2021 Design Awards: Residential Interior Design by Lindsay Gerber InteriorsAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Upon completing a project for a young family, interior designer Lindsay Gerber couldn’t sleep. “I don’t like to be at reveals. I like the clients to see it by themselves,” she explains. “So they came in, and I was at home waiting for a call or a text. And it never came.”
A month prior, her clients had vacated their 4,200-square-foot home in San Francisco’s Marina District, allowing Gerber to orchestrate a weeks-long installation that turned “a white box with no furniture” into a color-and-texture-rich haven. Working within a structure by David Armour Architecture and Forma Construction, Gerber introduced elements such as Venetian plaster; lacquered blue trim and built-ins; inky hemp-covered walls; and scenic hand-painted floral panels.
“It was night and day,” she says of the interiors the clients returned to following their temporary relocation. So dramatic was the metamorphosis that the homeowners needed a day to take in all the changes before reaching out to Gerber, allowing time for her to wonder—and worry—about their reaction. The verdict? “They loved it,” she says. “But they were overwhelmed at first because it was such a massive transformation.”
In enlisting Gerber, the clients had a singular aesthetic directive: “Beige and boring was the antithesis of what they wanted,” she recalls. “They said, ‘Give us something that’s interesting, that’s showstopping.’” The couple’s proximity to extended family meant entertaining-centric venues were a must, while their two sons required kid-friendly considerations, including durable textiles and furniture with curved rather than sharp edges.
European white oak flooring is a through line, visually connecting
the residence’s three stories. The ground level contains media and wine rooms. Ascending the first flight of stairs offers glimpses of decorative artist Willem Racké’s talents: Venetian plaster surfaces along with glossy trim in Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue.
At the second-floor landing, an open space was designated the dining room. It presented a particular challenge for Gerber, since
it’s a transition area between the formal living room and the family room/kitchen/breakfast nook as well as a passageway between floors. Gerber opted for a custom 54-inch round dining table made by Godar Furniture; with the addition of leaves, it can accommodate up to
14 people. “The Venetian plaster [on the walls and ceiling] has that quality of fog and clouds,” says Gerber, noting the aptly named Cloud chandelier by Apparatus Studio overhead.
Venetian plaster appears in the flanking rooms, too. The kitchen’s gray Venetian plaster walls complement the marble countertops and backsplash. The white cabinetry contrasts with the island’s black base, black velvet stools and a trio of oil-rubbed bronze and brass pendants. Gerber’s seating and lighting choices—from Room & Board and Rejuvenation, respectively—yield a high-low balance.
Similarly, the adjacent breakfast nook is appointed with a dining table from Restoration Hardware along with splurge-worthy Miranda chairs from Munson. Blending form and function—they are comfortable, lightweight and sculptural—it’s easy to understand why Gerber favors these chairs. Rounding out the nook are mossy green shades and a black jute-wrapped lantern from Nickey Kehoe.
On the opposite side of the dining room, the formal living room strikes a moodier note than the kitchen. Intended for grown-up congregations, the sofa, swivel chairs, window treatments and marble fireplace provide
a neutral backdrop for standout features like the Inchyra Blue built-ins, vintage lighting and Gerber-designed teal velvet bench.
The primary bedroom was conceived as “a retreat for [the clients],” says Gerber. “I think that’s so important for parents to have.” But
it almost didn’t happen at all. “I was told I didn’t need to present a bedroom scheme because they already had furniture they liked and were fine with,” says the designer, who devised a board for the husband and wife anyway. “She was like, ‘Now I can’t unsee this. We have to do it.’”
Gracie Studio’s Silver Silhouette, a floral motif that the wife long coveted, lines the entrance to the room. The sleeping quarter itself is cocooned in Phillip Jeffries’ Manila Hemp wallcovering in a gray hue, Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal paint and creamy drapes fabricated by Laurel Sprigg. A patterned Stark rug, beneath a Restoration Hardware bed upholstered in black velvet, ties together the entire palette.
Ultimately, the clients’ trust in Gerber and her bold vision was well placed. “Anytime a client is like, ‘I’m just going to jump right in with you,’ it turns out so beautifully,’” she says. “If you really want it to be a wow thing—and that was their whole thing—you have to go for it.” – Anh-Minh Le