Monday, May 9, 2016

An Exciting New Design Talent: Stephan Jones Makes His Very Impressive Debut on the San Francisco Design Scene

On the opening day of the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase I was delighted to encounter the design of Stephan Jones’ superbly detailed study. A subtle orchestration of indigo, taupe, beige and pale turquoise, the room hummed with harmony, tranquility and invention. Doretta Sperduto, the wonderful Interiors Editor of House Beautiful, accompanied me on our tour of the house, and she was impressed and excited with Stephan’s design as well. 

We noted the textures, the artful upholstery, his mix of contemporary art and antiques, and the cohesiveness of the décor. We congratulated Stephan on his design, with his colleague Hilary Hayes. It was a great pleasure to meet them.

I had first seen Stephan’s concept in January during the Design Advisory Board meeting when proposed presentations for the house were submitted for this year’s showcase. His finished room far exceeded his initial concept.

I know you will love this week’s post in which I detail Stephan’s design and we take a close look at all the subtle elements that make this so special.

Below you’ll find all the images, as well as his first conceptual sketch. And you can read my in-depth conversation with Stephan about his concept, the details and the completion of his study.

Let me know what you think of his design. I love it.

Designer Stephan Jones

The Room Concept

Stephan Jones designed a soothing retreat imbued with the creativity and colorful energy of San Francisco. Conceived in an earthy palette of indigo blues, charcoal browns, wheat and ivory, the study is a calm space for work and relaxation. 

Stephan mixed contemporary artwork with baroque and mid-century antiques. Natural materials such as Kneedler-Fauchère’s textured plaster wallcovering, vintage leather furnishings and hand block-printed fabrics from Zak + Fox create an atmosphere of calm elegance.

One piece he emphased is the custom banquette. Zak + Fox had an intricate border on their Khaden fabric. The border was removed and reapplied as a trim to the banquette, making it a truly bespoke piece. Subtle details are woven into the room, from the placement of the artwork to the trim design on the curtains. Sculptural lines, contemporary works, calligraphic ink paintings and vibrant patterns are layered, resulting in a space that is timeless, urban and very personal.

Inside Stephan Jones’s Design Mind

Diane Dorrans Saeks in conversation with Stephan Jones, with insights in his design process and ideas.

DDS: Your color palette is chic and modern—yet utterly classic and timeless. What was your color concept?
We fell in love with the fabrics from Zak + Fox. Their fabrics have classic design elements but with these updated earth-toned colors with accents of blue. They tied in with the colors of the coast from the indigo blues of the ocean to the sandy taupes of the hillside. It's all very natural and soothing to the senses.

DDS: How did that start working on the design?
Fabric on the banquette was truly the launching point for the room, pulling together the materials and textures brought a classically modern yet youthful feeling we wanted to incorporate into the design. We wanted to reinterpret a classic style in a fresh, urban way. 

DDS: It's very San Francisco, with it's blurry color and soft taupe and indigo. What were you thinking?
It was the fabrics that sparked my vision. The colors and graphic pattern of the Zak + Fox "Khaden" fabric struck me at my core. This is how the design process and color use began. 

DDS: I'm especially impressed with the ensemble of accessories. There's nothing ordinary.
We're always trying to find interesting objects or art. These details really bring a room to life. We look at a space as if we're collecting, not ever buying items from a store. We love the eccentric, the rare, the exceptionally. We want to look at a space and see that the pieces have their own personality and purpose yet coexist seamlessly. When you collect items, rather then just buy them, the result you attain is more pleasing to the eye, in my opinion.

I'm very fond of the artwork we chose for the space. All the pieces are on loan from Hackett Mill Gallery in San Francisco and we used all types of different media from the sculpture "White Bust, Hand on Jaw
" by Jonathan Shahn to the collection of eight abstract Sumi ink pieces on Japanese paper by artist Brian Wall. Each piece in the room is very different, we did not want ordinary. 

DDS: Your sofa design, and your upholstery and use of pattern are exceptionally beautiful. Tell us about that.
Thank you, I really love this banquette too. Bespoke is the perfect word to describe this space. There is significant tailoring in this design from the banquette to the drapery. Zak + Fox had an intricate border on their "Khaden" fabric, the border was removed and reapplied as a trim to the banquette with a geometric intent. We enjoy working with local craftsman to create special pieces like this one, in this case we used Richard Andronaco Upholstery. The gradations of blues and taupes made this a perfect fabric to feature in the design. However we did want to use this fabric in a unique way, while still keeping the integrity of the design. This is the type of attention to detail we use in all of our work.

DDS: The room is a lesson in custom design and individual pieces.
Yes, it is a very bespoke space. Everything was chosen purposely or not chosen at all. We wanted everything to have an individual presence while also flowing together seamlessly. These special details take time, editing and conversation. Even though we only had two and a half months to complete and so we stuck to our instincts and designed a space that is truly tailored and bespoke. 

DDS: I enjoyed spending time in your room. Your beautiful airy shades soften the light in a very subtle and beautiful way. 
SJ: I don't like a room to have a jarring glare or overly bright light. The Correggio "Rialto" fabric in Natural was an ideal choice for the shades to soften the room. Fortunately, we had beautiful olives trees just outside that shaded the sun as well. 

DDS: Stephan, I hope you'll spend more time in San Francisco. Your work is very beautiful and this study is a vivid introduction. Good luck with everything.
Thank you, Diane. San Francisco has always been an important place in terms of my career. I have had the privilege of working with numerous clients in this area. I'm here a couple times a month and as soon as I'm back I feel a sense of ease. I love the energy and vitality this city holds. I have never designed for a showhouse before and this just felt like the right time for me and my company. We're going into our 10th year of business and I wanted to broaden our horizons and explore new ventures. 

Also, showhouse staff and colleagues have been gracious and generous to work with, I owe them many thanks for their guidance in the process of designing for a showhouse. I've been so thrilled with the reception of our design thus far, everyone has been tremendously gracious and welcoming. I've had the pleasure of meeting incredible people, including you Diane. 

I also have to give so much credit to Hilary, my senior project designer, she is my right and left hand and arm, every design is not only my stamp of work but also hers; her creativity, dedication, and hard work have truly helped my company and I grow. It has been an amazing experience—we're honored to be a part of this year's San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Thank you, Diane.

DDS: Thank you so much, Stephan. It has been a great pleasure to see your work, and I can’t wait to see more.

Featured Artwork from Hackett|Mill Gallery 

Emerson Woelffer
44.5 x 52.75 inches, 1954, oil on panel

Jonathan Shahn
White Bust, Hand On Jaw
22 x 14 x 15 inches, 1993, mixed media

Bob Law
Drawing (Open)
22 x 30 inches, 1960

Conrad Marca-Relli
24 x 32 inches, 1955, collage and mixed media

Louise Nevelson
End of Day XXXVIII
32.5 x 16.5 inches, 1973, painted wood

Milton Resnick
75 x 45.5 inches, 1987, oil on canvas

Brian Wall
Dot I
6 x 13 x 8 inches, 2015, stainless steel

Brian Wall
Six Corners I
39 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Six Corners II
39 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Six Corners No. 4
39 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Six Corners No. 6
39 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Six Corners XI
39 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Untitled II
38 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Untitled III
38 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink

Brian Wall
Untitled IV
38 x 26 inches, 2010, Sumi ink


Stephan Jones
Stephan Jones Interiors

Senior designer Hilary Hayes was instrumental to the design and implementation of the room.

Hackett | Mill Gallery
201 Post Street, Suite 1000
San Francisco, CA 94108

David Duncan Livingston

San Francisco Decorator Showcase is open on Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, through May 30, 2016.

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is sponsored by San Francisco University High School and proceeds benefit the Financial Aid Program of the school.

1 comment:

Sweeter said...

It is a beautiful space. I especially LOVE the lighting - Chandelier and Sconces all made and built in California by Paul Ferrante and available at HEWN at the SFDC.