Monday, October 9, 2017

Lines of Precision: San Francisco Interior Designer David Todd Oldroyd Creates Classical Modern Rooms with a Light Touch

David has been a modernist since he started his design and architecture career over twenty-five years ago. He’s a partner with Greg Stewart at ODADA, formerly Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates, the downtown San Francisco studio noted for perfectly planned and rigorously modern interiors. 

David Todd Oldroyd photographed by Stephan Julliard.

As a skilled minimalist, David Todd Oldroyd is also a secret romantic, enhancing his newly completed interiors with handcrafted objects, rare and beautiful furniture, poetic art, and sexy silver and glass pieces.

“I believe in simply detailed interiors and rigorously planned rooms,” said Oldroyd. “And I love the addition of beautiful and eccentric and arresting pieces to captivate the eye,” said the designer, who is in demand in California for residential projects as well as hotels, and ultra-private estates. “I’m not a fan of hard-edge. I like the effect of interiors to be captivating and welcoming, not at all museum-like.”

Classical Modern: Interiors with Style and Grace

Inspired by his rigorous architecture training and a growing number of devoted clients around the world, David Todd Oldroyd works in a broad swathe of elegant designs and interiors, including a bohemian hotel in Santa Cruz, a penthouse in San Francisco and an ambitious new development in Hawaii. 

• Park Lane Ala Moana — Honolulu, Hawaii •

As a minimalist, Oldroyd is also a romantic, composing classical rooms with ethereal fabrics, sensual handcrafted objects, rare sculpture and antique furniture, poetic art, and sexy silver and glass pieces.

Oldroyd noted that color selections in penthouses and new architecture are lighter and fresher, and not as heavy and earthy.

“For residences, bold contemporary art and sculpture play an essential role in interior design, and are now more than ever necessary to make a room feel of the moment,” said Oldroyd. 
My clients want art and all the latest music and electronic systems, and security systems. And the pace of new technology will continue to accelerate. As designers, we rise to the challenge to stay ahead. It’s exciting.”

Russian Hill residence by John Maniscalco, M/Architecture, San Francisco

David, who grew up in Utah, avoids design and fashion trends and aims for timeless rooms that will not date.

“I tend not to trend, so I select beautiful furniture and objects because excellent design always stay excellent,” said the designer.

He believes that open eyes and a teachable mind are essential to good design to assure that we learn from the past and are ready to embrace new ideas and design for the future.

“Architecture, especially modern architecture, is having a great influence on interiors today,” said Oldroyd. “It is no longer necessary to have a room full of traditional furniture or art to create a feeling of warmth, comfort and luxury. We are now using beautiful marble, sofas with sculptural shapes, warm colors, and texture to add a romantic and inviting feeling.” 

“I’m continually fascinated by interiors that are inviting, even intoxicating without the use of strong color combinations,” said the designer, who is admired for his deft use of palest grey or warm white colors in California rooms.

For a new penthouse in San Francisco, Oldroyd created meticulously custom-detailed interiors that look entirely effortless. The color palette hovers from cloud white to foggy pale taupe to palest sky blue, and the rooms seem to float in the air.

As a counterpoint to the monochromatic palette, he set a triangular gallery wall, sculptural and monolithic, crafted of rich African mahogany with a subtle rippling gleam. Silk carpets, choreographed with abstract swirls, shimmer in the afternoon light.

It’s quiet luxury, with an ethereal gold-painted verre eglomisé screen between a bedroom and a bathroom, silk pillows, and a small effortless kitchen.

Oldroyd likes to inhabit a world of tranquil tonalities. He recently created a room using a subtle palette of pale gray/green/silver/blue/gold. 

“Paled-down tones feel fresh and uplifting and let you “feel” the room rather than just “see” it,” said the designer. “The walls are painted in a chameleon shade of pale gray mist in a matt finish that is both warm and cool. The ceiling is a gently contrasting off-white to lift the eye. The wood floors are clear and stained a light walnut with a hint of green to anchor the room. It’s a very peaceful and harmonious interior.”

• Hotel Paradox — Santa Cruz, California •

Oldroyd has closely observed Northern California interiors over the last three decades and admires the way they have become much more cosmopolitan and contemporary.

“Design on the Peninsula and in San Francisco has become more urban and modern,” he said. “The influence of the relaxed, boldly scaled elegant style that Michael Taylor championed is still felt, and has a timeless quality. The contrasts that he became famous for still feel current today. But this is a much more “vertical” highrise region than it was, and we are responding to that. Floor-to-ceiling glass has become normal and even expected. The influence of the “sky” and the “views’ from condo towers has changed the way we bring the natural world into our rooms.”

Oldroyd’s clients, well-traveled and worldly, are always looking for fresh ways of seeing.

“I love the idea of using no tile in a bathroom, so I’m constantly looking for new materials to use on the wet walls of a shower that will provide the necessary function. My current favorite is exterior plaster, smooth-troweled. It’s practical and it looks very poetic. The hand-crafted texture feels luxurious.”

Oldroyd said it is time to rethink the cluttered garage.

“Most people enter their homes through the garage so it should be an integrated space, elegant and welcoming,” he designer said. “I have artwork on the walls in mine…and I’d have a window with a view if I could afford it.”

Credits and Where to Find

David Todd Oldroyd
ODADA, San Francisco 
Phone 415-362-4500

David Todd Oldroyd graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University in 1986. He joined Orlando Diaz-Azcuy at ODADA in 1990 and became a principal of the firm in 2000. He lives in San Francisco and often travels to Hawaii.

All images courtesy ODADA.

Stephan Julliard, Phillip Harvey, Matthew Millman, Nathan Kirkman, John Merkl and Shaun Sullivan.

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