels, study, and the ever changing world into their design process.

Home by Steven Volpe Design

“Early in his career, Steven developed a love for unconventional juxtapositions – modern and antique, stark and ornate, bold and subtle – that can be seen in his work today on both large and small scales.” – Steven Volpe Design

Volpe designed a complete overhaul of an Atherton residence for Silicon Valley philanthropist Bita Daryabari, her husband, and their three children. The result is a series of timeless, glorious rooms, but in a space that is still comfortable for the family. And it of course displays Volpe’s hallmark mix of worldly antiques and the best of contemporary art, individually chosen to ensure it will be relevant in 20 years. The house oozes elegance from the moment you walk into the entryway with honed marble floors and a polished steel sculpture, not to mention an exquisite Monet placed in a subtle corner of the lobby. The walls of the living and dining rooms were hand-plastered using complex Venetian techniques and antique limestone and marble fireplaces were installed.

“My goal [for the Atherton home] was to create a top-notch collection of furniture and art that looked as if it had come together over decades.” Steven Volpe, in C Magazine“My goal [for the Atherton home] was to create a top-notch collection of furniture and art that looked as if it had come together over decades.” Steven Volpe, in C Magazine

And unsurprisingly, Volpe designed his own San Francisco apartment, a loft in a 1916 former printing factory in SoMa. His home was featured in Elle Decor and elsewhere. The space showcases his art and photography collection and one-of-a-kind furniture. The airy loft has eight gorgeous original redwood-columns, milled from century old trees, exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and 18-foot tall ceilings. He has added oak floors and filled the space with highly detailed antiques and pieces of 20th-century furniture and sculptures from around the world. The result is a play in contrasts, elegant and grand – a space fitting of a top designer.

Other recent projects include Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop MRKT in San Francisco, a house in Aspen, a historic townhouse in New York’s West Village, and a full-floor penthouse on Park Avenue.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at San Francisco Architects with around four years of experience as a writer and editor in the construction space. Shahe has always had a huge interest in commercial/residential construction and real estate. On top of his experience at San Francisco Architects, he has two years of experience as a Construction Partner Specialist at BuildZoom and six years of experience as a licensed real estate agent. In his work, he takes advantage of his expertise to take complex technical jargon from those realms and transform them into accessible, engaging content, blending his business administration expertise with a degree from Arizona State University with his experiential insights. Expertise: Architecture, Home Design and Build, Home Remodeling Key Highlights: Arizona Real Estate - Licensed Salesperson Education: Arizona State University - Bachelors in Business Administration

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