Monday, April 24, 2017

Open to View: On April 29, San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2017 Celebrates Forty Years of Superb Design and Four Decades of Fundraising for Financial Aid Programs for University High School

San Francisco Decorator Showcase, the leading design showcase in the US, has launched careers for many top designers in the city and it continues to thrill with exuberant new ideas, emerging talents, dramatic décor, and small rooms o great delight.

Twenty-nine leading San Francisco design firms, along with dozens of decorative artists, talented artisans, architects, furniture designers, painters, technical specialists, upholsterers, metal craftsmen, landscape designers, art curators and frame-makers have collaborated on transforming an historic house in Pacific Heights into a showcase of design ideas, inspiration, and study.

This year’s handsome kitchen, designed by Jon de la Cruz, has been selected by
House Beautiful as its celebrated Kitchen of the Year. 

San Francisco designer Jonathan Rachman’s exuberant living room features de Gournay's unique handpainted wallpaper. Rachman’s livingroom design, a joyful celebration of art and craft, has transformed a drab and formal room into a theatrical delight.

Rachman’s design, in measured tones of soft green, responds superbly to the south- and west-facing windows and the essential harmony and symmetry of the room.

“I loved the classic traditional harmony of the room with a sense of formality and grandeur,” said Rachman. “My impulse was to create a classic interior that’s fresh, chic and airy. And my first call was to my friends at de Gournay to create a custom handpainted wallpaper that would give the room distinction, fantasy and delight.”

Jonathan Rachman’s room was also inspired by the friendship of couturier Hubert de Givenchy and his muse, Audrey Hepburn, as captured in the photograph by Jacques Scandelari.

“As they have done through decades of friendship, the couple strolls along the Seine at the foot of the Eiffel Tower,” said Rachman. “I imagine them returning to Givenchy’s green salon on rue de Grenelle to enjoy each other’s company while an 'April in Paris' duet by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong) plays softly in the background. 

“I’ve admired the wallpapers made by de Gournay for years, so I contacted Hannah Cecil Gurney and we designed a bespoke non-woven paper backed 100% pure silk wallpaper with hand painted and hand embroidered silk tree pattern, reminiscent of ‘April in Paris”.

Customized for this living room, the silk is emerald green with accents of white, silver, grey and pale aubergine along with chartreuse as inspired by a vintage Royal Doulton china pattern “Countess”, said Rachman.

“We removed molding throughout the room to create wall art in a luxurious manner,” noted Rachman. “De Gournay creates the ultimate fashionable luxury with a classic personality made with old school techniques. It instantly elevates a space.”

Caroline Lizarraga and her team gilded the plaster ceiling rosettes with gold leaf to elevate the room and highlight the dramatic plasterwork.

The chandelier acts as a jewel. It’s a unique San Miguel chandelier from Boyd (carried by Donghia) that consists of nearly 1000 dangling solid brass 'earrings' a true jewel in its sense.

From Antique & Art Exchange in San Francisco, Rachman selected an understated Louis XVI commode c.1790 with a bow front and a gray black white marble top. 

Silk decorative pillows in shades of green and white are from Alexandra Foster. They are made in Italy and carried by Harrods in London and J. Rachman in San Francisco.

Decorative pillows are fabricated with woven lampas by Lorca/Osborne & Little in “Natalia-Manhattan” with Samuel & Sons from Kneedler Fauchere braided cord trim.

Using J. Rachman's vintage and antique collections as well as de Gournay porcelain china, Jonathan accessorized the room, ready for a tea party.

“I imagine Monsieur Givenchy and his muse, Miss Hepburn returned from their stroll back to his green salon after their stroll, reminiscing their lifelong friendship.

Flowers selected to scent the room include jasmine, sweet peas, mock orange branches, as well as hydrangeas, viburnum, French tulips, lilacs and English garden roses.

Your showcase room looks like the delicate old-world renderings I’ve seen in vintage books of iconic and classic interiors.”  — Jemma Cave of de Gournay


Wallpaper: Bespoke "Silk Tree" in Emerald silk, handpainted, hand-embroidered design collaboration by Jonathan Rachman and de Gournay. This is the launch of this new collection

Chandelier: San Miguel chandelier by Boyd from Donghia

Custom banquette: Heavy duty Lee Jofa emerald green “Queen Victoria” velvet. Welting of Verel de Belval emerald green silk/cotton fabric. Beaded cut fringe at base of bench from Houles in shades of green.

Occasional chairs: A pair of ebonized armchairs c. 1920 from Antique & Art Exchange, San Francisco. Upholstered in an emerald colored textured cotton blend fabric from Pierre Frey with emerald green silk welting.

Side table: Ironies side table with branch legs at Kneedler Fauchere. Crafted in brass and glass.

Wingback club chairs: Boufa chairs by Coup Studio upholstered in Designer’s Guild Castellani cut velvet.

Sofa: Tufted “Party” Sofa by Coup Studio upholstered in Lee Jofa emerald green colored “Queen Victoria” velvet.

Commode: A Louis XVI antique French commode c. 1790 with a marble top from Antique & Art Exchange.

Console Table: A Honeycomb Console in sculpted resin by Ironies at Kneedler Fauchere.

Bench: Cowhide upholstered bench with brass base in the Klismos style from J. Rachman.

Area Rug: Stark in faux bois pattern — in forest color.

Black and White photograph: Courtesy of Getty Images

Before: Here’s the What Jonathan Rachman’s Living Room Looked Like Before He Started Work

San Francisco Decorator Showcase: Forty Years of Philanthropy

Over $19 million raised for financial aid for students of University High School, San Francisco.

About Showcase 2017: The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is widely considered to be the leading US design showhouse event. All funds raised through the Decorator Showcase go directly to support the San Francisco University High School Financial Aid Program.

2698 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, California 94115 
April 29, 2017 - May 29, 2017


Benni Amadi - Benni Amadi Interiors

Dina Bandman - Dina Bandman Interiors

Jarrod Baumann - Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Jaimie Belew - Jaimie Belew Interiors

David Bjorngaard - Bjorn Design

Stephanie Breitbard - Simon Breitbard Fine Arts

Jon De La Cruz - DLC-ID

Chris Eskra - CME Interiors

Elan Evans - Elan Evans Decorative Finishes

Krista Hoffman - Krista Hoffman

Sherry Hope Kennedy - Studio SHK

Martin Kobus - Martin Kobus Home

Catherine Kwong - Catherine Kwong Design

Molie Malone - Molie Malone Interior Design

Beth Martin - Martin Group

Kari McIntosh Dawdy - Kari McIntosh Design

Kristen Peña - K Interiors

Mead Quin - Mead Quin Design

Jonathan Rachman - Jonathan Rachman Design

Jane Richardson Mack - Jane Richardson Design

Diane Rosenblum - Diane Rosenblum

Adele Salierno - Geddes Ulinskas Architects

Courtney Springer - Courtney Springer Interiors

Ian Stallings - Ian Stallings Design

Cecilie Starin - Cecilie Starin Design, Inc.

Stephen Stout - Stephen Stout Design

Chloe Redmond Warner - Redmond Aldrich Design

Victoria Weiss - Croworks Luminosity

This years Showcase is an exceptional Classical Revival mansion located at 2698 Pacific Avenue at Scott Street, in the heart of Pacific Heights. This 11,000 square-foot residence was designed by acclaimed architects Newsom and Newsom in 1904. This historic residence features grand entertaining rooms with 12-foot ceilings and architecturally stunning period details. The entry foyer, formal library, living room, and dining room are among the most sublime and sumptuous public rooms in all San Francisco.

About Jonathan Rachman

Born in Sumatra, Jonathan was surrounded by Indonesia’s natural beauty. He studied in Switzerland and traveled across Europe to some of the best antiques markets in the world. Living in Paris, he frequented its famed flea market and developed a keen eye for collections.
Jonathan opened his first antiques and floral design shop, Fleur’T, in the heart of San Francisco. It became an insider favorite of design enthusiasts. Rachman began consulting with customers on interior design, which led him to launch his own design firm. Jonathan works on projects internationally, and is currently designing a penthouse in San Francisco, and working on projects all over the US. For several years he has been engaged in an expansive private villa complex in the hills of Bali. 

About de Gournay

De Gournay is a family business founded and based in the heart of London.

Run by Rachel, Claud and Hannah Cecil Gurney, the company is known around the world for hand-painting the finest quality wallpapers, fabrics and porcelain.

The company produces only bespoke designs, using delicate handpainting techniques used in the 18th century in France, China, India, Germany and Spain.

De Gournay is one of the few companies in which every process is carried out in-house by artists employing a unique understanding of the original techniques.

The warmth, appeal and feel of handmade papers are the result of tiny irregularities caused by the human hand striving to achieve perfection. De Gournay creates many different styles and effects, including gilding, embroidery on silk. Each commission is unique.


Interior design by Jonathan Rachman Design

Jonathan Rachman’s design/style/antique store:

J Rachman
1632C Market St.
San Francisco

At Rose Alley, J. Rachman gallery/studio is situated opposite the front entrance of Zuni Café.


Showcase living room photography by Suzanna Scott:


Handpainted and embroidered silk wall covering custom from de Gournay.

De Gournay recently opened a new gallery/showroom at 3681A Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118, (415) 800-7978.


San Francisco Decorator Showcase
2698 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, California 94115 
April 29, 2017 - May 29, 2017 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Designers’ Favorite Source: Celebrating the New Collections at Room & Board

Room & Board is a well-kept secret of many top designers. And with showrooms around the country, it’s a favorite source for homeowners looking for exclusive and American-crafted furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs and accessories with a modern, timeless edge.

I’m always amazed how many leading designers tell me they rely on Room & Board for their clients’ city apartments, country houses, mountain cabins, as well as new apartments, new guest quarters, as well as Hawaiian retreats and luxury penthouses. For a low-key company, they have a passionate following in the design trade’s top talent.

So I was honored to be invited recently to host a luncheon for a super-talented group of San Francisco’s leading designers, all Room & Board fans.

This week, I’m giving you a tour of my Room & Board favorites, and you’ll see who was at the lunch…along with the super-special cuisine served by Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Izakaya Rintaro and formerly with Chez Panisse.

It was a vivid and lively lunch, lots of fun, and a tasty one in every sense.

Come and join the fun—and see who was there and my favorite picks of new product.

Celebrating a New Collection, and Designers to Watch

I recently hosted a celebratory luncheon at Room & Board in San Francisco, with a dazzling group of interior designers and architects.

Here’s the invitation:

Celebrating Designers To Watch

Please join Diane Dorrans Saeks, best-selling design author, and magazine editor, and founder of the influential blog The Style Saloniste, along with Jeffrey Houston, manager of Room & Board San Francisco, for a luncheon and presentation to view the new 2017 collection. Diane will share her favorites from new products, while Jeffrey will discuss the latest trends.

A custom-designed Bento box lunch and dessert will be created by esteemed chef Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Rintaro.

We gathered for a delicious lunch, and for vivid conversations and dazzling discussions. Several of the designers had just been selected to create rooms at the 2017 San Francisco Decorator Showcase (opening end of April).

I presented my picks from the newest Room & Board collections—and after lunch, everyone lingered on to chat, catch up, and to view the sunny showrooms, vignettes, and arrays of accessories and rugs.

Oh, and to touch and feel the new Indigo collections, and the hand-woven wool blankets that are all exclusive to Room & Board (a designers’ secret).

Brenda Mickel and Kathy Best

Angela Free and Matthew Leverone

Jean Larette, Martin Korbus and Beth Martin

Diane Dorrans Saeks and Catherine Kwong

Jonathan Rachman, PR Consultant Coralie Langston-Jones and Chris Eskra

Martin Young and Catherine Kwong

Ben Dhong

Jamie Belew

Julie Lloyd

Room & Board San Francisco Manager Jeffrey Houston and PR Consultant Coralie Langston-Jones

Martin Korbus, Susan Collins Weir and Chris Bergin

Jonathan Rachman and Heather Hilliard

Angela Free and Maria Tenaglia

Designers We Celebrated

Barbara Chambers       Sofia Shu Escribano 

Carolyn Pfaff         Chris Eskra 

Ian Stallings         Heather Hilliard 

Kathy Best         Carlo Ablaza (R&B) 

Martin Korbus         Martin Young 

Angela Free         Julie Lloyd 

Coralie Langston-Jones         Ben Dhong 

Catherine Kwong         Diane Dorrans Saeks / Host 

Jeffrey Houston (R&B)         Jean Larette 

Jon De La Cruz         Matthew Leverone 

Beth Martin         Brian Dittmar 

Jonathan Rachman         Susan Collins Weir 

Heather Robertson (R&B)         Maria Tenaglia 

Kelly Hohla         Chris Bergin 

David Diaz         Nick Larson 

Brenda Mickel 

For the Love of Indigo:  Gouro Vintage African Textiles

Room & Board recently introduced a very compelling series of West African Indigo textiles are hand-loomed by artisan weavers in Burkina Faso and Mali, using traditional techniques.
The newest products include pillows, throws, wraps, decorative yardage, and lengths of versatile dyed cotton fabrics.

Thesel textiles are crafted from narrow strips of cotton fabric that are hand-woven on personal looms in the western countries of Africa.

The narrow strips are stitched together then dyed in indigo using a paste- or stitch-resist technique to create unique patterns. Originally used as clothing or blankets, these textiles can be used as throws, bed coverings or as striking wall hangings.

New Collections with Lasting Power

1. Patterns and textures 

2. Leather collection—very fantastic

3. American craftsmanship

4. Rugs 

5. Indigo—great for city, beach, country, mountains, desert

6. Handblown glass lighting

7. Pillows

About Room & Board

Founded in 1980, Room & Board’s philosophy is that good design should be: modern, beautiful, affordable and long-lasting. 

Dedicated to sustainability, more than 90 percent of its collection is made from natural materials by American artisans.

With designs for furnishing a residence of any style or a business setting, the company offers a straightforward and uncomplicated shopping experience, expert design guidance. Room & Board has stores in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Boston, and online at

Room & Board, San Francisco
685 Seventh Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Showroom manager: Jeffrey Houston


Instagram @roomandboard
Twitter @roomandboard



All Room & Board products and showrooms images courtesy of Room & Board.

Luncheon and designers photographed by Brett Wickens.

Celebratory designer lunch images at Room & Board, San Francisco.

Sylvan Mishima Brackett, Izakaya Rintaro, San Francisco.