Hold on tight, curvaceous design ahead

Jeff Schlarb and Phil Spiegel at the marble-topped bar that the former designed for Holbrook House.
Photos by Matthew Millman.

Interior designer Jeff Schlarb, long sought after for luxe residential projects, has brought his exquisite eye to the San Francisco dining scene. Inside the Conservatory, a historic venue that serves as an event space, a patio area offers a glimpse of what awaits inside Holbrook House. Schlarb’s deft use of color and pattern is on display in the vibrant blue chairs with a leafy fabric, which sit atop a geometric arrangement of four different marbles. The white, black, brown and gray stone flooring flows into the dining room, anchored by a Calacatta Oro-capped bar amid inviting banquettes.

Holbrook House is a study in contrasts—at once fanciful and familiar, grand yet intimate—with sumptuous seating in jewel tones, marble and wood tabletops, and a Murano glass and brass chandelier. Masculine and feminine also harmonize: The classic woodwork of the bar and wainscoting are juxtaposed with Anna Glover’s Garden of Serica wallcovering. Meanwhile, floor-to-ceiling custom drapes with a rope motif accentuate the 14-foot height of the space. “I was excited to bring something to San Francisco that felt like it was always here but just got a little bit of an update,” says Schlarb. “That was our dream.”

The single booths—illuminated by Urban Electric Co. polished nickel double sconces—feature brass toggles to switch on the Matt Alford Studio sconces and call for the champagne or martini cart. Photos by Matthew Millman.

PGIM and managing partner Barker Pacific Group, the owners of the One Sansome Street property—where Holbrook House and the Conservatory are located—undertook a $25 million makeover of the 42-story structure and tapped Phil Spiegel to lead the ground-floor hospitality ventures. The Conservatory, with its soaring marble-clad atrium crowned in glass, instantly elicits a sense of awe. “We wanted to build a bar and restaurant that makes your jaw drop a second time,” says Spiegel. “It’s the peacock of the project—the thing that’s pretty and sexy and fun.”

Spiegel regards Holbrook House, whose culinary program is helmed by Chef Holly Stevens, as “opulent and approachable,” he says. “In San Francisco, in the Financial District, you’re creating a place where someone might be in a suit and someone might be in a hoodie. I want someone to be able to order a bottle of Dom Pérignon and a Modelo in a can. From a design perspective, Jeff did a great job of embracing that.”

Amid Anna Glover’s Garden of Serica wallcovering, guests can settle into banquettes and dining chairs, both upholstered in faux velvet. Photos by Matthew Millman.

In true Jeff Schlarb Design Studio style, there are unexpected elements. The banquettes lining a wall feature two light switches. Flip the left or right toggle to call a champagne or martini cart to your table. “It’s a playful moment at these one-on-one booths,” Schlarb notes. And look closely: Their tufted backs, upholstered in a dusty blue faux velvet, are offset by buttons in a black-and-white check. “It’s very detailed,” he says of the entire bespoke undertaking. “There are details on top of details.”