Family First


Jonathan Rachman Design composes a sophisticated home for an inspiring family

The Water’s Rising dining table by Tod Von Mertens from De Sousa Hughes is surrounded by Arden Home chairs and a pair of Giac settees by DLV from Coup d’Etat, giving a perfect view of the clients’ Picassos. Photos by Douglas Friedman.

“For me, no matter the project, it always comes down to the human factor and to making the home a true nest,” says designer Jonathan Rachman on how he and his firm approached a San Francisco project for a blended family of five known for their success in tech and copious philanthropy. This is his fifth project with the client—including the design of their wedding—so Rachman has a keen sense of their everyday life and design sensibilities. “They are very trusting with our design and fairly hands-off, which makes it even more fun,” he notes. “For me, the fact that they are so loyal and have always commissioned us with projects over and over again is my biggest pride and joy.”

The Medusa Bloom chandelier by Ochre available at Coup d’Etat hangs over a custom island by Cardea Building. Photos by Douglas Friedman.

The 3,000-square-foot home, which took a little over a year to complete, sits atop the steep Filbert Street. While having a space that was both practical and opportune for entertaining was among the family’s needs, making their kids happy was the central goal. “For them, their priority is always about their children: to make sure they have the proper space and room for each one of them, even if they are not living at home full-time,” Rachman says. They met all the clients’ needs by creating a new master bedroom, carving out a tree-house room for the teenage son and devising a clever wine cellar in the dining room.

The team installed multiple areas with both nontraditional and cozy seating that are planned around the clients’ growing collection of art. “They collect Picasso and Chagall as well as modern contemporary artists, and the husband is obsessed with decorative light fixtures,” he says. “We made sure that the lights served as functioning sculpture.”

A custom bed by Arden Home sits in front of a pair of ottomans covered in fabric from Pierre Frey. Photos by Douglas Friedman.
In the master bathroom, Rachman installed the Agatha collection by Waterworks.
Photos by Douglas Friedman.

This project exemplifies the modern California aesthetic in a city setting that is sophisticated and stylish with hints of edge. “It is a modern cottage, very casual yet chic with lots of sunlight, which still preserved its historical façade and style, as dictated by the city,” says Rachman. “What is more Californian than having a Brady Bunch-style family who lives in harmony: They are kind and supportive of each other, full of heart and honor, and they respect and love other human beings who are different from themselves!”