Monday, May 7, 2012

Bravo, Brian! Designer Brian Dittmar’s brilliant new ‘Bespoke’ bedroom and bathroom suite offers design inspiration, discovery, and fresh ideas

Brian Dittmar’s confident and crisply delineated suite — a highly original tailored bedroom and its chic adjoining bathroom — are a highlight of this month’s very popular San Francisco Decorator Showcase. See below for all details of location and dates. 

A custom metal bed (hot-rolled steel, brushed brass and polished aluminum) by Paul Benson, is flanked by nightstands by Barbara Barry for Baker Furniture with lamps by Avrett Lighting. Oil paintings on aluminum above nightstands are by Tyrell Collins. Antique Danish Neoclassic commode (left) is from Therien & Co. with art above by Paule Dubois Dupuis. Wool herringbone carpet from Mark Nelson Designs and chenille wallpaper by Belgian wall covering company Omexco, available through Romo.

Many discerning followers of showcase — it is now in its 35th year — say it is one of the best showcases ever.

Top designers — and new names — bring bright energy and vibrant professionalism. That is wonderful. As a longtime Design Advisory Board member, I am thrilled with the talent, new ideas, chic style, and freshness of this year's showcase. 

The bed features accent pillows that recall the patterns and pops of color from ties and pocket squares, including a citron-colored silk paisley, a plum-colored quilted silk with fuchsia contrast piping, and chartreuse velvet with a silk multi-colored stripe flange cut on the bias. Pillow fabrics by Kravet and Lee Jofa.

As my wonderful loyal readers know, Brian Dittmar is the art director of THE STYLE SALONISTE, which I launched almost three years ago.

Brian’s classic approach to design keeps these pages and images looking fresh but never too ‘designed’ and always classic.

Brian is, in his other life, a San Francisco interior designer with a devoted following.

Once more, he was selected to design a room for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. I’m really impressed with his 2012 ‘bespoke’ concept, his sharp color choices, the originality of the decor, the dashing custom-made bed, and his flash of wit in this suite. 

Brian Dittmar, photo by Robin H. Reynolds for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase

Concept: Bespoke, the Dandy
Savile Row brings to mind English sartorial refinement — the well-dressed London gentleman dressed in a superbly tailored suit made expressly for this tastes and desires.

Inspired by his appreciation of bespoke suits and in homage to the craft of tailoring, Brian created The Tailor Made Suit(e) for the Twenty-first Century Dandy. It’s a surprise, with the shimmering bed, luxe walls covered in striped chenille wallpaper (visitors love to stroke it), and a tongue-in-cheek neo-classical antiques collection from Therien & Co., with swaggering eagles, gilded adornments, and gleaming exotic woods. 

19th Century French marble portico clock (right) from Candace Barnes with table lamp by Avrett Lighting. Oil painting on aluminum is White Sulfur Spring Road #2 by Tyrell Collins. Pillow fabrics by Kravet and Lee Jofa.

Danish Neoclassical commode from Therien & Co. with artwork by Paule Dubois Dupuis titled "Les lignes en effervescence".  Lamp from Baker Furniture.  Sterling silver Georg Jensen bowl from Gallery 925.

Accessories from Anthem-San Francisco Photo by Brian Dittmar

“This modern interpretation of a bedroom and bathroom suite employs the basic principles of custom-made clothing — fine fabrics, fitted silhouettes, thoughtful details, unexpected adornments and expert hand-sewing.” – Brian Dittmar

Austrian Biedermeier work table from Therien & Co.  On the wall, artwork by Elisabeth Lecourt is a vintage map of London folded into the shape of a men's dress shirt. Window treatments fabricated by Ewing & Ball Custom Fine Sewing. All fabrics by Kravet and Lee Jofa. Hair-on-hide Klismos chair, private collection.  Chandelier by Avrett Lighting

Accent table is the "Quarry table" by Barbara Barry for Baker Furniture. Candy dish is a Dutch Arts and Crafts silver piece from Gallery 925Photo by Brian Dittmar

The statement piece is a Paul Benson bed, designed and hand-crafted from hot-rolled steel panels with brushed brass and polished aluminum accents. The bedding — from a quilted linen coverlet and hand-embroidered blanket to decorative velvet and silk pillows in chartreuse, plum and citron — which give a nod to pocket squares and ties. 

Danish Neoclassic armoire (left) from Therien & Co. Artwork by Jay Kelly. Window treatments fabricated by Ewing & Ball Custom Fine Sewing. All fabrics by Kravet and Lee Jofa. Side table by McLain Wiesand and brass table lamp by Mary McDonald, both through Hinc Showroom. Art Deco sterling silver cocktail set from Gallery 925

Reflecting the elegance of classic men’s tailoring, the bedroom walls are covered in textural, deep mink-colored chenille wallpaper, while the ceiling is a shade of very pale pink.

The floor is covered in a luxurious herringbone wool needlepoint carpet in soft gray and cream. Full-height curtains in stone-colored wool frame the windows with details that provide some of the room’s unexpected moments.

Like a pop of color lining an otherwise classic suit, a hint of chartreuse satin beneath a larger band of charcoal wool gleams from the curtains’ leading edges.  Coordinating valances have inverted pleats lined in chartreuse satin and feature faux straps with tortoise shell buttons. 

All fabrics by Kravet and Lee Jofa. Cashmere throw is from Anthem-San Francisco

Side table by McLain Wiesand and brass table lamp by Mary McDonald, both through Hinc Showroom. Art Deco sterling silver cocktail set from Gallery 925

The mix of furnishings includes a grand nineteenth-century flame mahogany armoire, a Danish neoclassical commode and a Biedermeier globe-style sewing table, all from Therien & Co.

This refined aesthetic continues in the bathroom with graphic travertine–inspired metallic wallpaper and apple green ceiling.

A dark walnut vanity, sabre-shaped wall sconces and a French lavatory faucet by Paris-based THG add polish.

Bathroom: Wallpaper by Osborne & Little, lighting by Avrett Lighting, faucet from THG Paris.  Artwork is by Monika Steiner and titled "Far Away". Towels by Matouk.

Accessories from Anthem-San Francisco Photo by Brian Dittmar
Custom bath mat through Mark Nelson Designs

Among the art pieces curated by Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts include two which were custom-created for The Tailor Made Suit(e) to add clothing-inspired flourishes.

A series of small wire sculptures from San Francisco native Kristine Mays depicts traditional “dandy” accessories like cuff links and ties.

London-based Elisabeth Lecourt — branching out from her traditional exploration of women’s clothing — formed a men’s dress shirt from an antique map of the city, home to Savile Row.

Artwork by Kristine Mays titled "Accessories Make The Man", photo by Brian Dittmar. 

Brian Dittmar noted that he has loved working on the house with more than two dozen other designers – including Pamela Babey, Michael Booth and Steven Henry of BAMO, Catherine Kwong, Jonathan Rachman, Frank Holbrook, Kathy Geissler Best, Heather Hilliard, Lawanna Cathleen Endonino, Matt Murphy and Dara Rosenfeld, among others — in transforming an elegant 11,500-square foot Classic Revival mansion designed by Julius E. Kraft and built in 1902.
“It’s always a thrill for me be around other creative minds, as we push our creative boundaries,” observed Dittmar.

“Working with different styles, a broad range of colors, fabrics, furnishings and antiques we all wanted to respect the architecture of a historic Pacific Heights residence, while reflecting contemporary living.” 

Custom metal bed (hot-rolled steel, brushed brass and polished aluminum) by Paul Benson, with coverlet from Ann Gish and embroidered blanket from Holland & Sherry. Wool herringbone carpet through Mark Nelson Designs.

Accessories from Anthem-San Francisco Photo by Brian Dittmar

Brian Dittmar Design
A passion for graphic arts and architecture originally led Brian Dittmar into a design career. More than 15 years later his philosophy is still influenced by the disciplines’ shared principles. Through this classic approach, Brian creates environments that are timeless and livable, yet also of-the-moment. Brian Dittmar Design is a creative studio offering services for interior and exterior spaces. 

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc.
355 Buena Vista Avenue East, Suite 112
San Francisco CA 94117

phone: 415.235.0529

A New Iniative
Brian Dittmar Design along with Adeeni Design Group, Ashfield Hansen Design and SagreraBrazil Design created Decorum, a San Francisco-based design group that aims to elevate the practice of interior design through compelling aesthetics, transparent business practices and community giving. 

WHAT: Men’s tailoring inspires Brian Dittmar Design’s bedroom suite at the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase

WHEN: April 28 – May 28, 2012. (Closed Mondays, except Memorial Day)

WHERE: 2020 Jackson Street (between Laguna and Octavia Streets), San Francisco, California

Now in its 35th year, the annual San Francisco Decorator Showcase has benefited San Francisco University High School's financial aid program, raising nearly $12 million over the years and benefiting hundreds of students. San Francisco Decorator Showcase allows San Francisco University High School to offer financial aid to its students. 

For additional information:


Main photography is by David Duncan Livingston, used here with express permission.


Philip Bewley said...

Love the details in Brian's room, and the whole feel of it. I have to say it is thrilling to see the pieces from our collections used this way -the Danish Neoclassic/Empire and Austrian Biedermier period pieces used in a 21st century way. These pieces are so bold, full blooded -so full on, really, and Brian has successfully mixed them as counterpoint to contemporary art and furnishing. Love the pops of colour reminiscent of the effect of a pocket handkerchief. Bravo to Brian Dittmar. Love David's photography, too and your text. What a great showhouse!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Thank you for your rich and full-blooded insight.
Yes...I especially admire the neoclassical--and the rolled steel. It's an original and muscular mix--perfect for today's more open-minded approach to design and decor and chic combinations.
all best DIANE

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful! It is thoughtful but not restrained. You definitely get the sense that every element in there room was taken as part of a whole to create a beautiful and masculine space that I would love to have in my own home!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Thank you.
Yes...I'm so pleased you understand the detail of the room.
It is a beautifully executed and very personal room.
best DIANE

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

dear friends-
There were lots of comments on Brian's room on FACEBOOK...very popular.
HerE is one of my favorites:
Jana Meewes Fung This was one of my favorite rooms when I saw the Showhouse at the opening party! I agree this year is one of the best years, beautiful fun and livable rooms with a flow throughout the whole house! Well done!

Jana Meewes Fung said...

I loved Brian's room and what a wonderful concept "Tailor Made Suit(e)". Brian carried out the theme throughout the room, from the wool window treatments, needlepoint carpet, tailored wall covering to the handsome and exquisite furninshings! Well done, Brian!

peggy braswell said...

B.D. is talented to say the least. Thanks for taking me on this journey.

shiree segerstrom said...

The window treatments are beautiful designed and well fabricated. Shiree'

Claudia Juestel said...

You so wonderfully captured the amazing attention to detail that Brian expresses in all his designs. This suit(e) is definitely one of the most memorable interiors at this year's Showcase!

Thank you very much for mentioning the team of Decorum.